Sharjah Art Foundation is ready to hold two major exhibitions
Among the artists featured in the foundation’s upcoming exhibition are Turner Prize-winner Lubaina Himid, renowned for her groundbreaking work that challenges cultural narratives, and painter and printmaker Gavin Jantjes, whose retrospective explores four decades of artistic expression.
ArtDayME: Sharjah Art Foundation will present two major exhibitions at Al Mureijah Square. In one of these exhibitions, which will start on October 29, the works of Lubaina Himid and Magda Stawarska will be displayed. Another exhibition is dedicated to presenting the works of Gavin Jantjes, South African painter, curator, writer and lecturer.
In the following, you will get to know these two exhibitions:
Lubaina Himid and Magda Stawarska: Plaited Time / Deep Water
29 October 2023–28 January 2024
Galleries 1, 2 & 3, Al Mureijah Square
The work of path-breaking artist Lubaina Himid CBE RA inhabits the courtyards and galleries of Sharjah Art Foundation’s Al Mureijah Square.
Developed over several years, Himid’s first exhibition in the region has been conceived together with Magda Stawarska, who is internationally renowned for her practice of ‘inner listening’—a collaborative process of listening to cities. The results of their intimate encounters unfold across multiple media, such as in the four new commissions presented within the exhibition.
Plaited Time / Deep Water is imagined in dialogue with Sharjah’s architecture, its soundscapes and the feelings evoked by its proximity to the sea. At the heart of the show is a newly imagined presentation of ‘Zanzibar’ (1999–2023), a series of paintings by Himid situated within a distinct architecture and sonic installation created by Stawarska.
Lubaina Himid , Our Entire Food Supply , 1999 , From ‘Plan B’, 1999, Acrylic on canvas / 122 x 244 cm , Courtesy of the artist and Hollybush Gardens, London - Photo: Andy Keate
In Zanzibar, life-long journeys of return are reconfigured in a sensorial encounter for visitors, who are invited to listen and linger—to experience memory unfolding. Elsewhere, boats in myriad forms and detail, each encapsulating an individual dream, and other found objects are made animate as sculptural paintings, leading viewers to a personal topography of the sea.
Across the galleries, daily ritual is explored alongside the artists’ continued engagement with language and its potential embodiment. In Plaited Time / Deep Water, the personal archive finds its rejoinder in Sharjah’s changing light through lyric, voice and song.
The exhibition is curated by Dr Omar Kholeif, Director of Collections and Senior Curator, Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE.
Gavin Jantjes: To Be Free! A Retrospective 1970–2023
18 November 2023–10 March 2024
Gallery 4, 5 & 6, Al Mureijah Square
To Be Free! traces the multifarious journey of Gavin Jantjes as a creative agent of change, celebrating his multifaceted roles as painter, printmaker, writer, curator and activist. Driven by his formative years in Cape Town, which coincided with the early years of South African apartheid (1948–1994), Jantjes journey embodies a quest for artistic emancipation, with a freedom not bound by the Eurocentric gaze or expectations of Black creativity. For Jantjes, this quest has meant a life of itinerant exile manifesting in multiple careers.
Structured into chapters spanning 1970 to the present, To Be Free! underscores pivotal phases in Jantjes life. It explores his engagement with anti-apartheid activism in the 1970s to mid-1980s, his transformative role at art institutions in the UK, Germany and Norway and his compelling figurative portrayals of the global Black struggle for freedom as well as his recent transition to non-figurative painting.
Gavin Jantjes, Quietly at Tea, 1978. Jorge M. Pérez Collection, Miami. Image courtesy of Jorge M. Pérez
This comprehensive retrospective also provides insights into Jantjes’ curatorial initiatives, written contributions and wider advocacy, demonstrating his significant impact on both African and African diaspora art and the global contemporary art scene. Through the various threads of his career over the last 50 years, his work has transcended temporal and geographical confines and asserted the relevance of African art in global cultural dialogues.
Organised in collaboration with The Africa Institute, Sharjah, this exhibition is curated by Salah M. Hassan, Director, The Africa Institute, and Distinguished Professor, Cornell University.