Nasser Al Salem

رسامان سعوديان يختبران جماليات الحرف العربي

December 6, 2021 - ياسر سلطان - Independent عربية

يستضيف غاليري "أثر" في مدينة جدة حتى 10 من يناير (كانون الثاني) المقبل، معرضين فرديين لكل من عبدالعزيز الرشيدي وناصر السالم، وهما اثنان من فناني الخط العربي البارزين في السعودية. يتشارك كل من الرشيدي والسالم في سعيهما نحو استكشاف آفاق جديدة لفن الخط، والتعامل مع الحرف كمفردة جمالية وفنية معبرة وذات خصوصية

يعرض عبدالعزيز الرشيدي أعماله تحت عنوان "درب"، ويضم مجموعة متنوعة من التشكيلات الخطية التي أنجزها أخيراً. ويعيش الرشيدي ويعمل في المدينة المنورة، ونادراً ما يتركها، فهي تعيش فيه بقدر ما يعيش فيها، وهو يجد السلام بداخله في زاويته المنعزلة، ويتحدث على نحو خاص مع الخط بإصرار، محاولاً الانتقال به إلى أبعاد جديدة والتقدم نحو مسارات لم يسبقه إليها أحد

تلقى الرشيدي تعليمه على أيدي معلمين عظماء من بينهم عادل بري وأحمد ضياء. كما التقى معلمين آخرين خلال تلك الفترة، من بينهم شفيق زمان ومحمد بشير وعبدالعزيز مصطفى نجاة الدين. وفي قسم الفنون بجامعة الملك عبدالعزيز في المدينة المنورة، درس الرشيدي فن الزخرفة الإسلامية بالخط الكوفي على يد مصطفى عبدالرحيم، حتى استقر في البحر الواسع لحسن المسعودي

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The Secrets of Alidades: new Jeddah show celebrates the theme of the universe

July 8, 2021 - The National - Mariam Nihal

The Saudi Art Council launched on Wednesday launched its eighth iteration of the 21,39 Jeddah Arts exhibition, titled The Secrets of Alidades. Curated by French academic Fabien Danesi, the event is showing the works of 35 artists and celebrates the theme of the universe by taking visitors on an interstellar journey. It had initially been set to open to the public in March, but was delayed owing to the pandemic.

Saudi artist and explorer Moath Alofi says his work is an extended message from the past to explore the beauty and treasures of the kingdom.

Basmah Felemban, also from Saudi Arabia, created a sonic getaway with an interactive video game installation titled The Jirri Tribe Stop (2021). It took her two years to develop the game centred on the main characters, which are catfish that try to maintain the sea's balance.

Moving away from his familiar calligraphy this year, Nasser Al Salem, from Jeddah, created his first sculpture, The First Space Shuttle, 2019-201, inspired by nomads who used tents as their habitat, but borrowing from the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule design. “This idea of mobility creates a link between nomadic Bedouins and astronauts in their use of space and their engagement with nature,” Al Salem says.

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Ministry of Culture holds ‘Scripts and Calligraphy: A Timeless Journey’ exhibition

June 14, 2021 - Saudi Gazette report

The Ministry of Culture organizes an exhibition showcasing the history of Arabic calligraphy under the title "Scripts and Calligraphy: A Timeless Journey," scheduled to be held from June 16 to Aug. 21, 2021 at the National Museum, Riyadh.

The exhibition highlights the stages of the Arabic Script’s development since its very beginnings and the artistic relationship between calligraphy, contemporary art, and artificial intelligence through an exceptional journey of knowledge, featuring Saudi and international master calligraphers, contemporary artists, and designers.

The sections and contents of the “Scripts and Calligraphy: A Timeless Journey” exhibition are divided into five stages, namely, the origins of the Arabic script, the development of calligraphy, master calligraphers, calligraphy and contemporary art as well as calligraphy and artificial intelligence.

This section features works by a number of Arab designers from different majors and nationalities, namely: Ebtissam AlGosaibi, Hussein Alazaat, Hamza Al Omari, Khalid Mezaina, Rasha Dakkak, Ranim Al Halaky, Xeina AlMalki, Farah Behbehani, Margherita Abi Hanna, Milia Maroun, Mohammed Khoja, May Aboulfaraj, Nasser Al-Salem, Nadine Kanso, and Noor Saab.

The exhibition is the first of its kind combining classic Arabic calligraphy with artificial intelligence. In this path, artist Michel Paysant presents a new version of his device entitled "Eye Calligraphy Studio — A Constellation of Letters", which is one of the devices capable of exploring the roots of calligraphy and its deep mechanisms.

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Light in a time of darkness

March 24, 2021 - By AFP - Global Times

As the world slowly begins to emerge from the global COVID-19 pandemic, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia seeks to reengage its population with cultural activities. Noor Riyadh - which translates from Arabic to "Light of Riyadh" - is a citywide light and art festival illuminating the Saudi capital of Riyadh for the next three months.

Due to the global pandemic, 2020 was hardly characterized by cultural events or communal gatherings. But globally, society has gradually begun to emerge from a state of self-preservation, lockdowns and solitude, and begun a return to normalcy. As the Saudi public re-integrates into post-pandemic society, the Noor Riyadh festival aims to transform urban spaces into art that immerses and engages the community.

The second half of the festival, which takes the theme "Light Upon Light," is a retrospective exhibition tracking light art from the 1960s to the present. It runs until June 12 in the King Abdullah Financial District Conference Center.

Saudis are eager to leave the challenges of 2020 behind and look to a "brighter future," according to Director of Riyadh Art Khaled Al-Hazani. The festival, "a celebration of light and art on an unparalleled scale," has already proven popular with Saudis, who have flocked to see the exhibitions on display. Lulwah Al Homoud, one of the Saudi artists exhibiting her work, considers the inaugural festival as the beginning of a "golden age of Saudi art," she says.

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Noor Riyadh references Saudi Arabia’s past and rapidly changing present

March 23, 2021 - Rebecca Anne Proctor _ Arab News

The artworks, which encompass a range of media, including music, sculpture and performance, can be found in two main areas: The King Abdul Aziz Historical Center and the King Abdullah Financial District, where visitors can also view “Light Upon Light,” an exhibition of light art from the 1960s to the present, which is on view until June 12.
While the global art community will have to view the artworks virtually, Saudis have already been flocking to the venues in record numbers.
“One of the most critical aspects of Vision 2030 is the flourishing of the Saudi creative economy, which we are trying to foster, and this is one of the main highlights of Noor Riyadh as a program,” Anas Najmi, adviser to the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, told Arab News. “Despite all of the challenges of the pandemic, we managed to give the experience to 15,000 visitors in just one day. Secondly, over 1,200 jobs were created as part of the Noor Riyadh festival, half of which are for Saudis.”

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‘Light Upon Light’ a groundbreaking lighting extravaganza for Saudi culture

March 21, 2021 - Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The “Light Upon Light” Exhibition, which is being held at the King Abdullah Financial District as part of the first edition of Noor Riyadh, is the largest group art exhibition that monitors the artistic movement in the lighting arts since 1960s until todate.

It includes 30 masterworks of light art divided into four sectional “rays” that survey light as an artistic medium: “Perceiving Light,” “Experiencing Light,” “Projecting Light,” and “Environmental Light.” Each ray blends time and unites established artists of diverse geographic origin.

From immersive installation to video and sculpture, visitors to “Light Upon Light” will experience a richly illuminated exhibition in all its spatial and sensory phenomena. This historical presentation of light art is a groundbreaking event for culture in Saudi Arabia. Noor Riyadh, one of the world’s most exciting festivals of light and art combining the highest quality of light artworks across the city, began on March 18 and will run through until April 3. Filled with spectacular installations, the fest will light up the night sky of the capital city of Riyadh.

The “Projecting Light,” pavilion presents artworks that use the transmission of light to create the work instead of focusing on light as a medium. In 2019, Saudi artist Sultan Bin Fahd worked on the art piece titled “Once he was a ruler”, which is a collection of photographs, in which ancient sculptures depicting the kings of the ancient Lihyan Kingdom in Northern Arabia are shown, where he modified them by placing layers of X-ray images, and these images were collected, superimposed in illuminated light boxes at the event.

Through his abstract drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations, the artist tackled cultural issues related to his homeland in the Kingdom. The artist also re-narrates historical stories and novels using art, and transmits these narratives through contemporary means to reconstruct them with a personal character.

While Saudi artist Dana Awartani is participating in the event with her work “Divan Al Majhoul 2021, which combined textiles, hand embroidery and poetry.

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"نور الرياض"..السعودية تشهد انطلاق احتفالية تبرز إبداع فن الضوء

March 19, 2021 - CNN Arabic

دبي، الإمارات العربية المتحدة (CNN) -- شهدت المملكة العربية السعودية، مساء الخميس، انطلاق احتفالية "نور الرياض" والتي تضمنت عرض أعمال فنية تفاعلية تعتمد على الإضاءة في مواقع متعددة بأنحاء مدينة الرياض

وتضمنت الاحتفالية مشاركة 60 من كبار الفنانين في مجال فنون الإضاءة، ينتمون لأكثر من 20 دولة حول العالم، منهم 23 من الفنانين السعوديين، وفقاً لوكالة الأنباء السعودية "واس"

 

وتشتمل احتفالية "نور الرياض" على 60 عملاً فنياً، تضم جميع أشكال فنون الضوء، من بينها أعمال تاريخية وهندسية وضوئية، ومنحوتات، وعروض للإضاءة، وعروض تفاعلية، وقطع حركية، وتركيبات وأعمال خارجية، ومجموعة من أشكال الفن الخفيف، يتاح لسكان وزوار مدينة الرياض الاستمتاع بها عن قرب في مختلف أرجاء المدينة، مع تخصيص مركزين رئيسين للاحتفالية في كلٍ من مركز الملك عبدالله المالي ومركز الملك عبدالعزيز التاريخي بالمربع

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Saudi Arabia: Magic light festival to illuminate Riyadh

March 4, 2021 - Samir Salama, Associate Editor

The festival, dubbed Noor Riyadh, will also feature workshops, discussions, tours, presentations, volunteer programmes, cinematic and musical events, and recreational and educational activities.

“It aims to improve the city’s quality of life in line with the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, and to enhance the cultural and artistic aspects of the city, by transforming Riyadh into an open art gallery that blends the traditional with the contemporary,” said Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Minister of Culture.

Prince Bin Farhan said the festival sought to enhance community interaction, spread art and beauty throughout the city, and enrich the daily life of its residents and its visitors, by promoting art in public places and the local art movement, and encouraging more creativity and innovation.

 

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Grants scheme for Saudi artists aims to ease coronavirus pressures

May 26, 2020 - Hala Tashkandi _ Arab News

RIYADH: A Saudi art gallery has launched an initiative to provide financial grants to help support the work of artists in the Kingdom during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Athr Gallery in Jeddah recently announced its Maan (Arabic for together) project in a bid to cushion the impact of the virus outbreak on the local art scene. As part of its mission to keep the arts sustained and accessible to a wider audience, Athr has collaborated with seven artists, whose limited-edition works will be sold to fund the grants.

The artists contributing their pieces are Ahmed Mater, Ayman Yossri Daydban, Dana Awartani, Manal Al-Dowayan, Muhannad Shono, Nasser Al-Salem, and Sultan bin Fahad.

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From California to Saudi Arabia: Desert X lands in Al Ula

February 10, 2020 - Stephanie D'Arc Taylor_ Evening Standard

Much of the work is exuberant and visually spectacular, from a giant swing set by the Danish collective Superflex (which first appeared in Tate Modern in 2017) to a 25ft-tall silver fuselage-type installation by American artist Gisela Colon that calls to mind a sex object outlawed in the kingdom.

Saudi artist and storyteller Muhannad Shono showed his The Lost Path installation, which binds together 65,000 black plastic pipes to wind hundreds of feet through the dunes and cliffs. The work, he says, is meant to invoke a treasure map as well as a reminder of the oil that the tubes once contained and the far-reaching effects of that modern-day treasure.

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من كاليفورنيا إلى صحراء العلا... الفن المعاصر في حوار مع الطبيعة

February 5, 2020 - العلا (السعودية): عبير مشخص

في الصحراء نتواضع ونشعر بحجمنا الحقيقي في هذا الكون، يراودني الشعور أثناء رحلة نحو العلا السعودية لمعاينة معرض فني ضخم بعنوان «ديزيرت إكس». ويمثل معرض «ديزرت إكس العلا» أول تعاون دولي لـ«ديزرت إكس» الذي يقام في «كونشيلا فالي» بكاليفورنيا الأميركية وتأسس لربط المجتمعات والثقافات الصحراوية من خلال الفن المعاصر. وينظم المعرض بالتعاون مع المخرج الفني في «ديزيرت إكس» نيفيل ويكفيلد والقيّمتين والمختصتين في الفن المعاصر من المملكة رنيم فارسي وآية علي رضا.

الحافلة التي تقلنا نحو العلا محملة بجمع كثيف ومتنوع الجنسيات واللغات، كل فرد في انتظار المفاجأة المعدة لنا، وعدنا بمعر ض فني كبير وعرفنا بعض الأسماء المشاركة، وها نحن نقترب من ذلك العرض، نشغل الوقت بالأحاديث الجانبية وبالنظر من نوافذ الحافلة لتصافح أعيننا التشكيلات الصخرية الشهيرة في العلا... ولكن لنا حديث آخر مع تلك الإبداعات الصخرية، نحن الآن في الموقع حيث تبدأ عناصر المفاجأة في الظهور شيئاً فشيئاً... على مسافات تكاد تكون متساوية نرى تشكيلات فنية بعضها مكون من قطعة واحدة فقط، وبعضها الآخر من أكثر من قطعة، كل منها يبدو متواضعاً في ظلال الجبال الصخرية، لن يبزها جلالا ولكن يكتفي بأن يكون وجوده هنا نوعاً من الحوار البصري، بين الإنسان والطبيعة، بين ما شكلته الرياح والمياه على مدى قرون لا تعد من أخاديد وأحافير وفجوات في الصخور الممتدة على مدى البصر، وبين ما شكلته يد إنسانية تقدم التساؤلات والتأملات في الحياة ومعانيها.

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14 فناناً يبحرون في حضارة العلا عبر «ديزرت إكس»

February 3, 2020 - جدة: عائشة جعفري _ aawsat

وينظّم معرض «ديزرت إكس» العلا للمرة الأولى بالتعاون مع المخرج الفني نيفيل ويكفيلد والمختصتين في الفن المعاصر رنيم فارسي وآية علي رضا من السعودية، ويعرض 14 عملا لفنانين محليين وعالميين مصممة لتحاكي طبيعة العلا.
وقدّم الفنان راشد الشعشعي عمله «ممر مختصر» الذي يصور فيه إبل وخيول الرحالة وقوافل التجارة التي كانت تجد من مغارات وشعاب العلا الفريدة ملجأ من اللصوص وقطاع الطرق ويستمدون من عيونها ماء ما ساعد في تنامي حضارات العلا عبر العصور وصنع منها محطة لحضارات متعاقبة.
بينما يعرض الفنان مهند شونو في عمله «المسار المفقود» فكرة البحث عن معنى للحياة عن طريق المسارات والخرائط التي يتبعها الإنسان. وذكر شونو أن خرائط الكنز غالباً ما تؤدي إلى صناديق فارغة ويؤكد أن الرحلة بحق أكثر أهمية من الوجهة.
وتابع: «هذا العمل يعطينا اتجاها نحو مساراتنا الشخصية المدفونة، إذ ينمو المسار المستمد من سطر واحد ليصبح تحفة نحتية تنتظر الزوار لاكتشافها».

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An Extraordinary Exhibition Launches In Saudi Arabia’s AlUla Region

February 2, 2020 - Ayesha Sohail Shehmir Shaikh_ Harper Bazaar Arabia

On show now until 7 March 2020 in the extraordinary landscape of AlUla in Saudi Arabia, the Desert X AlUla exhibition, the first major contemporary art exhibition in the area, explores desert culture through cross-cultural dialogue between artists. Participating artists include Riyadh-based Muhannad Shono, Beirut-based Rayyane Tabet and Jeddah-based Rashed AlShashai, to name a few.

The exhibition has been co-curated by Saudi curators Raneem Farsi and Aya Alireza and Desert X’s artistic director Neville Wakefield and has been organised by Desert X and the Royal Commission of AlUla (RCU). “Artists are at the centre of this exhibition conceived to foster artistic exchange and dialogue across continents,” says Farsi.

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desert X AlUla sets art across the heart of historic saudi arabian trade route

January 31, 2020 - bryan shim I_Designboom

From now through march 7, 2020 desert X AlUla is taking place in saudi arabia. featuring interactive installations by 14 artists, the site-specific art exhibition brings together a plurality of voices to speak on the environmental conditions, historic context and the surrounding communities of the ancient oasis. co-curated by saudi curators raneem farsi and aya alireza with neville wakefield — the artistic director of desert X — the public exhibition is the first of its kind in saudi arabia.

Nasser alsalem — ‘amma qabel’ is a sculpture with both interior and exterior landscapes, which embraces the idea of time as a continuum that connects all cultures and civilizations. the simple gesture of the installation mimics a passage-way with circumference shaped by calligraphic letters that read ‘amma qabl’, which means ‘what precedes’.

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Desert X Al Ula puts Saudi Arabia's historic site on international arts map

January 31, 2020 - Melissa Gronlund_The National

It’s an extreme meeting of the old and new: Desert X Al Ula has opened to the public, a six-week-specific installation of artworks made in the awesome setting of the Al Ula in north western Saudi Arabia.

Desert X began as a biennial in southern California, bringing visitors through the Coachella Valley in search installations, sculptures, and performances. Now, for the Royal Commission for Al Ula (RCU)’s first major contemporary art project for the heritage site, Desert X Al Ula commissions 14 Saudi and international artists to make artworks in the sand.

“Al Ula is the power of heritage crossing through multiple civilisations,” says Amr Al Madani, chief executive of the RCU. “This is a living museum interacting with nature.”

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‘I Am Not Part of Some Propaganda Machine’: Artists and Curators Defend Their Participation in the Saudi-Backed Show Desert X AlUla

January 29, 2020 - Rebecca Anne Proctor_ Artnet

“I wish Ed [Ruscha] could have come to AlUla, attended the show, gotten to know us and seen our work,” Muhannad Shono, one of the participating artists, told Artnet News. “Many Saudi artists are fed up with having to deal and respond to the bad headlines. None of the western media outlets have asked me about my work. All people want to do is talk about the controversy and not the art.”

The perception, Shono continues, is that “what I am doing and what other Saudi artists are doing is part of some propaganda agenda. I am working on concepts and ideas that are in no way scrutinized or censored. I am not part of some propaganda machine. I am an individual artist that is excited to be part of all the changes happening here. We want people to come and reach out to us and see what the people are doing.”

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Meet the 10 Al Burda Endowment artists showing at Abu Dhabi Art

November 22, 2019 - Alexandra Chaves_ The National, Arts & Culture

Islamic art finds new forms through the Al Burda Endowment exhibition, which is currently on view at Manarat Al Saadiyat. The initiative was founded by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development as a way to celebrate Islamic art and culture, but also support contemporary artists who are transforming the traditional form with modern elements.

In November last year, Al Burda launched its Endowment programme, for which they selected 10 artists to produce works specifically for the initiative that will then be shown at exhibitions and the Al Burda Festival in 2020. For the first edition, Al Burda has provided Dh500,000 worth of financial support to the selected candidates.

 

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Abu Dhabi Art brings together ancient and futuristic creative designs

November 21, 2019 - Rawaa Talass_ Arab News

Curated by Dr. Omar Kholeif – who was recently appointed senior curator of the Sharjah Art Foundation – the handpicked “Focus: Drawing, Tracing, Mapping” section was dedicated to understanding the medium of drawing in profound depth.

Kholeif said: “Here, drawing is not the simple act of applying graphite to paper, but rather, drawing is performance and social sculpture, as much as it is about the study, diagramming and impression of a portrayal. Here, drawings reveal hidden histories and contour realities. Drawing becomes a means to see the unseen.”

Among the eight participating galleries in the section was the Saudi Athr Gallery, with a solo booth of serene drawings of circles by the Saudi-Palestinian artist Dana Awartani. Created especially for the fair, the gallery said the works symbolized “acts of meditation and moments of contemplation as part of her (Awartani’s) daily rigor of being an artist, a method she frequently adopts to quiet the mind.”

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Get the best of Islamic art at this exhibition

November 21, 2019 - Ismail Sebugwaawo_ Khaleej Times

The exhibition was supported by curatorial advisors, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath.

Ten artists who received Al Burda Endowment grants in 2018 are now showcasing their works at Al Burda Endowment exhibition-Abu Dhabi Art 2019, which kicked off on Thursday at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi.

The artists - Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Ammar Al Attar, Dana Awartani, Fatima Uzdenova, Khalid Al Banna, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Aisha Khalid, Aljoud Lootah, Nasser Al Salem and Stanley Siu - comprise the first cohort of the Al Burda Endowment grantees with works ranging from sculpture, textile-based work and photography to installation, virtual reality, experiential projects and more.

 

The exhibition was supported by curatorial advisors, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath.

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Saudi calligrapher Nasser Al-Salem’s modern take on Islamic art

November 4, 2019 - Hams Saleh_ Arab News

DUBAI: Jeddah-based Saudi artist Nasser Al-Salem has revealed his latest project, which will be showcased in the UAE’s Al-Burda Endowment exhibition — organized by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development — on Nov. 21.

Al-Salem is one of 10 contemporary artists awarded the Al-Burda Endowment in 2018. The endowment is awarded to “artists who explore Islamic art practices and continue to work towards developing contemporary Islamic Art,” according to a press release.

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Explore Islamic culture in UAE on Prophet's birthday

October 9, 2019 - Ismail Sebugwaawo, Khaleejtimes

"Since its inception, Al Burda has grown as an initiative that champions Islamic art and culture, encompassing both classical and contemporary styles.

"We have adopted an interdisciplinary approach, inviting the creative community to experience the unique intersection of culture, art and design," Al Kaabi said on Tuesday during the announcement of the event's details.

"Al Burda is a testament to our leadership's commitment to building a greater understanding of our shared culture," the minister added.

Masterpieces

Ten artists, who received a grant last year, will be presenting  their works in the Al Burda Endowment exhibition.

Among them are Emirati artists Aljoud Lootah, Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Khalid Al Banna and Ammar Al Attar; Saudis Dana Awartani and Nasser Al Salem; as well as  Aisha Khalid from Pakistan; Zoulikha Bouabdella from Algeria; Fatima Uzdenova from Russia;  and Stanley Siu from Hong Kong.

Their masterpieces will also be part of Abu Dhabi Art on November 21.

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Al-Burda Exhibition

October 9, 2019 - Arab News

Abu Dhabi’s Al-Burda Endowment exhibition will showcase the work of 10 selected artists, who were awarded a special grant in 2018, on Nov. 21.

Poetry and light are key elements in Jeddah-based artist Dana Awartani’s, which aims to revive sacred art to reintroduce it to the modern world.

The Saudi artist;Nasser Al Salem’s practice challenges the boundaries of the traditional Islamic art of calligraphy by re-contextualizing it in unconventional forms.

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Al Burda to present Islamic art exhibition with 10 contemporary artists at Abu Dhabi Art

October 8, 2019 - The National, Art&Culture

Al Burda, an initiative that celebrates Islamic art and culture, will present the works of 10 artists in their Al Burda Endowment exhibition, which will take place during this year’s Abu Dhabi Art in November.

The exhibition will eventually travel to Alserkal Avenue next year. Details of the festival programme will be announced later this year.

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Saudi calligrapher Nasser Al Salem on his first UK solo show

July 9, 2019 - Melissa Gronlund

“Amma baad” has no direct correlation in English. It is used to signal a move out of the honorific salutations with which Arabic letters or formal emails begin, and towards the content of the correspondence itself. “It’s like ‘thereafter’,” saysMaya El Khalil, curator of Al Salem’s exhibition at the Delfina Foundation in London. “It’s a moment of pure transition: now the real business begins.”

 

For Al Salem, who says he has been toying with the idea for a year, the phrase offered an intriguing philosophical problem. “‘Amma baad’ is impossible to capture. The moment you say, ‘amma baad,’ you are already in what came after – of what comes after that moment of transition,” he says. “I wanted to take something inexpressible and give it visual form.”

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SHUBBAK: A window on contemporary Arab culture

March 19, 2019 - Mark Westall

Visual arts
For 2019 Shubbak has commissioned a number of mobile installations for different locations across London. Aicha El Beloui is a Casablanca-based illustrator, graphic designer, and creative director who regularly works with communities to discover a neighbourhood and to filter her observations into maps and illustrations. The history and psychogeography of Moroccan immigration in London will be the focus of her work for Shubbak; drawing from the material gathered in North Kensington and the British Library’s archives, El Beloui will create one of her distinctive maps, which will be available in paper formats, digitally and as an installation, travelling to different sites across the city. In partnership with the Bagri Foundation.

Bricklab, the designers of the first Saudi pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale create a new pop-up sculpture especially for Shubbak. 22 brightly coloured units equalling in number the 22 states of the Arab League are arranged in different constellations to offer new viewpoints of geographies, nations and the power to imagine other realities. No unit can stand on its own, but has to be grafted onto others. Geographical Child’s Play conjures up poignant and surprising alignments and dependencies. Established in Jeddah in 2015 Bricklab quickly established itself as one of the most dynamic current design practices in Saudi Arabia.

 

Shubbak is the UK’s premier festival of contemporary Arab culture, presenting outstanding Arab artists to audiences in London and across England. Shubbak’s programme includes UK premieres and new commissions from over 150 artists based in the Arab region, in Europe and in the UK, with both cutting-edge and celebrated names, through a mix of visual arts, film, music, theatre, dance, literature and debates. Led by Eckhard Thiemann, artistic director, and Daniel Gorman, executive director, Shubbak 2019 is the 5th edition of this biennial festival. Shubbak 2019 principal partners are Arts Council England, A. M. Qattan Foundation, Bagri Foundation and British Council. Shubbak is a registered charity number 1150374.

Jeddah's Athr gallery exhibition of light aims to broaden perceptions

June 7, 2018 - Nada Hameed

JEDDAH: Athr gallery brought to Jeddah for the first time a unique art exhibition at the Serafi Mega Mall.

The show titled, “Through the spectrum,” displayed the artworks of six international artists including two Saudis, Ahmad Matir and Nasser Al-Salem.

Each artwork treated light in a different way, allowing the visitors to indulge in light through several variables and configurations. These photovoltaic compositions transcended concrete barriers, allowing them to influence the visitors.

Athr unveils immersive art exhibition — Through the Spectrum

June 1, 2018 - Mariam Nihal

The exhibited artworks are extremely technical and require a lot of experience to produce and install. But thanks to the great team of Athr, Pace and Cruz-Diez, we were able to realize it in the highest level of standard,” she added. Saudi artist Nasser Al Salem presented abstract works alluding to Allah as the source of light. The beautiful metaphorical representations in which its letters are stripped down to basic geometric lines are the first iterations derived from an earlier work by the artist. “Working on an exhibition about light, I created an installation using the word Allah. God is light, [He is the first and the last]. The work breaks the notions of illusionary space, and goes beyond nature’s limits. It uses two mirrors, one on each side, to blur the boarders between the physical and visual realms, and create an imaginary, infinite world. 

The Clock are Striking Thirteen

February 8, 2018

Opening on Thursday, February 8th, at 7:30pm, Athr presents “The Clocks Are Striking Thirteen”, a group exhibition, as part of 21,39 Jeddah Arts. The participating artists are Aya Haidar, Ayman Yossri, Dana Awartani, Larissa Sansour, Maha Nasrallah, Moath Alofi, Mohammed Abdelrasoul, Mohammed Al Faraj, Mohammed Monaiseer, Muhannad Shono, Nasser Al Salem, Reem Al Nasser, Sara Abdu, Tamara Al Samerai, Wael Shawky and Zahra Al Ghamdi. The exhibition is curated by Maya El Khalil.

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Saudi Art Council Gears Up For Annual Contemporary Art Event

February 5, 2018 - Katrina Kufer_ Harper's Bazaar Arabia

21,39 is back for its fifth edition under the theme 'Refusing To Be Still' and will show across multiple venues in Jeddah from 7 February to 5 May.

Featuring over 30 Saudi and international artists, this year’s edition of 21,39 takes a fresh look at the growing Saudi contemporary art landscape. Taking place across three venues, the main group exhibition Refusing To Be Still will be held at the Gold Moor Mall, Rubat Al Khunji and an empty PepsiCo factory. A second group exhibition is hosted at ATHR gallery entitled The Clocks Are Striking Thirteen, while a third exhibition will showcase works by Ahmed Mater in Drum Roll, Please at King Abdullah Economic City. A diverse offering of family activities, book launches and trips are also scheduled.

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Cultural connection: An exhibition examines the parallels between spiritual and urban cultures in Saudi Arabia and Utah

September 13, 2017 - Jyoti Kalsi

The exhibition, curated by Jared Steffensen of UMOCA, features works by established and emerging Saudi artists such as Abdullah AlOthman, Abdulnasser Gharem, Ahmed Mater, Arwa Alneami, Nugamshi, Dana Awartani, Ghada Al Rabea, Khalid Bin Afif, Khalid Zahid, Lina Gazzaz, Moath Alofi, Musaed Al Hulis, Nasser Al Salem, Nouf Alhimiary, Qamar Abdulmalik, Rashed Al Shashai, Telfaz11, Yusef Alahmad and Balqis AlRashed, who is the first international artist to do a residency at UMOCA.

“This exhibition examines the parallels between spiritual and urban cultures in Saudi Arabia and Utah, especially the symbolism of creativity that connects cities of pilgrimage in both places. Since the 7th Century, the holy cities of Makkah and Medina have drawn millions of Muslim pilgrims every year to worship at the holiest sites in Islam. Salt Lake City was established nearly a thousand years later by Mormon pioneers in search of a safe haven for their newly established religion. Members of the Church of Latter Day Saints also make a twice-annual pilgrimage of the faithful to the General Conference at Temple Square — the spiritual centre of the Mormon faith,” Steffensen says.

“The artists featured in this show are engaged in looking at the struggles and transformations of their society and delving into complex issues that link Utah and Saudi Arabia, such as oil, pilgrimage and tension surrounding commercial development around important cultural and religious heritage sites. 

Jeddah Arts 21, 39: Man’s relationship with Earth in spotlight

February 17, 2016 - By Talal Al-Tukhaes for Saudi Gazette

Interestingly, this year’s exhibition inspiration for ‘Earth and Ever After’ comes from the Holy Qur’anic verses: “From this dust We created you, and in this We shall put you back, and from this, We shall raise you up once again.” (20:55) and “And Allah has made the Earth a spread for you, so that you may go about its broad ways.” (71:20). 

Opening Of The Art Fairs Abc Art Berlin Contemporary & Positions Berlin

September 28, 2015 - By Adam Berry for GettyImages

A work by Nasser Al Salem is seen at the Art Berlin Contemporary (ABC) fair on September 17, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. The fair exhibits works from around 100 galleries from 17 countries and runs from September 17-20.

Armory Presents: Emerging Artists, Newly Established Galleries

March 11, 2014 - By Artsy Editorial

Perched at the crown of a shopping mall in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Athr Gallery has become one of the most progressive venues of the Gulf—in fact, Esquire Magazine called it, “perhaps the most significant art space in the kingdom at present.” Known for supporting emerging and established contemporary Saudi artists, Athr Gallery will present two of the region’s rising stars at the Armory. From Ahmed Mater, it will show work from Desert of Pharan, a photographic narrative around the expansion of the Holy City, Mecca; and from Nassir Al Salem, formally trained in architecture and calligraphy, it will debut a stone sculpture whose title translates to, “they will be seen competing in constructing lofty buildings.”

Expressing Islam through design

December 10, 2013 - By Alex Horne for design week

Saudi Arabian artist Nasser Al Salem’s work similarly experiments with the momentous power of the written word. His large-scale calligraphy pieces explore new forms of meaning within text and play with the relationship between medium and message.

Interviews with artists shortlisted for the V&A’s Jameel Prize 2013

December 6, 2013 - By Caroline Roux for Financial Times

While Zoghbi’s stay in Holland clearly informed his work, travel has also altered the vision of Nasser al-Salem. A Saudi who lives in Jeddah, he was tutored for 13 years in the classical strictures of pure calligraphy by a master in Mecca. Then, in 2009, al-Salem attended the Abu Dhabi Art Fair. “I was shocked, amazed,” he says. “I realised there was freedom, there were concepts to be explored rather than just systems to be learnt.” Now his work is a radical reinvention of what calligraphy can do, both literally and conceptually. One piece at the V&A shows a line travelling across graph paper; it suggests both the tracing of a heart monitor, and a believer’s prayer: in the spirit of the prize, a display of cross-pollination and successful porosity between different worlds and positions.

السالم أول سعودي يرشّح للفوز بجائزة جميل العالمية في متحف فيكتوريا وألبرت بلندن

December 6, 2013 - لندن - إيمان الجبرين

   يقام الأسبوع المقبل في متحف فيكتوريا وألبرت بالعاصمة البريطانية لندن، يوم الثلاثاء الموافق 10/12/2013م، مؤتمر صحفي خاص لإعلان نتائج جائزة جميل العالمية التي تأتي هذا العام كاحتفالية خاصة بفضل تمكن الفنان السعودي ناصر السالم من التفوق والدخول في منافسة مع تسعة من نخبة الفنانين والمصممين العالميين. وعلى الرغم من أن النتائج لم تعلن بعد إلا أن عمل السالم استطاع أن يخطف اهتمام المسئولين في المتحف حيث اختير دوناً عن البقية لطباعته على كل مطبوعات وشعارات المسابقة التي ستنشر في كل مكان.

Islamic art: Echo and return

September 29, 2013 - By Sundar Waqar for International Herald Tribune

Not all the art is ‘clever’ like this, for a lack of a better word. Sometimes, a visual representation of text creates rich new symbolism. So, for example, Saudi Arabian artist and calligrapher Nasser Al-Salem was inspired by a verse from the Qur’an, “And Whoever Obeys Allah — He Will Make For Him A Way Out” which he translated into a blue maze made of the acrylic material corian. He explains it by saying: “Although you could say my work is very much inspired by my religion, I by no means have a specific audience, and hope that my messages have a spiritual or historical significance for everyone.” That is exactly what the museum hopes this exhibition will achieve.

Ahmed Mater and Nasser Al Salem participate in "Calligrafitti: 1984-2013", at Leila Heller Gallery, New York

September 6, 2013

Nasser Al Salem and Ahmed Mater’s participate in "Calligrafitti: 1984-2013", at Leila Heller Gallery along side Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jackson Pollock, Keith Haring and Csy Tombly and prominant contemporaries Elseed, Rachid Kourashi, Sherin Neshat and many others.

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Ahmed Mater and Nasser Al Salem exhibiting at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City

September 4, 2013

Athr Gallery is proud to announce the participation of Ahmed Mater and Nasser Al Salem in the exhibition "Echoes: Islamic Art and Contemporary Artists", Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; Missouri.

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Mulit-media group Exhibition 'Show of faith' Featuring Saudi Arabian Artists

July 25, 2013 - By Islamic Arts Magazine

Taking its cue from the current Ramadan season, a time of contemplation and spiritual regeneration for Muslims worldwide, ‘Show Of Faith’ offers perspectives, insights and reflections on the essence of faith, both within the precepts and traditions of Islam, and beyond, as a universal source of sanctuary and solace

Athr exhibit at Katara Cultural Village, Doha

July 7, 2013

Athr Gallery head to Doha, Qatar, this month to collaborate with the city’s Katara Cultural Village on ‘Show Of Faith’, a major, multi-media group exhibition on July 11 and running until August 31.

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Athr artists represent Saudi Arabia in Venice

July 4, 2013

Rhizoma: (Generation in Waiting) -the Saudi Arabian Pavilion at this year’s Venice Bienalle produced by Edge of Arabia and co-curated by Sara Raza - opened on May 30 to critical acclaim. The exhibition features a number of young Saudi artists and, in particular, considers their interest in new-media practices.

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10 make Jameel Prize 3 cut

May 20, 2013 - By Gulf Today

Jameel Prize nominees forge ahead with tradition

April 1, 2013 - By Anna Seaman for The National

Nasser Al Salem, Kul and Kul I. Al Salem is the first Saudi Arabian nominee. His calligraphic work (seen on the cover) redefines the traditional process of this ancient art. Nasser Al Salem is a 29-year-old calligrapher from Mecca who learnt his craft in the holy mosque surrounding the Kaaba. He has reinterpreted one of the most ancient Islamic traditions into a series of ink on paper works called Kul, meaning "everything" or "all".

Kingdom’s Athr Gallery shines at Art Dubai

March 26, 2013 - By Mohamed El Hebeishy for Arab News

In its seventh edition this year, Art Dubai hosted 75 galleries from 30 different countries showcasing the creative and artistic work of 500 artists. Saudi Arabia was represented by Athr Gallery.

Athr Gallery participates in Art Dubai

March 24, 2013 - By Ashraq Al-Awsat

إعلان القائمة القصيرة لجائزة جميل للفن الإسلامي

March 3, 2013 - By Ashraq Al-Awsat

10 أسماء تضم لأول مرة مرشحين من السعودية وأذربيجان والهند

Abu Dhabi Art 2012- The countdown begins

November 5, 2012 - Bazaar Magazine

The mood is upbeat and Abu Dhabi is on a new high. Art lovers the world over are waiting with bated breath for the bigger and better 4th edition of Abu Dhabi Art, a four-day event that opens on November 7 at the Saadiyat Cultural District, also famed for being the future home of Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

Made In Makkah Exhibition

October 6, 2012 - Ashraq Al-Awsat

In Exhibit - Made in Makkah ®

October 6, 2012 - Asharq Al-Awsat

Ramadan Nights at Athr Gallery

August 8, 2012 - Afra Naushad