Words by Nicola Rafi
A London-based and Pakistani-born artist, Rasheed Araeen is the mastermind behind this vibrant symmetrical creation, Rainbow on the Ground Surrounding the Black. Political Minimalism with open, linear forms are distinct themes and traits of this artist’s style, and are noticeable in his sculptures, paintings, works on paper and photography. This year, Middle Eastern talent is a core focus at Art Dubai with designers arriving from Syria, Iran, and other neighbouring countries.
Green Art Gallery has been a favoured fixture within the UAE’s art scene. Conceptualised in Homs, Syria, in the Eighties, the gallery soon opened its doors in Dubai with a programme highlighting Arab Modernism. A few year later, in 2010, the gallery relaunched as a contemporary art space for a multi-generational mix of artists. On display at this year’s fair are sculptures from Chaouki Choukini. Each piece offers a glimpse into the artist’s childhood, taking viewers back to the landscape of south Lebanon. Blocks are piled on top of each other, resembling mountainous regions while unveiling abstract faces. Choukini has received accolades including the Prix de la Jeune Sculpture in 1978, followed by the Taylor Foundation Prize in 2010 and, most recently, the Prix de la Fondation Pierre Gianadda. Simone Fattal, who was born in Damascus, produces artwork that boasts a similar aesthetic. The duo highlight their homeland’s significant influence upon modern art and its creators.