Sheikha Nawar and Samia Halaby (L) during the opening of the latest edition of 'Lasting Impressions' exhibition in Sharjah. WAM
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
Sheikha Nawar Al Qassimi, Director of the Sharjah Art Foundation opened, the latest edition of "Lasting Impressions" exhibition series organised by Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA) and dedicated this year to the Palestinian-American artist Samia Halaby.
Held at SMA, the exhibition’s inauguration was in the presence of Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation, Aisha Rashid Deemas, Director General of the SMA and the artist Samia Halaby, curator Inass Yassin as well as a number of cultural figures and art aficionados.
The exhibition, which will continue until Jan.7, 2024, is part of the “Lasting Impressions” series which focuses on highlighting key artists from the region who have contributed to shaping modern Arab art. The extensive exhibition showcases more than 200 diverse pieces by Halaby, tracing her artistic journey over six decades.
Sheikha Nawar looks at the works of Samia Halaby during the exhibition. WAM
The collection includes various works from her journey, ranging from recent digital abstract paintings to poignant documentary sketches, and collections from several lenders-, including Halaby's own New York studio.
It offers visitors the opportunity to delve into Samia Halaby's unique artistic voyage, gaining insight into her pivotal role as a Palestinian artist and activist in influencing contemporary Arab art and leaving an evident and lasting impact on the global art scene.
The show provides an in-depth view of a prominent abstract artist in the Arab world, featuring pieces that encapsulate her lifelong exploration of image creation and abstraction.
Samia Halaby speaks during the exhibition in Sharjah. WAM
Her art delves into geometric interplay with vision and perception, transcending mere realistic interpretation to embody aesthetic ideals, setting a distinct standard in the realm of abstract art.
Through the exhibition, SMA enables the Palestinian artist to share her unique viewpoints on image creation and drawing as an independent artistic discipline, distinct from her commitment to portraying the Palestinian narrative.
The exhibition also offers the public an opportunity to understand the technological aspects and the breadth of the artist's work, as well as the diversity within the broader field of abstract art. SMA expressed strong gratitude for the significant support and help received from the Samia Halaby Foundation.
The exhibition organised by SMA and curated by Inass Yassin—continues the tradition of generosity, excellence, and innovation of the Authority and it aligns with its ongoing endeavours to elevate the arts and culture while offering a stage for eminent artists.
Notably, Halaby was born in 1936 in Jerusalem, Palestine, and stands as a pioneering figure in the contemporary abstract movement.
Relocating to the United States in 1951, she maintained a strong connection to her Palestinian heritage throughout her extensive career. Her impactful journey— originating from the experiences of exile and displacement in 1948—has fuelled a steadfast advocacy for both Palestinian and human rights, serving as a muse for her deep body of work.
A highlight of the showcase will be a series dedicated to the Kafr Qasem massacre, symbolising her enduring commitment to her roots and the history of her people.
The SMA is hosting an array of cultural events and workshops designed for different community segments that will accompany the latest edition of “lasting Impressions” exhibition series. This includes a sign language tour aimed at individuals with hearing impairments. Additionally, special guided tours and complimentary educational programs are being offered for school students.
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Sheikha Hoor said, "It is with great pleasure that Sharjah Art Foundation and Sharjah Museums Authority are partnering on the first major institutional exhibition of this important Arab Modernist."
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