Syrian Art Gets Its First Gulf Region Retrospective at Rem Koolhaas-Designed Venue

Held in a brand new event space, the show is timed to Dubai Art Week.

Rendering of the exterior view of Concrete at Alserkal Avenue. Courtesy of OMA.

Alserkal Avenue will inaugurate its new OMA-designed event venue, Concrete, with “Syria: Into the Light,” the first retrospective of modern and contemporary Syrian art to be held in the Gulf Region.

The show, which will kick off just in time for Dubai Art Week (March 9–April 3, 2017), is a collaboration with the Atassi Foundation, featuring selections from the organization’s art collection. Co-founded by Sadek and Mouna Atassi, the Atassi Foundation is dedicated to promoting Syrian art and culture on an international level by displaying its collection and fostering the talents of young Syrian artists.

“Syria has a long history of producing some of the region’s most socially engaged artwork, and an exhibition that shines a light on the country’s incredibly talented contemporary artists is long overdue,” said Vilma Jurkute, director of Alserkal Avenue, in a statement, praising the Atassi Foundation’s work with and commitment to Syrian artists.

Omran Younes, <em>The Pictures Friend</em>. Courtesy of Ayyam Gallery.

Omran Younes, The Pictures Friend. Courtesy of Ayyam Gallery.

Among the featured artists for “Syria: Into the Light,” which includes historic masters as well as emerging figures on the Syrian art scene, are Tawfik Tarek, Fateh Moudarres, Youssef Abdelke, and Omran Younes. The exhibition is co-curated by Atassi, curator Rasha Salti, and exhibition designer Michel Zayat. In addition to the show, Alserkal Avenue will hold related film screenings, talks, and other programming.

“The standard of design and technology that the practice has brought to this project highlights the intersections of art and architecture; it is indicative of the level of originality and inspiration that we hope Concrete will host in the months and years to come. I am especially pleased to show works from the Atassi Foundation’s collection in Alserkal Avenue,” said Abdelmonem Bin Eisa Alserkal, founder of Alserkal Avenue, in a statement.

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