The must-see art exhibitions in Bahrain this month
Time Out Bahrain staff
The Approach of Reality and the Colour of the Dream Works from L’Institut du Monde Arabe’s (Arab World Institute, Paris) permanent collection, featuring a large body of early contemporary Arab art works ranging from the early 20th century to the present day. The show highlights their focus on the modernist schools (Europe) as well as the schools of the sign and of calligraphy (Middle East and North Africa) with 5 themes: The Letter and the Sign, About Abstraction, Mental Landscapes, What Bodies Say and the Fantastic and the Imaginary. The exhibit includes works of many luminaries of the contemporary Arab art world including Benanteaur, Shakir Hassan Al Said, Dia Azzawi, Saliba Douaihy and Mohammed Kacimi to name a few. Bahrain National Museum Jan 10-Mar 10, (17298750)
The 38th Annual Fine Arts Exhibition There’s still time to see the 38th Annual Fine Arts Exhibition which opened in January and this year focuses on the theme Woman. Bahraini artists, young and more mature, were given the chance to create works related to what they believe is the essence of woman in the contemporary social world or to re-formulate preconceived notions of women. A mix of more traditional art forms and some contemporary sculptures and mixed media pieces are on view. Since 1972 Bahrain has been promoting the empowerment of talent with its yearly Fine Arts Exhibition. This year the committee selected to judge the 38th session was headed by artist Shaikh Rashed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa along with James Koch from the Beyeler Foundation, Georges Ranunkel, Geoffroy De Farncony from Modern Art Exhibition in Paris and Salwa Al Moqdadi, director of the Culture & Art Programme at the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy. Bahrain National Museum, Jan 10-February 10 (17298744)
Contemporary Art from Jordan Organised by the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts (1980) in co-operation with the Ministry of Culture in Bahrain, this exhibition consists of 100 artworks (permanent collection) by 70 artists from Jordan in painting, graphics, ceramics and sculptures, photography, installation, and video art. Representing different generations, trends, techniques, subjects and media, the exhibition will show the evolution of the art scene in Jordan including works by Jordanian diplomat, Princess Wijdan who recently spoke at the museum about her personal artistic experience, practice and concepts as well as her passion for the arts. Bahrain National Museum, Jan 25-February 25 (17298744).
Sun Splashes This is the first solo exhibition in Bahrain by Russian/Jordanian engineer, art teacher and artist Irina Averinos. Born in Tuapse - a Russian city on the Black Sea coast surrounded by the Caucasus Mountains, she was inspired by the beautiful scenery around her and started drawing from an early age developing a style which exhibits great colour harmony. Her art carries a positive energy and her paintings are warm and sunny in spite of the absence of the sun from most of her canvases. She has participated in various art fairs and events in Bahrain and abroad but this is her first solo exhibition on the island. World Beat Fitness Centre, Feb 18-Mar 29 8am-1pm and 4pm-8pm,(17612576).
Mohammed Omar Khalil at Albareh Gallery Prominent Sudanese artist Mohammed Omar Khalil returns to Bahrain this month with a new collection presenting 15 artworks. Six of them are a continuation to his previous theme ‘Paolo Uccello, The Battle of San Romano’, a series of panels representing the victory of the Florentine army over the Sienese in 1432 which were commissioned by a Florentine merchant in 1456. The artist’s first encounter with the original work was in 1963, Florence, Italy, and he held onto the memory until the chance presented itself to put his own interpretation on the scenes. He will also showcase a series of six artworks on his favourite country Morocco; two of them on the city of Fes and four on Marrakesh. Mohammed’s inspirations come from different and often eccentric sources – films, books, music and places he has visited and his materials are gathered as he goes along. Albareh Art Gallery, Feb 5-29, Sat-Thurs 10am-1pm and 4pm-8pm (17717707).
Art Fest 2012 @ Al Aali Next month, in what’s billed as a first of its kind for the kingdom, Al Aali Shopping Complex will host an art festival bringing together talent from across the country under one roof. Upcoming artists are being invited to take part and showcase their talent as well as selling their work in various disciplines such as painting, sculpture, fashion designing, music, photography, calligraphy, pottery etc. Al Aali Shopping Complex March 7-10 (39994858 or 17 581 000).