Dubai: With another International Women's Day behind us, we were reminded of the long and challenging journey women artists had to take before being recognized by their male peers and critics and before their names and works entered art history. The work is ongoing, and luckily more and more institutions are joining the efforts to provide further visibility to women and to reflect on their own collection and display practices.
Curated by Jesno Jackson, Art4you Gallery organized prestigious art exhibition titled "EMOTIONS - Women in Art” with 2 Female Artists, at The Warehouse, Dubai from 6th March until 19th March, 2023. Women were the focal point of this exhibition, both as subject matter and as artist. Thus, the show titled as EMOTIONS - Art envisioned by WOMEN.
The two international female painters in Spotlight were Babita Shamji – Abstract Expressionist (Canadian Artist with Indian Origin) & Zena Yachoui – Contemporary Abstract (Lebanese). Although it’s a women represented exhibit, these artists shared a conviction in the emotionally expressive possibilities of abstraction and its fundamental elements: paint, colour and gesture.
To emphasise the surprising connection, the show was organised not chronologically or geographically but in 2 thematic clusters on each wall. Babita’s artwork is inspired by abstract expressionism but with a difference. Her work explored in expressing the strength, agility, courage and beauty, who abstracted the African Women forms. There were works relating to “material, process and time”; “environment, nature and perception”; and “gesture and rhythm” through deep observation of African culture. “It’s Time to Rethink Abstract Expressionism Through the Women Who Defined It”, says Babita Shamji. Her all-over canvases evince a deep curiosity with color and its ability to convey emotion. Often inspired by landscapes, science, and the cosmos, they pulse with their deftly modulated palettes. Like much of Babita’s work, the painting possesses an essence of fluidity.
The show took the women of the movement out of the shadows and inspires a radical rethinking and broadening of the term. Zena Yachoui have claims that “It is time to think differently with Contemporary Abstraction. My paintings can keep the people to release stress and makes them emotionally express the feelings with lines and colors. Bright colors characterize the work of mine”. Her canvases and distinct use of color may depart from the what she initially became known for, but a sense of clarity and simple appreciation for the world pervades everything she touches, with patterns connecting feminine nature. The weaves webs of color and explosive lines on her canvases, examining identity and environment. Zena’s paintings featured prominent brushstrokes that sometimes form faint shapes. They also reflect personal narratives and memories that shape the artist’s identity.
The exhibition was hosted by The Warehouse, a dynamic space, designed to appeal to art enthusiasts. They believe that the Art Café has a combination of Coffee, Art and Community that creates unique and inspiring atmosphere and space for exhibitions. It is located in the new art area in Al Quoz 3 at Goshi Warehouses No.57 in Dubai at Al Quoz Creative Zone.
This event was organised by Art4you Gallery, which is a multicultural platform with a mission of connecting artists, to promote the exchange of art between UAE and other countries to create nurture and stipulate community-based art projects. “Over the 7 years, we have exhibited many thoughtfully curated solo and group shows, that were documented and presented in aesthetically produced catalogues. Art4you in short span, established into a leading art gallery community in UAE region that supports innovative work in the field of the visual arts, with 120 plus dedicated members & Royal members, 780 plus artist activists, and are connected with more that 1800+ artists around the world”, says Founder - Rengi Cherian.
This event supported International Women’s Day 2023 &Theme: #IWD2023 #EmbraceEquity
The event was attended by global women leaders, including artists, creatives, business, media, government, art lovers, art collectors, diplomats, and other distinguished guests. The exhibition also had group activations like women seminar, art workshop, live art, coffee morning etc… throughout the event.
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