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Alserkal Avenue presents Rana Begum: Dappled Light at Concrete from February 26 to March 22, 2023.
Alserkal Avenue is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its multifunctional space Concrete with a rare solo presentation of work by artist Rana Begum. This will be the artist’s largest solo exhibition in the region to date, with pieces never before presented in the region. Begum’s work will investigate the relationship of light, color, and shape in relation to OMA’s Concrete, responding to the building’s architectural discussion with light and form, as captured in its minimalist lines. Dr Cliff Lauson is the exhibition’s curator.
Concrete, the first OMA-designed building in the UAE, debuted in 2017. Since its inception, the brutalist structure has staged a number of group exhibitions displaying a rich and diverse program in collaboration with arts organizations such as the Atassi Foundation, Samdani Art Foundation, Victoria & Albert Museum London, and Hayward Gallery, among others. Alserkal Avenue has chosen to collaborate with Rana Begum to commemorate five years of Concrete’s legacy in the arts. Begum is recognized for employing industrial materials, repetitive geometric patterns, and colors that interact with the surrounding building. The artist has a lengthy history with the region, having completed a commission for a show at Concrete in November 2019 and being represented by the Dubai-based gallery The Third Line.
No. 1228 Mesh (2023), a large-scale suspended mesh ‘cloud,’ and No. 1079 Painting Large (MG) (2021), an epic ten-meter wide color-field painting, will be on show. Several wall-based pieces employ a variety of materials and forms to show the interplay of light and space, while others, such as No. 1227 Net (2023) and No. 1229 Wall Drawing (2023), will be site-specific installations that respond to the architecture surrounding them. No. 1080 Forest (MG) (2021), Begum’s first video project, is also included, a time-lapse study of natural light as it falls over the forest canopy. After being included in Uncombed, Unforseen, Unconstrained, an exhibition shown alongside last year’s Venice Biennale, No. 694 Hyetal (2016), the artist’s only work combining artificial illumination and movement in a dynamic interplay, will be featured. The exhibition will also include a magnificent outdoor commission in the yard, the artist’s most recent iteration of sculptural works made of colorful tessellated mesh panels.
Begum’s work is founded on light as a catalytic element that provides a temporal and sensual experience for the observer, drawing inspiration from the urban landscape, the accuracy of geometry, and traditional Islamic art and architecture.
The show will be complemented by a public program of discussions and tours throughout Alserkal Art Week and the duration of the exhibition. Alserkal Art Week will include a comprehensive program of thought-provoking exhibitions from Alserkal Avenue’s contemporary art galleries, curator-led tours, and the much-loved regular staples of Majlis Talks this year. More information will be released in February once the program is finalized.