Art Jameel is an independent organisation dedicated to supporting artists and creative communities between two institutions in two cities: the first in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: the Hayy Jameel, a dedicated complex for the arts and creativity. The second is the Jameel Arts Centre, located in Dubai. Founded and supported by the Jameel family, Art Jameel supports artists and creative communities across exhibitions, commissions, research, learning, and community-building to make art fundamental to life and accessible to all.
Each year, The Jameel Prize highlights young artists such as the Saudi artist Ajlan Gharem, known for his famous artwork Paradise has Many Gates. Organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, in partnership with Art Jameel, the vision of the Jameel Prize is to recognise the influence of Islamic tradition on contemporary culture and celebrate contemporary practitioners inspired by Islamic design and visual culture. The artists and designers shortlisted for the Jameel Prize are invited to show examples of their artwork in a special exhibition, which debuts either at the V&A or another notable international museum, before travelling to other venues around the world.
At Jameel Arts Centre this month, exhibitions include artists such as Pacita Abad. Her exhibition entitled I Thought the Streets Were Paved with Gold is her one in the Middle East. The show brings together exuberant signature works – from her colourful trapunto embroideries to major paintings, with a focus on four main bodies of work including Masks and Spirits series (1979 - 1991), the Immigrant Experience (1983-1995), the Door to Life series (1998-2003) and abstract works (1985-2002) – that together span abstraction to social realism, taking the exhibition visitor on a compelling journey from Manila to Hong Kong, via New York, Sanaa and beyond.
Drawn from the Art Jameel Collection, plus loans and new commissions, The Distance from Here is a major, timely group exhibition highlighting 11 artists’ responses and interactions with space and time. This group exhibition explores how our bodies become essential materials to navigating the day-to-day spaces in which we exist: through touch, language, movement, and memory, exploring our lived experiences and connections to the individual and collective. Focusing on spaces of transition, both physical and non-physical, the exhibited works explore the 'in-between' spaces and exchanges that are often forgotten, overlooked, or come to our attention during periods of prolonged reflection.
Coming on September 29, the exhibition Off Centre / On Stage will feature around 60 photographs with documentation drawn from archives and newspapers in the 1970s, collected by architect and writer Todd Reisz for more than a decade in the UAE and around the world. Supported the by Barjeel Art Foundation, Off Centre / On Stage captures a moment of early ambition for Dubai as the city started to strive for global stature – perhaps the origins of its role in hosting Expo 2020 Dubai. The collection of photos, mainly taken by architects Stephen Finch and Mark Harris between 1976 and 1979, capture a city of people from many walks of life, living in the present but employed to create the future. Images, newspaper clippings, and archival material trace the making of Dubai— all stacked, lit, and displayed — rendering a showroom floor of a city that has been deliberately on display for 70 years. A relevant exhibition to visit just before the start of Expo 2020 Dubai that begins on October 1.