News

Reportage dall’Arabia Saudita: il regno che verrà (Report from Saudi Arabia: the kingdom to come)

July 14, 2019 - Daniele Perra

THE RED PALACE RETURNS TO LIVE

It is in Riyadh that the artist Sultan bin Fahad (Riyad, 1971) - a member of the royal family and one of the most active and enthusiastic promoters and initiators of the change - installed a monumental exhibition divided into seven chapters, curated by Reem Fadda, in the evocative spaces and délabré of the Red Palace. Center of power and magnificence, the Palace, completed in 1944 - the first building in the capital to be built with concrete and iron-steel - was the residence of the then Prince Saud bin Abdulaziz, later the office of the Saudi Ministers Council and until 1987 the Palace of complaints. It has been closed and abandoned for twenty years and after the exhibition it will be converted into a hotel.

The artist has long been fascinated by the palace and his exhibition, through installations, videos and photographs, talks about the events that took place there - from the power meetings behind the scenes to the work of the many attendants who worked there - over the years and the history of the country. Family history. "On the evening of the opening to the public, " he says, " I met a lady in her nineties who told me that she lived in the Palace. Walking with his grandchildren he recognized the various rooms. He began to cry, seized by nostalgia and the many memories of his days spent in the Palace ”

 

 

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21,39 Summer Edition: Public/Private Exhibition

June 8, 2019

ATHR would like to congratulate Bricklab on curating the first summer edition of 21,39

Curated by:  Bricklab (Abdulrahman/Turki Gazzaz)
Preview: June 8, 6-11pm (free and open to the public) 
Location: Historical Jeddah (Al-Balad) 


OUTDOOR INSTALLATIONS
1. Carlos Cruz-Diez / Crosswalk
2. Mammafotogramma / Al-Ba‍llo‍on
3. Manal Aldowayan / I Had No Wings
4. Nasser Alshememry & Blank Studio / The Vortex
5. Alaa Tarabzouni / Al-Som
6. Aziz Jamal / Guest Soap
7. Emy Kat / Assemblage
8. Ahad Alamoudi / I’m Here Next to You; Can You Hear Me?
9. Rashed Al Shashai / +3 Centimeters
 
XENEL LOBBY
9. Rashed Al Shashai / +3 Centimeters
 
AL-KHUNJI AL-SAGHEER
10. Traumnovelle / Palace of Cultures
11. James Turrell / Sedna
12. Hajra Waheed / Video Installation Project 1-10

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Naphtha Exhibition A Group Exhibition Curated by Moath Alofi

June 8, 2019

Commissioned by the Ministry of Culture of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Naphtha inaugurates Khuzam Palace’s relaunch, around the theme of oil and politics. The works selected explore the broad and deep consequences of oil on both social and environmental aspects, departing from the Kingdom and branching out to the rest of world.

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Open Call: International Residencies for Saudi-based Artists

March 31, 2019

With the support of private patrons, Athr is pleased to offer residencies in New York, Barcelona, Paris, London, Berlin and Beirut to Saudi-based artists. 
At a time of renewed openness in Saudi Arabia, Athr would like to offer its creative community, led by artists, the opportunity to engage with an international art discourse and exchange cultural values and artistic influences. 
 
Partner residencies: 
Residency Unlimited, New York 
ISCP, New York
Can Serrat, Barcelona
Bethanien, Berlin 
Al Mansouria Atelier at Cité des Arts, Paris
Beirut Art Residency, Beirut

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STRUCTURES THAT CO-OPERATE: WORKSHOP & COMMUNAL LUNCH

February 17, 2019 - BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and Northumbria University

Structures That Cooperate takes its name from the 2018/19 programme currently happening at Cubitt, London. It is a programme of projects that talk to Cubitt’s context as an artist-run co-operative. It is a call to question default approaches to programming a gallery space, looking instead to collective formats, imaginaries and realities. For the Ways of Learning exhibition at BALTIC 39 events will share work, process and research in collaboration with Aya Haidar, NewBridge Project, Hands on Film, BALTIC 39 Staff, Cinenova, Kirsty Clarke and the Artists’ Union England.

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Dana Awartani turned history into mesmerizing works of art

March 2, 2018 - Mariam Nihal for Saudi Gazette

A book of poetry entitled Classical Poems by Arab Women and Mughal era inspired mesmerizing works of art by Saudi artist Dana Awartani. Torn between the era of Mughals and classical poetry, she methodically reconfigured and crafted a nostalgic series of Islamic art and ‘Jali’ work with artisans in India on silk panels reminiscent of the royal era. Known to reinvent classic and sacred works of the past with a contemporary style, Awartani does not disappoint in her latest work for 21,39 Jeddah Arts at Athr gallery.

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How the Saudi art scene is determined to keep up with the changes of its country

February 13, 2018 - Melissa Gronlund for The National

There is at present a remarkable flowering of the Jeddah art scene, a sense that the young and reforming country of Saudi Arabia – having been relatively isolated from the rest of the world – has something new and different to offer on the artistic stage.

Jeddah’s yearly arts festival, 21,39, took place last week, and its ancillary events this year stretched across the country. Organisers took international visitors to Dammam, on the country’s east coast, to see the gorgeously high-spec Ithra: King Abdullah Aziz Centre for World Culture, the Saudi Aramco-funded art and cultural space that opens later this year, as well as to the King Abdullah Economic City to see the country’s first-ever solo show, Drum Roll, Please of Ahmed Mater.

The Clocks Are Striking Thirteen, curated by one of Athr Gallery’s former directors, Maya El Khalil, showed works that played with materiality and symbolism in novel ways. And it had feeling: there was a sense of things at stake.

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This Saudi Artist Upcycles Candy Wrappers to Make Strong Statements

April 25, 2017 - Sofia Martensson for VOGUE Arabia

This month, Athr is presenting Saudi artists Ghada Al-Rabea’s first solo exhibition, titled Sidi Shahin. Ghada tells Vogue Arabia that the name of the exhibition comes from a tradition in Medina that celebrates the upcoming Holy Month of Ramadan, when kids sing songs and knock on neighbors doors asking for candy.

Ghada Al-Rabea’s solo exhibition at ATHR takes place from April 30th until June 1st in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

 

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Only Saudi gallery at Art Dubai 2017 boasts unexpected art

March 16, 2017 - Saffiya Ansari for Arab News

Art Dubai 2017, the international summit of the arts, has opened with a record-breaking bang with galleries from 43 countries showcasing the best of the global scene.

With 93 galleries representing more than 500 artists, one gallery stands out for many Saudis visiting the region’s largest art fair.

Jeddah’s Athr Gallery is the only gallery from Saudi Arabia present at Art Dubai, and is drawing interest from passersby due to its unique collection.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1069006/art-culture#photo/1

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Five female Gulf artists highlight Jeddah’s art scene

February 1, 2017 - By Lulwa Shalhoub for Arab News

An exhibition entitled “And Along Came Polyester” is opening at Athr art platform, based at Serafi Mega Mall’s office towers, featuring five solo presentations by female artists from the Gulf.

The exhibition, alongside two others opening on the same day, is part of the 21,39 Jeddah Arts non-profit initiative organized by the Saudi Art Council.

“This is the first time to host five women from the (Gulf) region to present at Athr,” Leila Evangelista, one of the organizers at Athr, told Arab News.

“The story behind the title of the exhibition is that polyester is a material derivative from oil. Oil has been the main source of economic strength in the area from which the artists come.”

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1047421/saudi-arabia#

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The 8 Best Booths at Art Berlin Contemporary

September 16, 2016 - By Louisa Elderton for Artsy Editorial

Recent Slade School of Art grad Haidar’s poetic works see embroidered postcards stacked in racks atop white plinths. According to Athr’s Maryam Bilal, the artist “moved to England because of the war in Lebanon, so being a refugee is always a theme of her work. She wants the embroidery to expand elements in the postcards, cities, and landscapes that she finds most beautiful.” Within the works (each stand priced at £1,800) picket fences are sewn with black thread; swimmers lounging around municipal swimming pools are given lobster-red lifejackets. The series, titled “Wish You Were Here,” is “about this feeling of wanting to go home,” Bilal noted.

‘Symbolic Cities’ Captures Changing Landscapes of Mecca

May 3, 2016 - By Karin Sun for The Washington Diplomat

“Symbolic Cities,” which Mater shot over three years, explores the impact of urbanization and economic change on the landscapes of his native Saudi Arabia through long-form photography and video. The exhibit consists of large-scale photographic works, shot in color, as well as two short films and a collection of smaller photographs.

Viewers traveling through the exhibit begin with “The Empty Land,” a series of 15 photographs that depict parched Saudi landscapes devoid of human presence, abandoned public works projects and discarded oil barrels — objects that represent the abandonment of traditional values and agrarian ways of life in the face of modernization.

Ahmed Mater’s first US solo exhibition opens at Smithsonian

April 6, 2016 - By Denisze Marray for Arab News

The first US solo exhibition of the renowned Saudi artist, Ahmed Mater, has opened this week at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC. The ‘Symbolic Cities’ exhibition, presented in collaboration with Culturunners in partnership with Art Jameel, will be on display at the Arthur M Sackler Gallery until Sept. 18. 

Symobilic Cities - Washington D.C

March 29, 2016 - By Sean Foley for Culturnners

This week the Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery begins hosting “Symbolic Cities,” the first solo show in America dedicated to the works of Ahmed Mater, one of Saudi Arabia’s top young artists and intellectuals. Over the last decade, Mater has been among the leading figures in an artistic movement that has altered both what is discussed in public and the manner in which contentious issues are presented. Today the artistic movement includes men and women working in genres from animation to film to standup comedy.

Ahmed Mater exhibition in US capitol explores urban transformation in the Kingdom

March 14, 2016 - By Saudi Gazette

Saudi artist Ahmed Mater will present his first US solo exhibition at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. “Symbolic Cities” is being presented in collaboration with Culturunners in partnership with Art Jameel, a Community Jameel initiative, and Saudi Arabian Society for Culture and Arts (SASCA), and will be on view at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery from March 19 through Sept. 18.


The exhibition will be accompanied by an immersive program of dialogues and discussions across Washington D.C.

3 Questions to Hazem Harb

March 17, 2015 - By Canvas Magazine

The 2015 Armory Show Overlaps History and Cultures

March 5, 2015 - By Marhta Schwendener

Another eye-grabbing installation is Ahmed Mater’s at Athr, a gallery from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, including a wall work made with plastic gun caps, “Cowboy Code II” (2012), which links the honor code of American cowboys with jihadist fighters. In the modern section, a related “focus” project brought a mini-exhibition of work by Iranian artist Parviz Tanavoli, organized by New York University’s Grey Art Gallery.

An arabic barber shop

February 6, 2015 - By Shahd Alhamdan for Saudi Gazette

In this exhibition, a room has been transformed into a barber shop to stress the issue of influence of  Non- Arabic speakers on the Arabic Language.

Artist Ibrahim Abumsmar has posted around four pictures that show Arabic sentences regularly used by expats from Philippines and Indians in Saudi Arabia.

Abumsmar said: “The idea came to my mind when I was in the barber shop and the Bangladesh barber was telling me his life story with his new Arabic language. 

I wanted to tell him to stop speaking and that is what I wrote in the mirror ‘Sadek Mafe gorgor kater’.