Eye of Riyadh: Alāan Artspace Will Launch its 2014 Season with a Thought Provoking Exhibition7th April 2014
Alāan Artspace, one of Riyadh’s premier street-level galleries, will be launching its 2014 season with a unique exhibition titled “Questions/More Questions” showcasing the artwork of Riyadh-born artist Abdullah Al-Othman. The new exhibition will build upon the considerable success of the gallery’s inaugural year, which witnessed the impactful launch of “Soft Power” – a debut exhibition of solely female artists.
Alāan, meaning ‘now’, expresses a call to action for Saudi artists to produce more artwork alluding to the need for increased art and art education in the Kingdom. The name also represents the credo of the dynamic gallery, founded by siblings Neama and Mohammed Alsudairy. The Artspace has become renowned for endorsing and supporting contemporary, up-and-coming local artists and assisting in the development of the art community within the Kingdom. Maintaining the high standards the gallery set for itself last year, Alāan represents and supports talented artists who have demonstrated a serious commitment to their work, shown depth in their craft and created visually engaging pieces. These benchmarked criteria have paved the path for local Saudi artist Abdullah Al-Othman to display his artwork in his first ever solo exhibition that will launch on April 4th, 2014.
The multi-functional art space, with its commitment to art education and ability to accommodate for some truly unique pieces, distinguishes Alāan from other galleries in the Kingdom. This distinctive feature has allowed for the display of “The Question”, the centerpiece of Abdullah Al Othman’s exhibition. The video installation art piece first debuted in June, at the 53rd Venice Biennale and Alāan is now arranging for its Riyadh premier, which will also mark the first time that the artwork in its entirety will be showcased in Saudi Arabia. The installation of twenty-eight monitors, shows twenty-eight people whom the artist interviewed about Allah. The videos capture the tiny facial details and expressions as each person grapples with the topic and how to articulate often private thoughts.
The ‘Questions/More Questions” artist is proud to be represented by Alāan Artspace for his first ever solo art exhibition. The local art community is equally excited to see Abdullah Al-Othamn’s pieces exhibited in his native city of Riyadh, which symbolizes the homecoming of ‘The Question’ from its international premier in Venice. The exhibition curator is Mary Teeling, formerly Curator of Education and Head of Public Programs at Philadelphia Museum of Art. Ms. Teeling is now based in Riyadh, as Alaan’s Head of Curatorial Programs.
Whilst no concrete answers are provided to the questions put forward by the artist, Alāan Artspace will re-open its doors to the public on April 4th, to allow the public to draw their own conclusions and construct their own answers. The exhibition runs through May 30th.