Middle Eastern & North African art

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

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

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

Eight emerging Arab artists are chosen to show 'ambitious' works across the world

The commissioning project Consortium Commissions provides artists with up to $20,000 to realise their projects

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

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

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

Christie's cancels Dubai sale of Middle Eastern art

March auction will return to the Emirate in spring 2021, but is cancelled this year due to new strategy and constrained supply of works

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

As demonstrations return to Cairo, Egyptian protest artist goes on show in new London space

Exhibition of street artist Bahia Shehab's work opens at Aga Khan Centre Gallery in King's Cross

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

Kamal Boullata—Palestinian master of abstract art and Arabic calligraphy—dies, aged 77

Jerusalem-born artist who lived 50 years in exile was a pioneer of the hurufiyya movement and one of the first to write about Palestine's art history

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

Arab photography archive releases 22,000 historic images online

Arab Image Foundation completes $255,000 digitisation initiative and will reopen its Beirut building this summer

Ai Weiwei denies his porcelain works borrow from Lebanese artist's prize-winning vases

Raed Yassin says there are "striking similarities" between his ceramic series on the Lebanese civil war and Ai's pieces on the Syrian war and refugee crisis

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

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

Major coup for Paris’s Institut du Monde Arabe as it receives one of its biggest ever donations of works

Gallerist Claude Lemand and his wife France also set up a fund to support the museum

Iraqi artist Dia Azzawi designs new Lebanese private museum

The Nabu Museum collection combines antiquities with Modern and contemporary art

A 19th-century bikini from Iran goes on show in the UK in time for the summer

The garment was conserved for the Holburne Museum's exhibition of objects collected by the “intrepid” traveller Ellen Tanner

Returning looted African art is as urgent as giving back works stolen by the Nazis

Congolese-born art collector Sindika Dokolo says this "long-neglected historical wrong" is finally being addressed—but more can be done

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

Prizesnews

MCA Chicago launches Dunya Contemporary Art Prize and names first winner, Sophia Al-Maria

The $100,000 award recognises mid-career artists from the Middle East and its diaspora

Emerging Arab artists to get international shows through new commissioning initiative

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

Kuwaiti artists awarded inaugural Art Jameel commission for new Dubai culture complex

Alia Farid and Aseel AlYacoub will create a light-up botanical garden linking both wings of the Jameel Arts Centre

Marrakech museum boosts Africa’s burgeoning art scene

Macaal’s international launch coincides with city’s first 1-54 Contemporary African Art fair

What to see at 21,39—Saudi Arabia’s contemporary art festival

Critics choose highlights from fifth edition of the Jeddah show, organised by Tate curator Vassilis Oikonomopoulos

New Art Jameel space for contemporary art to launch in Saudi Arabia in 2019

The Hayy: Creative Hub centre in Jeddah is latest cultural offering announced in the rebranded Kingdom

Iran’s first museum for a female artist honours nonagenarian

"Life’s work" of Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian goes on show in former palace in Tehran

Marrakech bids to become hub for contemporary African art as museum plans relaunch alongside 1:54 fair

Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden will hold “international opening” in February

Largest survey of Qatari contemporary art to open in Berlin despite ongoing blockade

Exhibition is final event in Year of Culture partnership between Qatar and Germany

Letter from Yemen: artist speaks out about his country’s 'forgotten war'

Ahmed Jahaf describes what it is like to live through catastrophic conflict

Podcastfeature

Abu Dhabi Focus podcast, episode three: how the UAE art scene became a force to be reckoned with

Art dealer Thaddaeus Ropac and curator Maya Allison tell us how the nation’s creative ambitions have blossomed. Plus: Silver Lion-winning musician and artist Hassan Khan on his Abu Dhabi Art performance

Podcastfeature

Abu Dhabi Focus podcast, episode two: How Saudi artists are driving political change

As Abu Dhabi Art fair opens, we speak to the Saudi artists Manal Al Dowayan and Ahmed Mater. Plus: Iraq's Dia Azzawi on creating the Arab world's Guernica

In the afterglow of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s opening, Abu Dhabi Art moves up a notch

Some dealers at the fair report brisk early business but say big sales are a waiting game

Video: Abu Dhabi Art opens as the world watches

Is the UAE now the art capital of the Middle East?

Podcastfeature

Abu Dhabi Focus podcast, episode one: Louvre Abu Dhabi and Abu Dhabi Art

With all eyes on Abu Dhabi this week, we speak to the architect Jean Nouvel on designing the Arab world's first universal museum. Plus: a preview of Abu Dhabi Art fair

Abu Dhabi Art set to benefit from Louvre opening

This year’s fair has 13 new exhibitors and is hoping for more international visitors

Collectors tackle rise in fake Modern Middle Eastern art

Dalloul Art Foundation investigates authenticity of some Middle Eastern works before museum opening

Tim Cornwell. , additional reporting by Anna Brady

Sotheby’s to hold first sale in Dubai

Christie’s moves October auction to London as rival plans first sale in the UAE

Saudi Arabian artist’s first US solo show escapes shadow of 9/11

Abdulnasser Gharem says the US show allows him more freedom than he may have in Saudi Arabia

Interest in Middle Eastern art is on the rise in China

Guggenheim show in Shanghai was abruptly cancelled but curiosity about the region continues to grow

Saudi artist Abdulnasser Gharem to have first solo US show at Lacma

Former lieutenant colonel in the Saudi Arabian army is known for his politically and socially engaged works that draw on his Muslim heritage

Saudi women artists make their mark at 21,39 festival in Jeddah

New works draw attention to destruction of Islamic heritage and female car crash victims

A bright spot in an otherwise darkened Egypt

Mohamed Abla's show of new works in Cairo is on amid a moment of prolonged political agony in the country

We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. Read our Cookie Policy for more information.

Customise