Meem Gallery was established in 2005 by Sultan bin Sooud Al-Qassemi, Mishal Hamed Kanoo, and Charles Pocock with a mission to promote modern and contemporary art from the Middle East and North Africa. Operating from Dubai, the gallery specialises in primary and secondary market sales alongside a programme of thematic and forward-thinking exhibitions.Read More
Meem Gallery manages two in-house initiatives: Meem Editions, a publishing line that frequently works with the academic art world, and The Noor Library for Middle Eastern art, whose monumental collection of more than 16,000 books, journals, and auction catalogues encompass diverse subjects in the history of ancient, modern, and contemporary Middle Eastern art.
Meem Gallery Artists
On the gallery’s roster are pioneering Middle Eastern artists who began working in the mid-20th century. These include the late Kamal Boullata, a Palestinian artist and art historian who developed a unique visual language by combining Arabic calligraphy and colourful geometric patterns; renowned Iraqi painter Dia al-Azzawi, who references historical and contemporary politics as well as culture and folklore of the Arab world in his work; and Parviz Tanavoli, today regarded as the father of modern Iranian sculpture and a seminal figure in the Saqqakhaneh movement of the early 1960s.
Meem Gallery also represents contemporary artists who exhibit internationally, among them Italy-based Egyptian artist Armen Agop, whose stonework engages ancient Egyptian sculpture techniques with an emphasis on the form; Zhivago Duncan, known for his site-specific installations, prints, paintings, sculptures, and photographic and performance works that utilise both traditional and non-traditional media; Abbas Kiarostami, Iranian film director and photographer recognised for his decades-long experimentation with the threshold between reality and fiction; and Iraqi-Canadian artist Mahmoud Obaidi, whose conceptual creations in diverse media examine contemporary politics.
Meem Gallery Exhibitions & Art Fair
Focusing on modern and contemporary Middle Eastern art, Meem Gallery organises group exhibitions featuring rare works: among them are Modern Iraqi Art: A Collection (2013); Arab Print (2016); Saqqakhaneh (2018); and the exhibition series ‘Modern Masters’ that began in 2018. The 2020 edition of ‘Modern Masters’ spanned the decades from the 1920s to early 2000s, with works by Chafic Abboud, Etel Adnan, al-Azzawi, Boullata, Huguette Caland, and Saliba Douaihy, among others. Mokhtar - Henein Agop, also exhibited in 2020, explored Egyptian sculpture of the past century through the work of the three artists.
Also part of the gallery’s programme are solo exhibition series, such as the ongoing ‘Marwan: Editions’ that focuses on the work of late Marwan Kassab-Bachi. In the 2020 edition, Marwan considered the artist’s prints made between 1967 and 1999.
Meem Gallery also presents works by influential artists outside the gallery roster. In 2012, Art Sudan examined the work of Sudanese pioneers of modern art, Ibrahim Salahi and Mohammad
Omar Khalil, while Art Morocco highlighted Moroccan abstraction through the legacy of Ahmed Cherkaoui, Jilali Gharbaoui, and Mohamed Melehi. Solo exhibitions include those of Iranian poet and artist Sohrab (2017); Eyptian artist Moataz Nasr (2019), for which the gallery showed his seminal 2017 film The Mountain in collaboration with Galleria Continua; and Iraqi artist Shakir Hassan Al Said (2020).
Promoting modern and contemporary Middle Eastern art to an international audience, Meem Gallery participates in numerous art fairs including Abu Dhabi Art; Art Dubai Contemporary; The Armory Show; Art Dubai Modern and Frieze Masters.
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