EASTERN SIGHTS, WESTERN VIEWS
MUHAMMAD YUSUF HAS THE DETAILS ON AN UPCOMING ART EVENT THAT WILL SHOW HOW EUROPEANS ONCE SAW THE ARAB WORLD
An exhibition of Orientalist paintings by Monda Gallery, Dubai, and a lecture by art historian Philippine Motais de Narbonne at La Galerie, Alliance Francaise Dubai (Jan. 16 – Feb. 27, 2019), presents ‘1900 Orient’, a unique collection of Orientalist paintings from the late 19th and the early 20th centuries.
The exhibition is curated by Monda Gallery and offers an introduction to European Orientalists and their remarkable art, around year 1900. Ten to fifteen paintings will be exhibited from French, German, Austrian and Italian artists, offering depictions of portraits, still life, market and travel scenes throughout the Orient, from the Maghreb to the Levant.
Showcased artists include French artist Frederic de Buzon, German artist Georg Macco, Austrian artists Alois Hans Schram, Max Schoedl, Leopold Carl Mueller and Ludwig Hans Fischer and Italian artists Gustavo Simoni, Hermann Corrodi and Rubens Santoro.
On February 6, de Narbonne will give a lecture in English, titled ‘An introduction to European Orientalists’, shedding light on the exhibition. It will take one on through a journey in the desert, from the North African madinat and souq covering Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco, with European artists like David Salomon Corrodi, Ludwig Hans Fischer and many more.
It will deal with subjects like how were their works received in Europe? Dreams, mythology and expressions of the Orient as revealed by them will also be dealt with, en passant. The lecture adds to the annual cycle of art lectures proposed to be held at Alliance Française Dubai.
At a time when a limited depiction of life was produced locally in the Orient, throughout the 19th century and early 20th century, European artists developed a passion for the Orient, from the Maghreb to the Levant, Turkey, and across the Arabian Peninsula.
The artists (called ‘Orientalists’) originated primarily from Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Great Britain. They nourished dreams of the time, of exotic new land discoveries, and produced remarkable artworks which would easily sell in Europe. They read – or painted – the market right: their works have enjoyed strong popularity and value appreciation ever since they were done.
Together, these works represent some of the best traditional style of Orientalist art that was widely produced in the nineteenth-century up until the 1930s. They would remain mostly unaffected by the great artistic movements of Impressionism and Modernism.
de Narbonne is a French lecturer, guide and expert on 19th century paintings and drawings. Following the success of her irst series of conferences this past season, she has held a monthly Art History lectures from Nov. 2018 at Alliance Française Dubai Theatre. They will continue to Apr. 2019.
Founded in 1983, Alliance Française Dubai’s mission is to promote French and Francophone culture and language in the United Arab Emirates and to bring French and Emirati cultural actors closer. It provides French courses for all levels and offers international certifications.
Since 2016, La Galerie has been the place dedicated to arts at Alliance Française Dubai. La Galerie has open doors for young professional artists and talents from every nationality to express and showcase their artworks. It aims to forge links and build bridges between French, Emirati and other communities.
La Galerie has hosted, co-organised and curated numerous art shows with various partners and artists, including Sheikha Wafa bint Hasher Al Maktoum, Antidote Art & Design, IWPA, Boris Wilensky and Okarys Arts Leads, Monique Leinert, Emirati artist Salma Al-Marri, Kuwaiti photographer and multi media artist Farah Salem, French artist ‘Atelier M paintings’.
Alliance Française Dubai headquarters are located in Oud Metha district with La Galerie, 12 classrooms, a 108-seat theatre and a multimedia library with more than 20,000 books, DVDs and video games. It has two branches: one at Mall of the Emirates and a newly opened one at Knowledge Park. They meet the growing demand for French courses in Dubai.
Monda is a Dubai based art gallery offering a selection of paintings, art prints and photographs which are often related to Dubai, the UAE and the Middle East, though not exclusively. The artists represented by it can be from any origin; it says the depth and quality of their work, combined with their aesthetic qualities, are the gallery’s primary curation criteria.
Monda Gallery’s collection can be found on the gallery’s website, www. MondaGallery.com, and at various locations across the UAE, among them Kinokuniya Books Store (Dubai Mall) where a comprehensive collection of ine art and photo prints is displayed, and Sofitel the Palm (The Palm Jumeirah), where it displays a selection of paintings and regularly organises exhibitions.
The gallery offers artworks across a variety of price levels, ranging from affordable art prints to Master ’s paintings. It is known in particular for its collections of UAE contemporary and heritage photography, Arabian art prints, and its collection of Orientalist paintings.
Leopold Carl Mueller, The Bedouin.
Alois Hans Schram, Bedouin and Young Girl.
Philippine Motais de Narbonne.