© Sueraya Shaheen
Dear Reader

We hope you are enjoying a relaxing holiday and have had a chance to catch up with friends and family.

As we put another year behind us and enter 2019, we remind ourselves that art is a powerful expression of humanity and of global shared ideologies. And as such our understanding and appreciation of it is ever more necessary.

Our monthly newsletter, now in its fourth year, continues to focus on a selection of exhibitions and events relating to the Middle East as well as sections on a variety of pertinent art matters and sources of inspiration.  This month, we look at couples in art including JRFA artists Igor & Marina , highlight Ahmed Naji's forthcoming and compelling book on Mohamed Makiya's collection of Iraqi art and feature Yumna Al-Arashi's beautiful video exploring Islam's underlying meditative, universal and spiritual values.

We know that many of our friends, colleagues and clients look forward to receiving these newsletters and we very much appreciate this support. To enable us to continue to offer this service, please kindly consider making a small donation to cover the costs of production. The amount and frequency of these payments are up to you but may we suggest a figure of £2. You will find a PayPal button at the end of the newsletter to make your donation.  

In the meantime, we wish you and your family a joyful and prosperous New Year and look forward to the next art-filled twelve months of the year.

Janet Rady, Gallery Director and Curator
Castello del Monferrato | Casale Monferrato, Italy | 13 Oct 2018 - 13 Jan 2019
The MAC Belfast - Metropolitan Arts Centre | Belfast, UK | 9 Nov 2018 - 31 Mar 2019
The Mattatoio | Rome, Italy | 15 Dec 2018 - 13 Jan 2019
Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech | Marrakech, Morocco | 30 Sep 2018 - 5 Feb 2019
Sursock Museum | Beirut, Lebanon | 14 Dec 2018 - 14 Jan 2019
Warehouse421 | Abu Dhabi, UAE | 15 Dec 2018 - 17 Feb 2019
Maraya Art Centre | Sharjah, UAE | 20 Dec 2018 - 18 Feb 2019
Manarat Al Saadiyat | Abu Dhabi, UAE | 20 Dec 2018 - 23 Mar 2019
Etemad Gallery [Negarestan] | Tehran, Iran | 21 Dec 2018 - 15 Jan 2019
Locations throughout Tehran | Tehran, Iran | 4-11 Jan 2019
Kheireddine Palace | Tunis, Tunisia | Until 9 Feb 2019
New Museum | New York, NY, USA | 18 Sep 2018 - 13 Jan 2019
The Met Fifth Avenue | New York, NY, USA | 22 Sep 2018 - 13 Jan 2019
Arab American National Museum | Dearborn, MI, USA | 10 Nov 2018 - 7 April 2019
Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design’s (MIAD), Frederick Layton Gallery | Milwaukee, WI, USA | 18 Jan - 19 Mar 2019
We invite you to take a fresh look behind the scenes at artworld couples making a difference.
by Ahmed Naji (Independent researcher and cultural consultant specialising in modern and contemporary Iraqi art)
The book presents a notable art collection of the pioneer architect Mohamed Makiya (Iraq 1914 - England 2015), featuring for the first time, more than 100 artworks by prominent Iraqi artists like Jewad Selim, Lorna Selim, Shakir Hassan al Said, Dia Azzawi, Kadhim Haider amongst many others. Throughout the book, the author discusses the influence of art on Makiya's architecture, as well as his influence on Iraqi artists.
Arab-American filmmaker Yumna Al-Arashi explores the rhythmic rituals of mystic Islam
London-based director Yumna Al-Arashi’s poetic new film—which originally premiered at Tribeca Film Festival—sheds light on the mysticism and rituals that have been part of the Islamic tradition throughout the centuries.