Author: India Stoughton

Cyprus Pavilion | POLYS PESLIKAS

At the Venice Biennale’s Cyprus Pavilion, Polys Peslikas explores the power of light and colour as he asks how we want to shape the future When Polys Peslikas responded to the curatorial concept for this year’s Cyprus Pavilion at the Venice Biennale — to use painting and colour as a way to explore possible futures […]

German Pavilion | Anna Imhof

The two most prestigious prizes at this year’s Venice Biennale both went to Germany. Franz Erhard Walther won the Golden Lion for best artist for his large-scale textile work in VIVA ART VIVA, and rising star Anna Imhof’s bold, unsettling performance piece, Faust, scooped the award for best national participation — with good reason. The […]

In the Library with Dia Azzawi

Iraqi pioneer Dia Azzawi explains why he loves the Epic of Gilgamesh and how his artist’s books complement rather than illustrate great works of literature Art and literature often go together, from great novels written about paintings — Tracy Chevalier’s Girl with the Pearl Earring, Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch — to great works of art […]

French Pavilion | 57th Venice Biennale

Chic and welcoming, the French Pavilion this year has been transformed beyond recognition by Xavier Veilhan and Christian Marclay. The duo has created a giant recording studio, filled with analogue instruments and amplifiers, all open to musicians for experimentation and play. The immersive installation is inspired by the work of Kurt Schwitters, whose Dada-ist construction […]

On the Solidity of Now

From a distance they look like photographs, but close to Oussama Baalbaki’s delicate acrylic paintings are accomplished forays into expressionism in the digital age. Baalbaki’s latest solo show at Agial Art Gallery is entitled Pleadings of the Light, and illumination is the source of his paintings’ power. Soft-edged, fluffy clouds scallop pale blue or golden […]

American Pavilion | Venice Biennale

American artist Mark Bradford is black, gay and liberal — three facets of his identity that are increasingly problematic in Donald Trump’s America. His response to Trump’s stance is a powerful symbolic gesture — he has turned the White House, as the American pavilion is known, into a ruin. To enter the exhibition, Tomorrow Is […]

Lebanese pavilion | Zad Moultaka

In the Lebanese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Zad Moultaka looks back 4000 years to reflect on the contemporary Near East and its idols Lebanon didn’t participate in the last edition of the Venice Biennale, but it makes a return this year with an ambitious pavilion that reflects not just on the history of Lebanon, […]

In the Library with Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi

Sharjah-based writer and art collector Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi reveals a selection of his favourite books and talks about using culture to counter the shortcomings of mass and social media Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi is many things – columnist, social commentator, financial broker, art collector, founder of Sharjah-based Barjeel Art Foundation and prominent Twitter user, with a […]

Mirror of the Times

Egyptian artist Ibrahim El Dessouki creates detailed paintings of his native Egypt that reflect the changing zeitgeist Egyptian artist Ibrahim El Dessouki has mastered the art of patience. His incredibly detailed paintings and charcoal drawings can take up to a month to complete, each demonstrating painstaking attention to every tiny mark and line. As a […]

Not So Black and White

Syrian photographer Osama Esid challenges preconceptions with his hand-coloured analogue prints, which explore the complexities of everything from Orientalism, to the Syrian refugee crisis At first glance, it’s hard to tell what you’re looking at. Is it a photograph, a digital image or a hyper-realistic painting? Syrian artist Osama Esid takes black-and-white analogue photographs, producing […]