The 1980s were a groundbreaking time for contemporary art in the United Arab Emirates. For the first time, artists explored experimental new formats, formed art collectives and founded journals.
The exhibition was built upon extensive research involving archives of newspaper articles, artists’ writings and catalogues, as well as interviews with artists and cultural practitioners. The Emirates Fine Arts Society, a non-profit association that was formed in 1980 in Sharjah, served as the main point of focus and inspiration for the research. Reflecting personal and geopolitical trajectories, the research focussed on the underexposed historical record and evolving practices of some of the UAE’s most important modernist and contemporary artists.
This publication features a series of essays and contributions by Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi and some of the participating artists, as well as some archive material.
About the Editors
With a passion for supporting experimentation and innovation in the arts, Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation, is a curator who established the Foundation in 2009 as a catalyst and advocate for the arts in Sharjah, UAE, as well as regionally and internationally.
Karen Marta is a New York-based editor and publishing consultant. She was the founding U.S. Editor of Parkett and is the editor of Hans Ulrich Obrist’s Interview Project and many of his books.
About the Publisher
The National Pavilion UAE was established to endorse the UAE’s contemporary art practices on an international platform and provide a foundation to support the nation’s diverse and developing cultural scene. It is commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and supported by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth.