x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

From Indian art to indie rock

Contemporary art and artists and a look at black-and-white cinema highlight this week in the Emirates.

There may be an influx of works by world-renowned artists rolling into Abu Dhabi over the next month or so, but few will cause quite the same frisson of excitement as those of MF Husain, the Indian artist whose 70-year career has paved the way for contemporary artists in his home country. Brace yourselves, then, for Thursday, when Spectrum, an exhibition of Indian art works dating from 1947 to the present day, opens at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, featuring several of them, alongside sculptures by KS Radhakrishnan and bronzes by Laxma Goud. Curated by Dr Saryu Doshi and Ms Pheroza Godrej and organised by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage and the UAE's Indian Embassy, it is the first official collaborative exhibition of modern and contemporary Indian works in the city, featuring paintings, sculpture, installations, photographs, new media and video by 85 artists. Not to be missed.


Also opening on Thursday is the latest offering from The Third Line gallery - an exhibition by one of Lebanon's best-known photographers, Fouad Elkoury. What Happened to my Dreams? is the second show here for the man who has spent much of his career recording the destruction wreaked on Beirut by war. Here, he revisits familiar themes of war, layering his work with poetic, handwritten inscriptions.

Mahmoud Kaabour's film series, Mahmovies, steams on. His focus the time round (it is his third season) is on black and white film. "Practically each frame of these films would work as a stand-alone work of art in respect to its composition and lighting," says the award-winning filmmaker. Tomorrow is the screening of the dreamlike Last Year in Marienbad, (1961) at Dubai's Jam Jar gallery. An almost perfect example of French New Wave cinema, it was shot by the acclaimed cinematographer Sacha Vierny, and tells the story of a dalliance that supposedly occurred between a nameless couple at the baroque hotel, The Marienbad.

The Fridge's delightfully eclectic musical line-up has so far given us jazz, classical, Arabic fusion and hip-hop. Now it's indie rock from the cryptically named Sound, fresh off the Sound City stage. The Dubai-based band will be giving a stripped-down performance of their work in the laid-back surroundings of The Fridge's Al Quoz warehouse. The concert series is all about appreciating music, so there will be plenty of time for discussion afterwards.

The Emirati artist and mentor Jalal Luqman (he runs Jalal's Art Trip, on which he trains budding artists in the creation of fine art and self-promotion) is back with a new exhibition which opens at the Ghaf Gallery in Abu Dhabi tomorrow. In Under a Thousand Masks is a moody collection of pieces that reveals what lies behind the metaphorical veil. This week also sees the performance of Troy, a dance show by the Fire of Anatolia group. Performed all over the world, it is now being hosted by Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, at the Emirates Palace on Thursday and Friday.