Are you traveling to the United Arab Emirates? Or are you a local looking to spend your weekend doing non-touristy things, far away from the buzzing crowd? Well, we know just the right places for you to visit. Art lover or not, we highly recommend that you check out these 5 art galleries in the UAE.
1. Jameel Arts Centre
Jameel Arts Centre is an independent institution dedicated to exhibiting contemporary art to the public and engaging communities through learning, research, and commissions. Located in Jaddaf Waterfront, Dubai, Jameel Arts Centre aims to be a dynamic platform in a larger world, sparking dialogue in the name of contemporary art.
Ongoing Exhibition: An Ocean in Every Drop
Bringing together works from around the globe that explore human relationships to water, ‘An Ocean in Every Drop’ asks us to think with water, following its flows through the past to inform our present.
With works by: Jumana Emil Abboud, al-Istakhri, Martha Atienza, Raven Chacon, Cian Dayrit, Léuli Eshrāghi, Asunción Molinos Gordo, Abul Hisham, Candice Hopkins, Sohrab Hura, Hussein Nassereddine, Thảo Nguyên-Phan, Daniel Otero Torres, Karan Shrestha, Fatima Uzdenova, Munem Wasif.
2. Ishara Arts Foundation
Located in Dubai, the Ishara Arts Foundation was founded in 2019 as an NGO to present South Asian contemporary art and supports emerging and established practices that advance critical dialogue and explore global interconnections.
Ongoing Exhibition: Navjot Altaf: Pattern
Visit Navjot Altaf’s first solo exhibition in the Arabian Peninsula, which foregrounds her commitment to issues of climate-change, ecology and feminism and the challenges one faces in the digital age. The show ends on the 9th of December 2022.
3. Carbon 12
Carbon 12 was established in 2008 by Kourosh Nouri and Nadine Knotzer, initiating a comprehensive, firmly global, program of institution-grade artists. Internationally active, Carbon 12 continuously introduces and promotes both established and emerging artists to the UAE contemporary art scene, with exhibitions highlighting diverse contextual activities including publications and talks that actively engage the public and educational institutions. The playful, organic process that constitutes the creative production of Carbon 12’s artist base is facilitated and mirrored by its location in Al Quoz.
Ongoing Exhibition: When the Ground Was | A Solo Show
In When the Ground Was, Sarah Almehairi takes us along for a walk.
Upon entering the space, viewers are met with visual pathfinders laid out by Almehairi to trace walks taken by her, revisiting trails she frequented and pockets of temporary remarkableness she observed. The exhibition title suggests a timeline, but it isn’t clear if the works are meant to present a chronicle or an invitation. It does, though, gently suggest maneuvering between the physical act of motion and the abstract provocation of finding intimacy in the everyday.
Sounds interesting, right? Don’t miss out on this fantastic show which ends on the 1st of November 2022.
Warehouse421 is a home-grown arts and design center dedicated to showcasing and nurturing creative production across the region. Working in collaboration with local, regional, and international entities. It aims to aid the development of the UAE’s creative ecosystem through learning, research, and commissions.
Committed to supporting emerging talent from the UAE, Middle East, and South Asia, Warehouse421 takes a collaborative approach to hosting and curating exhibitions, presenting and contextualizing local and regional research, and examining cultural practices in an anti-disciplinary space.
Ongoing Exhibition: Mohamed Khalid: Let me tell you something
In Mohamed Khalid’s first institutional solo show, he draws from real-life episodes of missed communication: a note tucked onto his windshield; letters that he never sent to his second-grade teacher; an email chain where he tries to recover property lost on a budget European bus.
The show is on view till the 25th of December 2022.
5. Ayyam Gallery
Ayyam Gallery is a leading arts organisation that manages the careers of diverse established and emerging artists. With its widely respected multilingual publishing division and a custodianship programme that manages the estates of pioneering artists, Ayyam Gallery has also contributed to recent efforts that document underrepresented facets of global art history.
Ongoing Exhibition: Kais Salman’s Fables in the Unknown
Kais illustrates civilization’s pros and cons and the chaos of the human condition. There’s a difference between reading and seeing an idea; a writer dictates his concept. Visually, the artist is only giving you tools to provide you with a glimpse at the complete picture. Leaving it open-ended. There’s no solution, no answer; it’s a chance to dream. Creating emotions, taking you to a different world, a different universe.
Witness Kais Salman’s art this weekend. The show is on view till the 1st of November 2022.
Visited all the above shows and spaces and looking to explore more? Here is a bonus list of our favourite UAE art galleries.
- AKKA Project
- Green Art Gallery
- Lawrie Shabibi
- Tabari Space
- The Third Line
- Zawyeh Gallery
Did we not mention your favourite art space? Tell us about it in the comments.