No matter the type of art you like, Al Serkal Avenue has it. With a multitude of galleries in one concentrated area, and from paintings to films, there is something for everyone to enjoy and appreciate. Buro 24/7 Middle East lists the top exhibitions to open this month.
Connected by Elias Izoli
January 20 — March 3 at Ayyam Gallery Dubai
Inspired by Syria's most celebrated figurative painter, Louay Kayyali, the new body of work by Damascus-based painter Elias Izoli sees him address the abrupt break in normalcy for life in Syria. Kayyali was known to portray the diverse spectrum of 20th century Syrian society while drawing attention to socio-economic disparities and Izoli recreates those same figures, bringing about a sense of familiarity at a time when Syria is no longer recognisable.
Dreams in Blue. The Year Philip Mueller Didn't Wake Up by Philip Mueller
January 18 — March 6 at Carbon 12 Dubai
In the words of the painter himself, the exhibition is about "freedom, excess, deconstruction, swans and Michelangelo (stylistically on whom the bodies are based)". Full of abstraction and texture, the images are heavily symbolic and fuse the familiar with the ideal with a touch of existential awareness. The works feature colours of blues, soft pinks and greyed out whites that come together in a palette that is misleadingly soothing.
In the Future, They Ate From the Finest Porcelain by Larissa Sansour
January 18 — March 10 at Lawrie Shabibi
In the Future, They Ate From the Finest Porcelain is a mixed medium project by artist Larissa Sansour. In her second exhibition at the gallery, the latest work features a short sci-fi film that combines science fiction, archaeology and Middle Eastern politics alongside an installation and a series of photographs. The film depicts the story of a resistance group that buries elaborate porcelain — suggested to belong to a lost civilisation of hi-tech Palestinians — or future archaeologists to excavate. Once uncovered, the porcelain plates will provide the evidence supporting the myth of this historical people.
The Place of Perpetual Undulation by Reem Falaknaz
January 7 — 31 at Gulf Photo Plus
A staff photographer for The National, Reem Falaknaz began exploring small Emirati villages after discovering the impact modernity has on these little gems of tradition. "Ras Al Khaimah, where the series is set, is a mountainous area that is being flattened to pave way for new resorts and hotels, or by quarry sites for providing the building materials for places like these resorts," she says. Deciding to capture the quick shifts through the lens, her works highlight the life of the local people and the life of the surrounding mountains, before everything changes beyond recognition.