Past Forward: Emirati art in the USA

Observers of Change I, 2011 by Lateefa Bint Maktoum. Image courtesy of H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan
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The work of 25 Emirati artists will go on display in Washington DC tomorrow as part of an initiative with the UAE Embassy in the United States and the Meridian International Center.

Through work by established artists such as Latifa Bint Maktoum, whose atmospheric photographs were displayed in the Venice Biennale in 2011 and Mattar Bin Lahej who depicts movement and power in his paintings, the exhibition hopes to highlight the balance between the UAE’s rapid development as well as it deep heritage and traditional values.

Titled Past Forward: Contemporary Art from the Emirates, it features over 50 paintings, photographs, sculptures, video installations and other media from 25 Emirati artists.

Some younger artists such as Maitha Demithan, who uses scanography to create portraits of the people, animals and objects in her life, Zaineb Al Hashemi, who is displaying a work from 2010 called Pearl Tale and Khalid Mezaina whose graphic work depicts wind towers will also be joining the repertoire.

The exhibition is curated by Dr. Curtis Sandberg, Vice President for Arts and Cultural Programs at the Meridian International Center and Noor Al Suwaidi who is a prominent Emirati artist and curator from Abu Dhabi.

The exhibition will travel across the United States over the next 18 months, including stops in Texas, California, and Washington.