LONDON: Artists working in Paris in the 20th century left an indelible mark on art today — and nowhere is that more visible than at the Grosvenor Gallery booth in Art Dubai.
We may be halfway across the world, but the artists who were part and parcel of the École de Paris movement are being exhibited during the busy fair — the largest art fair in the Middle East that is set to run from March 20-23.
The London-based gallery has chosen to spotlight artists Jean-Michel Atlan (1913-1960), Dia Azzawi (b.1939), Syed Sadequain (1930-1987) and Charles Hossein Zenderoudi (b.1937).
At first glance, you might not see an obvious connection between the four artists from Algeria, Iraq, Pakistan and Iran respectively, but all honed their artistic talent in the French capital in the 1950s-80s. They brought their cultural narratives and indigenously produced aesthetics, blending them with the prevailing artistic movements of the day.
Two contemporary artists from Pakistan will also be featured: Rasheed Araeen (b.1935), a pioneer of minimalism inspired by calligraphic forms and Islamic history and a colossal figure in South Asian and Western art, and Mohammad Ali Talpur (b.1976), whose career focus has been calligraphy, abstraction and minimalism.
For Grosvenor Gallery Director Charles Moore, Art Dubai is a “must” in his busy schedule, as he explained to Arab News.
“In addition to Art Dubai itself, which is a cultural highlight, many interesting satellite events have taken root around it. The position of Dubai is fantastic because it’s so easy to get to. It doesn’t hurt that the weather is lovely either,” he said.
He is pleased that this year the Modern and Contemporary section will be shown alongside each other.
“Our stands are back to back, which should ensure more footfall with enthusiasts for both forms coming to a shared space,” he said.
Grosvenor Gallery specialises in South Asian art and Moore described the market as “buoyant,” with particularly strong demand for Indian modernists.
He expects to see a lot of interest in the Pakistani artists at the fair.
“We always find Dubai is a good place to show Pakistani works of art,” he concluded.