The UAE’s burgeoning art scene has just received an infusion with the first-ever exhibition by three Israeli artists to be held in Dubai later this month.
The Oblong Contemporary Art Gallery will display works by three renowned artists, which will open on March 25 and be on display until May 20. This will also overlap with the six-day Art Dubai that kicks off on March 29. Yinon Gal-On, Ariela Wertheimer and Keren Shpilsher will feature their works at an exhibition titled, ‘Abyss of Bliss’.
“Art and culture knows no boundaries and Dubai has always been at the forefront of supporting creative and cultural enterprises through community building and artistic exchange. We are very pleased to bring this unprecedented exhibition with three renowned and established Israeli artists for the first time in the history of the Middle East art world to Dubai,” Paola Marucci and Emanuela Venturini - Co-founders of Oblong Gallery, said in a joint statement. “The art scene in the region generally has been witnessing growth and Dubai has a vibrant arts scene, showcasing various exhibitions and is home to the most internally diverse fairs in the world.”
Gal-On is an 18-year-old photographer who uses his craft to capture images of subjects underwater. Picking up the camera when he was seven years old, in his bio, Gal-On says he has “delved into human relations with their deepest and most sincere feelings through the water element that neutralises noises and allows turning our attention inwards. In my work I strives to capture the feelings that the water brings to surface.”
Having previously displayed his photographs at the Saatchi Gallery in London, Gal-On is set to present 14 of his artworks in the exhibition in Dubai.
The gallery will also host works by Wertheimer, who has a 30-year career in painting and photography and has previously showcased her works at the Venice Biennale in 2019. She will be presenting three works from her ‘Jaffa Port Surface, 2014’ series in Dubai that combine layers of printed photography on canvas, painting and a razor that fixes them.
Stimulated by her self-healing, Wertheimer is inspired by the recovery process of fishing boats at a shipping yard in Jaffa, a Jewish-Arabic city in Israel. In her bio, the 64-year-artist says her “source of inspiration is my life story and my historical and cultural environment”.
Rounding up the trio is Shpilsher, a visual artist who combines comics, modern and historic art, Judaica, consumerism, current event and folklore. She will showcase three paintings specifically created for the ‘Abyss of Bliss’ exhibition. Shpilsher’s work offers a glimpse into the way she views the world, full of colour and joy.
Oblong Gallery will be donating 10 per cent of the artwork sales to Emirates Red Crescent.