Middle East

An Afghan cultural worker’s life under the Taliban: 'There is nothing left for us here and we can’t go anywhere else'

In a new series "Dispatches from Afghanistan", we speak to artists about their experiences since the rise of the Taliban. Here, Mansoor laments the world’s silence over Afghanistan's fate

An Afghan artist's life under the Taliban: burning art, deleting social media accounts and living in hiding

In a new series "Dispatches from Afghanistan", we speak to artists about their experiences since the rise of the Taliban. Here, contemporary artist and curator Mina recounts the horrors of her failed escape attempt

Guggenheim director Richard Armstrong sets new opening date for long-delayed Abu Dhabi museum

New deputy director Naomi Beckwith says "we can re-centre where the stories of art are told"

Archaeologists discover 4,000-year-old ancient city in Iraqi desert

Ten teams from international universities and museums will visit the Dhi Qar region in October for further excavations

'In solidarity with the Palestinian people', photographers withdraw their works from Prix Pictet show in Israel

Prize-nominated artists Shahidul Alam and Gideon Mendel will not show their works at the Eretz Israel Museum in Tel Aviv

Saudi Arabia pushes forward with plans for cultural 'renaissance' with vast light festival full of both local and big-name artists

Agencies seem to be betting that time and increased exposure to the kingdom will wear down Western qualms over its human rights record

'A woman painting women': major show on colourful Algerian painter Baya explores her influence on Modernism

Exhibition of more than 70 of the artist's works at Sharjah Art Museum in the UAE includes rare works from her first ever show in 1947

Street art, social media, visibility: how the Arab Spring has changed art and culture, a decade on

We ask artists, writers and experts on Middle Eastern art about their memories of the revolutionary movements—and what they think the lasting legacies are

Art fairsanalysis

'If you're coming to buy, you have two hours to do it': what it's like at London's real-life 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair

In the absence of the major fairs and auctions, Modern and contemporary African art is in the spotlight in London this week

Virtual photography show reveals modern Lebanon's many layers of tragedy

Lebanon Then and Now: Photography from 2006 to 2020 hosted by Washington, DC's Middle East Institute is both timely and prescient

Saudi Arabia pushes soft power by launching new teamLab digital art museum in Jeddah

The hi-tech Tokyo-based collective will create trademark immersive experiences for the new space

Booksreview

New Orientalists: a thoughtful book on the rise and decline of Western artists in the Middle East

There is plenty to enjoy in this account of a group of travelling painters who were not only accomplished but also determined, brave and hardy

Beirutnews

Emergency fund launched in aid of Beirut's devastated art community

Belgian non-profit Mophradat says that 100% of the money raised will support individual artists and arts organisations

Beirut's art world mourns widespread death and destruction following explosions

With homes, galleries and studios entirely destroyed, Lebanese artists respond in the aftermath of Tuesday’s carnage

Huge explosion in Beirut decimates city and leaves art scene in disarray

Several galleries and museums have been destroyed or severely damaged following the blast and fire that shook the Lebanese capital on Tuesday

Former Louvre curator among five arrested in Paris in antiquities trafficking investigation

Case involves "hundreds of objects worth millions" looted from the Near and Middle East

Facebook and Instagram ban trading of historical artefacts

Heritage group Athar were part of a campaign highlighting the social media giants' “black market in antiquities”

Adam Henein—the Egyptian sculptor who spent a decade restoring the Great Sphinx—has died, aged 91

Rose Issa, curator and friend of the artist, shares the life story of one of the most important sculptors in the Arab world

UAE government promotes existing Art in Embassies acquisition scheme as a coronavirus relief plan

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs suggested its AED 1.5m in purchases were part of a new initiative following the suspension of Art Dubai due to Covid-19

From Modernist nudes to present-day politics: British Museum to reveal its contemporary Middle Eastern art collection

Free exhibition at the London museum in October will show around 150 works that have been collected since the early 1990s

Arab Springanalysis

The ripple effect of the Arab Spring

Political upheaval across the region presents challenges—and opportunities—for artists and collectors

Saudi art organisation acquires vast collection of Middle Eastern art from Dubai's bankrupt Abraaj firm

Works from the Abraaj Group Art Prize will be managed by Art Jameel with some works going on show at the Dubai space Jameel Art Centre

Saudi Arabia's art festival 21,39: tackling climate change in the desert

This year's edition of the art initiative is a call to action on the climate emergency

Trampolining in a Saudi Arabian valley? First look at the interactive art biennial Desert X AlUla

Inaugural edition of the monumental show, opening this Friday, is free to the public

Capturing the streets: the Lebanese revolution through the eyes of an artist

Three months into the uprising we speak to Abed Al Kadiri about popular unity, state brutality and why he is documenting events through Chinese-style ink drawings

Contemporary Istanbul chairman ‘rethinking fair’s governance’ following ‘inappropriate’ comments over Turkey’s military action

Ali Gureli apologises for accusing foreign media of spreading propaganda, but it is not yet clear if he will step down

Huguette Caland—leading artist of the Arab world—has died, aged 88

Lebanese artist and designer who was known for her erotic line drawings and abstract paintings was "clearly ahead of her own time"

Tate's huge 'Guernica of the Arab world' is recreated in tapestry so it can travel the world

Dia al-Azzawi's Sabra and Shatila Massacre has been commissioned by a Lebanese art foundation as an "archive of history"

Middle East think-tank opens art gallery in Washington, DC

New space for Modern and contemporary art from the Arab world will put on five exhibitions a year

Forgotten female artists of Modern Arab art to get their due in Sharjah show

Collector Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi is organising an exhibition with an equal number of male and female masters to redress gender bias

For its centennial, Oriental Institute weds ancient artefacts with contemporary art

Three artists enter a dialogue with Middle Eastern antiquities at the University of Chicago

New museum tells Palestinian stories in the centre of US politics

One-room space in Washington, DC, focuses on art and culture rather than “catastrophe”— but a section is dedicated to the 1948 mass exodus

Art in the time of airstrikes: Yemeni artists urge international donors for support

Symposium at the British Museum, part of the Shubbak festival of contemporary Arab culture, will include artists from war-torn Yemen and Syria

A comprehensive survey of geometric forms in Modern and contemporary Middle Eastern art

Twenty-four artists present their own works in new book, including the late Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

Fake news, contested histories and fluctuating borders: the Sharjah Biennial in pictures

The 14th edition of the international exhibition in the United Arab Emirates includes more than 80 artists with over 60 new commissions

British Museum teams up with Louvre for revamp of Egyptian Museum in Cairo

But the disputed treasure, the Rosetta Stone, will remain in London

eL Seed brings his brand of contemporary calligraphy to London for first UK show

French-Tunisian artist’s 'tabula rasa' paintings at Lazinc will challenge “deep-seated preconceptions” about Arabic script

The women taking charge in the Gulf's rising art scene

With many of the region’s museums, fairs and festivals under female leadership, we talk to three key decision-makers

Protestcomment

Why I made a cemetery for hundreds of banned books in Kuwait

Kuwaiti artist Mohammad Sharaf hopes to provoke the general public as well as the authorities

Two new shows highlight the politics of being apolitical in the powderkeg Middle East

Exhibitions on the history of Syria and on Arab revolutions in the Arab world tread a fine line

Why being a royal artist in the Gulf is a mixed blessing

Rashid Al Khalifa of Bahrain is showing his art in London’s Saatchi Gallery

Iraqi artist Dia Azzawi designs new Lebanese private museum

The Nabu Museum collection combines antiquities with Modern and contemporary art

Abraaj Group liquidators to sell 200 works from art collection at Bonhams

Middle Eastern and South Asian works owned by embattled Dubai-based private equity firm carry much lower estimates than prices paid a decade ago

Beirut Art Fair gives helping hand to embattled Egyptian galleries

Lebanese event cuts 'special offer' to help Egypt's galleries exhibit abroad and invests $100,000 in outreach to encourage collectors from further afield

Embattled private equity firm Abraaj Group fails to renew Art Dubai sponsorship

Plans to lend the Abraaj Group Art Prize collection to the Jameel Art Centre are also on hold

Lawnews

Parviz Tanavoli banned from leaving Iran over legal dispute with former gallery owner

Maryam Goudarzi claims that the artist should return six 1972 sculptures worth $6m to her, but Tanavoli says they were swapped legally for five newer works

Unpaid invoices, vetting issues and bad marketing: dealers call out ‘mismanaged’ Bahrain fair

Despite a group of exhibitors describing Art Bahrain Across Borders as disappointing, royal patron says event will continue

Myrna Ayad steps down as Art Dubai director, while fair plans to move Modern section in 2019

Ayad says decision to leave was "personal" and plans to launch her own art consultancy

New cultural hub set to open in West Bank amid political tension

Omar Al-Qattan, chair of the A.M. Qattan Foundation, explains the many challenges of building an arts space under occupation

UAEnews

British Museum rekindles relationship with Zayed National Museum after loan deal ended last year

Under new partnership, the London museum will lend key objects to the new institution in Abu Dhabi

British Museum show focuses on Assyrian antiquities targeted by Islamic State

Loans likely to come from Iran—but works from the Met would not meet London museum's strict borrowing guidelines

Iran’s art market defies expectations in face of US sanctions with new fair

In a first for Iran, the Teer Art fair is set to open amid a growing but fragile market environment

From Brussels to Bogotá: where will the Pompidou pop up next?

As museum's teaser show opens in the Belgian capital, its president, Serge Lasvignes, tells us about branching out from Paris

Emerging Arab artists to get international shows through new commissioning initiative

Six partner institutions including the Hammer Museum are behind collaborative art production model

Leaderscomment

What we can learn from Saudi art

Suddenly, a lot of money is flowing through the kingdom for the promotion of contemporary art and culture

Exhibitionsinterview

Ai Weiwei: 'I'm impressed Qatar wants my show about refugees'

The dissident Chinese artist on why he's tackling the global refugee crisis in his first exhibition in the Gulf

Against the odds, Louvre exhibition opens in Tehran in historic deal

French museum became first cultural institution to secure ties with Islamic regime after sanctions lifted in 2016

Abraaj Group's partnership with Art Dubai to continue, despite reorganisation

Founder Arif Naqvi's departure from the private equity firm's asset management business in February followed claims the company had misused investor funds

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