Sarah Abu Abdallah

Saudi artist Sarah Abu Abdallah questions our hyper-connected present

February 1, 2020 - Rebecca Anne Proctor_Arab News

DUBAI: The sound of glass and hard metal emanates from a room in Dubai’s Jameel Arts Center. Something is being broken. Step inside the gallery and the noise is revealed to be coming from a video installation by Saudi artist Sarah Abu Abdallah called “Salad Zone,” in which two women in black abayas are repeatedly hitting a large television. 

The work, a 20-minute single-channel video projection in color and sound — originally commissioned for “Rhizoma,” a group show that took place during the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013 — is both alarming and humorous. Abdallah herself is a protagonist in the film, and like her other multidisciplinary work, “Salad Zone” oscillates between the real, the poetic and the absurd.

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SAUDI ARTIST SARAH ABU ABDALLAH DEBUTS HER WORK AT JAMEEL ARTS CENTRE ‘For the first time in a long time’

January 22, 2020 - Aoibhinn Mc Birde_GRAZIA Middle East

Working across video, painting, text and installation, Saudi artist Sarah Abu Abdullah is known for her intimate and personal reflection on what it’s like to live in the region, especially as a female artist. And for the first time ever, she’s brining her art to Dubai’s Jameel Arts Centre with her exhibition, ‘For the first time in a long time’.

A co-production between Jameel Arts Centre and the Kunstverein Hamburg, where the exhibition began in August 2019, Sarah’s work will be on show until 11 April, and combines existing video works with new commissions including a large-scale painting on textile as well as an installation of living plants.

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Four Saudi artists show their work at traveling exhibition

December 1, 2019 - Sarah Alsuhaimi _ Arab News

Four Saudi artists have been showcasing their work at a unique traveling biennale that has visited 43 cities in 23 countries, and concludes this week in Riyadh.

Fatima Al-Banawi, Sara Abu Abdallah, Faisal Samra and Ayman Zedani took part in the second BIENALSUR exhibition, which began in Buenos Aires in Argentina in May. Saudi Arabia is its only Middle East venue.

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Jameel Arts Centre Announces its New Season Programme

September 11, 2019 - Melissa Gronlund_ The National, Arts & Culture

The Jameel Arts Centre has announced its programming for the new season, with a focus on urgent, discursive, and digital- and research-driven artworks.

The art space, which opened on Dubai Creek last year, has already made a name for itself as a key site of critical contemporary art with an Arab regional focus. The programme for the coming year continues this pattern: with the first solo exhibitions in the region for young Saudi artist Sarah Abu Abdallah and in 2020 for Iraqi-American artist Michael Rakowitz. A major thematic exhibition, Phantom Limb, explores how fragments of material heritage can haunt the present.

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Kunst von Sarah Abu Abdallah über zerstörte Natur

August 9, 2019 - von Anette Schneider_ NDR

Saudi-Arabien verbindet man sicher mit Vielem: mit der systematischen Unterdrückung von Frauen zum Beispiel, mit nicht eben zimperlichen Geheimdiensten oder mit einem brutalen Krieg gegen den Jemen - jedoch nicht unbedingt mit einer jungen Videokünstlerin. Eine solche ist nun im Hamburger Kunstverein zu entdecken, der Sarah Abu Abdallah die erste Einzelausstellung in Europa widmet. Ihr Titel: "For The First Time In A Long Time".

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21, 39 Jeddah Arts celebrates the myths of its old town

February 3, 2019 - Melissa Gronlund_The National

“There are so many myths in Al Balad,” says Effat Abdullah Fadag, who is curating this year’s 21, 39 Jeddah Arts, the annual visual art festival in the city. The academic and artist, who lives in Jeddah, is exploring the idea of myth in the exhibition, which, as in previous iterations, takes place at Gold Moor Mall and in the old house of Rabat Khunji in Al Balad. The latter area is renowned for its ­intricately carved doors and mashrabiyas, which date back to the 19th and early 20th centuries.

This year’s theme overall is Al Obour, or “crossing” – such as the new crossing into the old, the exterior crossing into the inside and, crucially, different generations crossing paths. Fadag explains that the emphasis on numerous generations came from Princess Jawaher bint Majed bin Abdulaziz, the patron of the event. “I gathered artists from different generations – pioneers, the upcoming generation, established artists – and added, of course, international artists.”

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Hend Al-Mansour names 5 Saudi Arabian women artists to watch

March 18, 2018 - Elizabeth Macbride for Arab News

Saudi Arabia has launched a venture to become an arts hub. The Riyadh-based Misk Art Institute, sponsored by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, aims to be a center of education, culture and society.
Hend Al-Mansour, who has said that women artists are still often overlooked in Saudi Arabia, has named five women to watch who overcome those barriers. Many have been recognized inside and outside Saudi Arabia, particularly in the US.

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Jeddah Showcases Contemporary Work of Gulf Artists

February 10, 2017 - By Lulwa Shalhoub for Arab News

Jeddah’s art scene is seeing a rich flow of exhibitions and events that shed light on work from local and regional artists.
The 21,39 art initiative, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting art and culture, has combined a series of events that began this month and will carry on until May, with support from the General Entertainment Authority.
One of the highlights of the activities is “And Along Came Polyester,” which gathers the work of five women artists from the Gulf to showcase their contemporary work in solo exhibitions under the same roof at Athr Gallery.

Arab News spoke to the five artists about their experiences at the “And Along Came Polyester” exhibition.

‘And Along Came Polyester’ art exhibition opens

February 3, 2017 - By Lulwa Shalhoub for Arab News

 A Thursday night of contemporary art puts a refreshing end to schools’ midyear break. Young people and art lovers filled Athr art platform based at Serafi Mega Mall’s office towers as the artwork of five woman artists from the Gulf had them mesmerized.
The exhibition entitled “And Along Came Polyester” displayed the work of Saudi artist Sarah Abu Abdullah’s “18 Blankets,” Qatari artist Aisha Al-Sowaidi’s “The Shift,” Bahraini artist Hala Al-Khalifa’s “She Wore Her Scares Like Wings,” Kuwaiti artist Monira Al-Qadiri’s “Legacy” and Emirati artist Layla Juma’s “A Still Moment in Thought & Spatial Perception.”

Bold Contemporary-Art Scene Emerges in Saudi Arabia

March 15, 2016 - By Ahmed Al Omran & Margherita Stancati for The Wall Street Journal

Mr. Mater is emblematic of an outspoken new generation of Saudis who are making a name for themselves, and Saudi Arabia, in the world of contemporary art. Like Mr. Mater, some of these artists are using their work as a tool of critique, testing the limits of what is permissible in the ultraconservative kingdom.

“Art has a big role to play for change,” Mr. Mater said in an interview in his studio in the Red Sea city of Jeddah. “We are needed to push these red lines, the restrictions. It’s more interesting here than where there is freedom of expression.”