Our top arts picks this week: Emirati authors’ book launch at the Abu Dhabi Festival and more

Plus: the birth of Impressionism and a new art gallery opens in a former Soviet-era naval base in Azerbaijan.

Home of My Eyes by Shirin Neshat is on exhibit at the Yarat Comtemporary Art Centre in Baku, Azerbaijan. Courtesy Rauf Askyarov, courtesy YARAT
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Understand more about a great work of art

One of Claude Monet's early works was The Luncheon, a key early piece of Impressionism from 1868-69. It is around this painting that the Staedel in Frankfurt builds an exhibition examining the beginnings of the movement. Impressionism, with its clearly recognisable brushstrokes, sketch-like style and bodiless figures, ensured art would never be the same again. Along with Monet, the exhibition will also include works by Renoir, Degas and Cézanne, with 100 paintings in total from some of the world's most prestigious collections on display. Monet and the Birth of Impressionism runs until June 21. For more information visit www.staedelmuseum.de.

Celebrate Arabic language and literature

As part of the ongoing Abu Dhabi Festival, next week will see the launch of a number of books by Emirati authors in Arabic: RAK historian Ali Al Reesh's Al Gharbia: A Bird with Eight Wings and Emirati Faces; historian Faleh Handa's A Glossary of the Colloquial Emirati Dialect; Take Off Your Shoes by journalist Yasser Hareb; Three Women & A City by newspaper columnist Alya Ibrahim; and Cities: Travelling & Leaving by Aysha Sultan, a graduate from the University of Sharjah. The launch and book signing will take place in The Space at TwoFour54 this Tuesday, March 31, from 7pm. To find out more visit www.abudhabifestival.ae.

Visit a new contemporary art museum in Baku

This week saw the opening of a new contemporary art space in a former Soviet-era naval headquarters in the Azerbaijan capital Baku. The Contemporary Art Centre is the brainchild of Yarat, a not-for-profit arts organisation, that focuses on artists from the Caucasus, Central Asia and the region. Its first exhibition, called Making Histories, will show work from Yarat's permanent collection, while The Home of My Eyes is a study in portraiture by the artist Shirin Neshat and runs until June 23. For more information on both exhibitions visit www.yarat.az.