Geometric Bodies
— The Arts Club, Dubai

Installation view: Geometric Bodies, The Arts Club, Dubai. Image: The Arts Club, Dubai.


Installation view: Geometric Bodies, The Arts Club, Dubai. Image: The Arts Club, Dubai.

The curation of Geometric Bodies started out with a desire to create a show that celebrated Dubai’s excellent art community, featuring regional and diaspora artists from Dubai-based galleries. From this, the theme of geometric abstraction emerged organically among the range of works seen, and, with great interest, we leaned into it.

The rich history of geometric abstraction in the Middle East is well-known, reaching back  to Islamic art of the medieval period that embraced complex mathematical patterns to  create works of great beauty and erudition. Such works have since been highly influential on art movements around the world. For example, Vassily Kandinsky’s 1910 revelation after seeing an Islamic art exhibition in Munich eventually, through both his practice and essays, set off a path for non-objective art that shaped 20th century art history.

Today’s artists are working in a very different climate, balancing influences from the past with more pressing contemporary concerns. Maryam Hoseini’s paintings, for example, feature bodies abstracted and rendered architectural, investigating the political, social, and personal conditions of identity and gender while examining the concept of ruins, displacement, and fracture. Kamrooz Aram engages in a dialogue surrounding the differing, hierarchical ways in which art history has handled Western and Eastern artistic traditions, while Fahd Burki creates non-narrative works that focus on the act of image-making, using geometry and colour to question the boundaries of two-dimensionality. These and each of the other artists included in the exhibition have their own distinctive ideas and aesthetic, joined by the loose thread of geometric ordering of the world that builds dialogues between them.