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Hassan Sharif

Spoons, 2008

Hassan Sharif included in Popular Culture & the City at Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. 

The institution's press release follows: 

The Department of Culture and Tourism-Abu Dhabi, DCT Abu Dhabi, will present a selection of artworks from its own collection, which embodies the meaning of popular culture and its synchronistic relationship with "the city", at a new exhibition which will run at the Manarat Al Saadiyat from 17th July to 6th October, 2019.

Displaying European, American, and Middle Eastern Pop Art, Popular Culture & the City will reveal the intriguing layers of the city and how they contribute to the narrative of the dominant and circulated culture through collage, sculpture, painting, and installation works.

The artists have used the city as their main inspiration, being complex urban places, fueled by money, cars, oil, technology and, most importantly, societies.

Speaking about the exhibition, Alia Al Qassimi, Head of Manarat Al Saadiyat, said, "In line with Manarat Al Saadiyat’s vision of bringing contemporary culture to the forefront, we are very excited about the upcoming Popular Culture & the City exhibition, which will present exceptional works that reflect the collective language and identity of our time. We look forward to showcasing the inspiring artwork created by this series of innovative artists, whose vision will certainly appeal to the exhibition’s visitors."

DCT Abu Dhabi will be showcasing its own collection during the exhibition, which will also feature artists including Jeff Koons and Hassan Sharif, whose works focus on the mechanics of mass consumerism, critique, and challenge and celebrate popular culture. Wafa Hourani, a Palestinian, will also be exhibiting photographs from his "Qalandia 2047" collection, which visualises everyday life in a Palestinian camp adjacent to the most important checkpoint that controls the access to Ramallah.

Also participating will be Jacques Villegle, who collected advertising posters from the streets of Paris to create his signature affiches lacerees (torn posters), works of art created from commonplace materials, as well as American artist, Keith Haring, who much like Villegle, took to the streets to create his work.

Palestinian artist, Taysir Batniji, who lives in Paris, has created a neon artwork in which two words in Arabic, "tharwa thawra", are intertwined to read, "wealth revolution", side by side. These words provide a multi-layered commentary on the realities of cities and their convulsions in the Arab world and beyond.

Popular Culture & the City
July 17 – October 6, 2019
Manarat Al Saadiyat
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates