Leila Heller Is First New York Gallery to Open in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue

Its opening is timed with Abu Dhabi Art week.

Ghada Amer, Girl With Pink Lips (2014). Photo: Brian Buckley, courtesy Cheim & Read and Leila Heller Gallery.

Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue, the arts district founded in 2012 by Emirati collector and businessman Abdelmonem Alserkal, is welcoming its first international art dealer: New York’s Leila Heller Gallery, which has timed its opening to coincide with the Avenue’s November 16 Galleries Night, and Abu Dhabi Art week.

The Alserkal Avenue warehouse complex expansion contains some 20 spaces for creative organizations.

Leila Heller in her new gallery space. Photo: Musthafa Aboobacker.

Leila Heller in her new gallery space.
Photo: Musthafa Aboobacker.

Leila Heller Gallery‘s inaugural Dubai programming will include solo exhibitions from Ghada Amer, presenting a new body of work in ceramics curated by Shiva Balaghi, and Belgian artist Wim Delvoye, in his first outing at a gallery in the United Arab Emirates.

The show will mark Amer’s first solo exhibition in the Arab world in almost 20 years. Delvoye, whose Cloaca Professional (2010) a sculpture that literally poops, is a major highlight at Tasmania’s eccentric Museum of Old and New Art, will display his most recent body of sculptural work.

Leila Heller's new gallery space. Photo: Musthafa Aboobacker.

Leila Heller’s new gallery space.
Photo: Musthafa Aboobacker.

I don’t feel I belong anywhere,” he said in a statement. “I feel like a nomad. So I take inspiration from different cultures, whilst being very respectful of the places I go to.”

Galleries Night will also mark the opening of several new spaces: the UAE’s 1×1 Gallery will celebrate its new home with a group show featuring Mithu Sen, Nasreen Mohamedi, and Anju Dodiya; Tunisian gallery Elmarsa’s new Dubai outpost will kick off with a show by Rachis Koraichi; and Ayyam Gallery‘s second Dubai location, in the Avenue’s Warehouse 12, will stage a solo show by Khaed Hafez.

Alserkal Avenue expansion. Photo: courtesy Alserkal Avenue.

Alserkal Avenue expansion.
Photo: courtesy Alserkal Avenue.

“The launch of these respected international and regional galleries is affirmation of how far Alserkal Avenue has come as a community for the promotion of arts and culture,” said Alserkal in a statement.

Other planned additions to Alserkal Avenue’s expansion include Custot Gallery, the Jean-Paul Najar Foundation, and the Third Line.



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