EASTERN SIGHTS, WESTERN VIEWS

MUHAM­MAD YUSUF HAS THE DE­TAILS ON AN UP­COM­ING ART EVENT THAT WILL SHOW HOW EURO­PEANS ONCE SAW THE ARAB WORLD

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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.

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