New art exhibition at Manarat Al Saadiyat

Artists showcasing work based on all things linear

The power of art is truly felt when it brings a deeper meaning to an idea or concept that may have never made you stop for thought.

Through the mere stroke of a brush, the splash of paint or the shaping of a sculpture, creative expression can add layers of complexity to simplicity and depth to what appeared to be shallow.

The inspirational qualities of art at its best are very much on display at an ongoing exhibition at capital culture spot, Manarat Al Saadiyat, entitled Gateway: Line.

The premise seems simple on the surface – an exploration of the line – but a talented team of artists have successfully brought a rich array of narratives and ideas to the subject. The artists harness themes such as politics, human experience and travelling through space and time via the effective yet understated use of the line.

The thought-provoking works include a line expressing the gesture of the hand and the body by Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim and Saloua Raouda Chocair, the physical movement of a body against a line, created by Ebtisam Abdulaziz, a line that defines national borders by Shilpa Gupta, one that expresses a human connection (Mohammed Kazem), the passage of time (Tatsuo Miyajima) or a camera’s perfect line dissecting planes of space and sound (David Claerbout).

The exhibition, which is all part of Abu Dhabi Art’s year-round public programme, has been organised by New York University Abu Dhabi’s chief curator, Maya Allison.

The showcase’s title pays homage to a 2004 exhibition at the Sharjah Art Museum, called Kahat (which means line in Arabic).

Gateway: Line features the earliest conceptual works by now-established Emirati artists such as Ebtisam Abdulaziz and Mohammed Kazem.

The engaging exhibition is just one of a host of events taking place this month at the sprawling 15,400 sq m arts and culture centre, which is home to three major galleries, a central events gallery and a 250-seat theatre, as well as an exciting new Italian restaurant, LARTE.

Music jams, screenings of contemporary films and restored classics and even breakdance and yoga sessions will also
be held here during January.

It is all part of the ongoing drive to make Saadiyat Island the cultural hub of the city, with the impressive Manarat Al Saadiyat recently joined by the crowning jewel of the ambitious project, Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Free. Open daily 9am-8pm. Until January 27. Saadiyat Cultural District, Saadiyat Island (02 657 5800).

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