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Events & Exhibitions

The calendar that follows is updated bimonthly as of the 15th of each of January, March, May, July, September and November. Most institutions listed have further information available through the World Wide Web. Please reconfirm dates and times before traveling. Readers are welcome to submit information for possible inclusion in this listing through the Feedback page. (Please note in the subject line, "Events & Exhibitions.")


Making Place: The Architecture of David Adjaye. With more than 50 projects across the world, Tanzanian-born David Adjaye is rapidly emerging as a major international figure in architecture and design. Rather than advancing a signature architectural style, Adjaye’s structures address local concerns and conditions through both a historical understanding of context and a global understanding of modernism. This mid-career survey—the first devoted to Adjaye—offers an in-depth overview of the architect’s distinct approach and visual language through a dynamic installation design conceived by Adjaye Associates. Capturing a significant moment in Adjaye’s career, this exhibition spans projects from furniture and housing to public buildings and master plans and features drawings, sketches, models and building mockups. In addition, a specially commissioned film featuring interviews with Adjaye’s collaborators, including an international roster of artists, the exhibition curators and other influential figures in the art world, helps bring the projects alive and makes clear the important role that Adjaye plays in contemporary architecture today. The Art Institute of Chicago September 19 through January 3.


The Fabric of India. The highlight of the Victoria & Albert’s India Festival, this is the first major exhibition to explore the dynamic and multifaceted world of handmade textiles from India. It includes a spectacular 18th-century tent belonging to Tipu Sultan, a stunning range of historic costume, highly prized textiles made for international trade and cutting-edge fashion by celebrated Indian designers. Showcasing the best of the V&A’s world-renowned collection together with masterpieces from international partners, the exhibition features over 200 objects ranging from the third to the 21st centuries. Objects on display for the first time are shown alongside renowned masterworks and the latest in Indian contemporary design. The skills and variety evident in this incomparably rich tradition will surprise and inform even those with prior knowledge of the subject, and is sure to delight visitors. V&A, London October 3 through January 10.

Europalia Arts Festival: Turkey.. Turkey is the invited country for the 25th edition of the Europalia Arts Festival, which will feature a rich and extensive program of events, including two major exhibitions hosted by the Palais des Beaux-Arts (BOZAR) in Brussels: Anatolia: Home of Eternity and Imagine Istanbul, explore the various transformations of this constantly evolving capital city. Various locations, Brussels October 6 through January 31.

Khalil Gibran.. Lebanese-American artist Gibran Khalil Gibran is one of the most influential figures of the modern age; his philosophical ideas were mainly delivered through his essays and poems both in Arabic and English. His most internationally known and celebrated work, The Prophet, a set of poetic essays originally published in English, expresses some of these ideas. Born in 1883 in Bsharri, Lebanon, he immigrated with his family to the us at age 12.  Settling in Boston, he was first exposed to the rich world of art—theaters, opera houses and art galleries—all of which influenced his artistic talent. He died in 1931, leaving a treasure of paintings and literary works. The exhibition showcases around 50 works and manuscripts of different media, including watercolor, oils and charcoal on paper and canvas. Sharjah Art Museum, UAE October 7 through December 7.

Islamic Motifs. Islamic Motifs is a collection of 60 photos of Islamic geometric and floral decoration by Emirati photographers Marwan Al Ali and Yusif Harmoudi. The exhibition includes photos of Islamic motifs inspired by many of the mosques and the interior elements of other Islamic architecture found in the uae, such as the interior esthetic design, calligraphic script and Islamic motifs used to decorate the doors, halls and walls. Sharjah Calligraphy Museum, UAE October 11 through November 30.


The Invisible Hand. “The Invisible Hand,” a work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright Ayad Akhtar, will be presented in the 2014-2015 season of the New York Theatre Workshop. The play is about an American stockbroker kidnapped by Islamic militants, and how his perspective on his captors evolves as he negotiates for his release. New York Theatre November 1 through December 31.

Pearls on a String: Art and Biography in the Islamic World. Pearls on a String: Art and Biography in the Islamic World presents the arts of Islamic cultures from the point of view of authors and artists from historical Muslim societies, offering an alternative to impersonal presentations of Islamic art. Instead, the exhibition focuses on specific people and relationships among cultural tastemakers threaded together “as pearls on a string,” a Persian metaphor for human connectedness—especially among painters, calligraphers, poets and their patrons. The exhibition highlights the exceptional art of the Islamic manuscript and underscores the book’s unique ability to relate narratives about specific people. Through a series of vignettes, the visitor is introduced to the art inextricably linked to the men and women who shaped the Islamic past and contribute to its future. Walters Art Museum, Baltimore November 8 through January 31.

Premiére Biennale des photographes du monde arabe.. The European House of Photography and the Institut du Monde Arabe launch a new artistic project, presenting a series of exhibitions in various locations along a pedestrian route between both places. Spread over 700 square meters, the exhibit showcases the works of 30 photographic artists from the Arab world, along with Western artists who have focused on a region or issue within this vast territory. The richness and diversity of points of views of these artists are on display, derived from a documentary tradition that goes beyond immediate reporting. Institut Du Monde Arabe, Paris November 10 through January 17.

Lasting Impressions: George Bahgory.. Bahgory was born in 1932 in Bahgory, Egypt. A painter, sculptor, novelist, children’s books writer and actor, he is most famous for his political satire, which people looked forward to seeing in Al Ahram newspaper. Known for reflecting popular Egyptian sentiments, as in his many beautiful portrayals of the legendary Egyptian singer Um Kulthoum, Bahgory is shown to be more than just the “Grandfather of Caricature” in the sixth edition of Lasting Impressions, which showcases more than 90 works, some dating back to the 1950s when he was a student. Sharjah Art Museum, UAE November 11 through December 31.

Bejeweled Treasures: The Al Thani Collection. . Spectacular objects, drawn from a single private collection, explore the broad themes of tradition and modernity in Indian jewelry. Highlights include Mughal jades, a rare jeweled-gold finial from the throne of Tipu Sultan and pieces that reveal the dramatic changes that took place in Indian jewelry design during the early 20th century. The exhibition examines the influence that India had on avant-garde European jewelry made by Cartier and other leading houses, and concludes with contemporary pieces made by JAR and Bhagat, which are inspired by a creative fusion of Mughal motifs and Art Deco “Indian”designs. Part of the V&A’s India Festival. London November 21 through March 28.

The Egyptian Surrealists in Global Perspective. The Egyptian Surrealists in Global Perspective focuses on the history and the evolution of the Egyptian Surrealist group and their relationship with their Western and international counterparts. It documents one of the most interesting chapters of modernism in the late 1930s up to the early 1960s and highlights the multifaceted aspects of modernity and its global interconnectedness in the 20th century. The conference is followed by a traveling exhibition, When Arts Become Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists (1938-1965), to be inaugurated at the Sharjah Art Foundation in 2017 in Sharjah, UAE. American University of Cairo November 26 through November 28.

Art from Elsewhere. Art from Elsewhere explores different realities of profound global change. It brings together some of the most important artists around the world. The show features works in a variety of media that examine questions of trade and exchange, urban and international migration, frontiers and failed utopias. Artworks address issues including life in conflict zones, oppressive government regimes, and the advent of capitalism and post-colonial experiences. Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art, UK, through September 27. Harris Museum, Preston, UK through November 30.


The Royal Hunt: Courtly Pursuits in Indian Art. Expressions of imperial authority are universally embodied in royal imagery of the hunt, rulers pursuing prey as metaphors for power and martial prowess. This theme is celebrated throughout the history of Indian painting and became ubiquitous in later Rajput painting of the late 19th century. This exhibition features works from the Department of Asian Art, with loans from the Department of Islamic Art, the Department of Arms and Armor, and New York collections. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York through December 13.

In The City. In the City, an absorbing graphic-design and sound-art exhibition, provides a rare glimpse into four Arab Cities. The show, a first of its kind in London, showcases a series of commissioned and preexisting works from an eclectic lineup of established and emerging Arab designers, illustrators, video and sound artists. It transports the audience through four enigmatic, but often overlooked Arab cities—Alexandria, Algiers, Baghdad and Nablus—by recapturing and re-imagining elements of those cities. The collection explores each city’s panorama through its streets, landmarks, people, signage and sounds through individual rooms that contain elements borrowed from the city it represents, forming a variety of installations that invite interaction between the audience and the work. P21 Gallery, London through December 15.

Senses of Time: Video and Film-Based Works of Africa. Senses of Time: Video and Film-Based Works of Africa features five African artists exploring how time is experienced—and produced—by the body. Bodies climb, dance and dissolve in six works of art. Characters repeat, resist or reverse any expectation that time must move relentlessly forward. Senses of Time invites viewers to contemplate tensions between ritual and technological time, personal and political time through pacing, sequencing, looping, layering and mirroring. The exhibition features Yinka Shonibare’s cinematic “Un Ballo in Maschera,” in which European ballroom dancers in sumptuous African print-cloth gowns dramatize the absurdities of political violence as history repeats itself. The film selections explore choreographies of memory and forgetting in the haunted ruins of post-colonial deindustrialization, demonstrate the slipperiness and fragility of time and identity and draw visitors into a captivating kaleidoscopic space where past, present and future converge. Los Angeles County Museum of Art December 20 through January 2.

Cleopatra and the Queens of Egypt. Cleopatra and the Queens of Egypt takes the queens of ancient Egypt, the most famous of whom is Cleopatra, as its theme. These queens not only supported reigning pharaohs as mothers, wives and daughters, but also played significant roles in politics and religion. Their magnificence is conveyed though masterpieces of ancient Egypt from a number of renowned museums around the world. Tokyo National Museum, through September 23; The National Museum of Art, Osaka, October 10 through December 27. The National Museum of Art, Osaka through December 27.

Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt. Presents 30 artworks selected from the museum’s extensive Egyptian collection: feral and tame cats, stone or bronze cats, small or large cats, domestic or divine cats. The exhibition explores the role of cats, lions and other felines in Egyptian mythology, kingship and everyday life, where they were revered for their fertility, associated with royalty and valued for their ability to protect homes and granaries from rats and mice. On public view for the first time is a gilded leonine goddess dating from between 770 and 412 BCE that entered the Brooklyn collection in 1937. Brooklyn Museum, New York through December 31.


Les fables de Kalila et Dimna. Les fables de Kalila et Dimna originated as a collection of tales composed in India around the fourth century ce for the education of princes. By giving voices to animals, the author was able to speak freely and teach principles of good governance and moral standing. Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris through January 3.

Pattern, Color, Light: Architectural Ornament in the Near East (500–1000). Pattern, Color, Light: Architectural Ornament in the Near East (500–1000) features examples of architectural ornament from Egypt, Iraq, Syria and Turkey that were found at sites ranging in date from approximately 500 to 1000. Few buildings from this period survive fully intact, but the pieces of walls, ceilings and floors that remain shed light on the ingenious ways that artisans created sumptuous interiors and stately façades. Far from being mere embellishment, the decorative programs to which these pieces belonged created memorable experiences for viewers, conveying the power of a patron or the depth of a religious concept. These enduring esthetic concepts are explored further through the lens of the exhibition’s three themes: pattern, color and light. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York through January 3.

Silk Road Luxuries from China.. Long before Marco Polo sparked European interest in Asia, the Silk Road connected Mediterranean ports in the West to centers of production and trade in China and beyond. For more than 2,000 years, this vast network of caravan trails has linked oasis settlements across the Central Asian desert, and many of those ancient overland routes are still in use today. The Silk Road enabled the long-distance exchange of luxury goods—colorful silks, silver and gold objects, delicate glass and even the legendary peaches of Samarkand—as well as the sharing of ideas, customs and religious beliefs. The impact of foreign imports on the arts of China reached exceptional heights during the Tang dynasty (618–907), when craftsmen explored new materials, forms and decorative patterns introduced from the West. The flourishing young empire expanded into Central Asia, and its capital Chang’an (modern Xi’an) became the largest city in the world. Its cosmopolitan society sought fresh ideas and expensive goods from afar. Traders and artisans from the ancient kingdom of Sogdiana, located in southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, were especially active in this exchange, and their ancient Iranian language was the primary basis of trade for centuries. Communities of Sogdian traders extended from Anatolia to India and Sri Lanka and on to East Asia. Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. through January 3.

Home Ground: Contemporary Art from the Barjeel Art Foundation.. This exhibition from the Sharjah, UAE-based foundation runs the gamut from photography to installation, sculpture to painting, and more. Twelve Arab artists examine how private life is shaped by current political events. Their works are united by an awareness of struggles: the struggles to cross geopolitical borders, the struggle to forge an identity in an ever-shifting world and the inherent struggle of being an artist. Aga Khan Museum, Toronto through January 3.

Ragmala: Musical Moods and Amorous Moments. Ragmala: Musical Moods and Amorous Moments is an assembly of Indian miniature paintings presenting images of tenderness, seemingly depicting episodes in various couples’ love relationships. But the paintings also show moments of despair and melancholy, with each artwork representing a specific mood, as defined by Indian musical theory that originates from a complex system of esthetic experience. Two historical Indian musical instruments, a tube zither (rudra vina) and a long-necked lute (tanpura) from the collection of the Ethnologisches Museum are also on display and further illustrate the connection between music and painting. Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Berlin through January 6.

2050:  A Brief History of the Future. 2050:  A Brief History of the Future uses more than 70 contemporary works, from paintings and sculptures to photos, videos, installations and digital art, to question the future up to 2050. The exhibition addresses major societal themes such as over-consumption, global conflicts, scarcity of natural resources, social and economic inequality and the mutation of the human being. However, these complex topics are challenged by positive and constructive visions, sometimes even humor. Belgian and international artists such as Sugimoto, Boetti, Kingelez, Warhol, LaChapelle, Gursky, Op de Beeck, Yongliang, Turk and Alÿs invite viewers to rethink the future based on a subjective reading of the past and translated by artistic creations from previous millennia. This exhibition and a complementary exhibition at the Louvre, Paris (September 24 through January 4) are inspired by Jacques Attali’s book A Brief History of the Future. The Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels through January 24.

Images of Women in 19th-Century Iran. Images of Women in 19th-Century Iran demonstrates the centrality of women in the artistic expression of 19th-century Iran and how it continues to inspire contemporary artists. The most popular representations of the Qajar era have been of male sovereigns, whose life-size portraits exaggerate masculinity to depict power. Yet this era also saw a period of artistic modernization in Iran, particularly in paintings and photography, in which depictions of women became essential elements of the scenes. Showcasing women at the court, and in private, alongside images of female musicians and aristocratic women, this exhibition explores rarely told narratives of the Qajar artistic tradition. Museum of Islamic Arts, Doha, Qatar through January 30.

Arts of Islamic Lands: Selections from the al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait.. This newly expanded installation more than triples the display to some 250 works that present an impressive and comprehensive spectrum of Islamic art. Objects from North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, India, the Iberian Peninsula and Central Asia from the eighth to the 18th centuries demonstrate the development of techniques, craftsmanship and esthetics in Islamic visual culture. Among the highlights are a 16th-century Ottoman prayer carpet; a glass mosque lamp from 14th-century Cairo; an extraordinary earthenware bowl from ninth-century Iraq that transcends its humble function; early gold jewelry from Afghanistan and Syria; and opulent Mughal jewelry crafted in the refined kundan technique, including a brilliant bird pendant fabricated in late 16th-century India from gold, rubies, emeralds, diamonds and rock crystals. Museum of Fine Arts, Houston through January 30.

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain. Shoes: Pleasure and Pain looks at the extremes of footwear from around the globe, presenting around 200 pairs of shoes ranging from a sandal decorated in pure gold leaf from ancient Egypt to the most elaborate designs by contemporary makers. Victoria & Albert Museum, London through January 31.

O’siris, mystéres engloutis d’Egypte. O’siris, mystéres engloutis d’Egypte reveals 250 objects from seven years of underwater excavation by archeologist Franck Goddio, supplemented by 40 works from museums in Cairo and Alexandria, some of which are on display for the first time outside of Egypt. These objects, their discovery and historical significance revive one of the greatest myths of Egyptian civilization, “The Mysteries of Osiris,” the son of Earth and Sky who was killed by his brother, dismembered and thrown into the Nile. Included in the exhibit are the remains of the ceremony of Osiris Mysteries, celebrated in the cities of Canopus and Thonis-Heracleion. Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris through January 31.


Abdelkader Benchamma: Representation of Dark Matter. Abdelkader Benchamma: Representation of Dark Matter. Abdelkader Benchamma creates an astrological vortex in his strikingly graphic, site-specific drawing, rendered in intensely black lines against a wall’s white surface. The work depicts the solar system’s complexity and its nearly imperceptible dark matter. The physically expansive image resembles scientific illustrations of the Big Bang and alludes to explosive cosmic forces. The installation gives form to that which is infinitely large and perpetually transforming. The Drawing Center, New York through March 1.

Egyptian Magic. Egyptian Magic is a fascinating journey into the world of magic in ancient Egypt. Learn how, in a secret world where the gods and the dead are intrinsically linked to mankind, magic can influence destinies. The exhibition presents pieces from the largest collections in the world. Produced in close collaboration with Stichtin Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, with the contribution of the Louvre Museum. Musée de la civilisation, Quebec City through March 3.


Perspectives: Lara Baladi. . Egyptian-Lebanese artist Lara Baladi experiments with photography, investigating its history and role in shaping perceptions of the Middle East—particularly Egypt, where she is based. Using a digital loom, the artist transformed a collage of her images into a large  tapestry—Oum el Dounia (Mother of the World)—reflecting her interest in the proliferation of images of Egypt  and how technology and interactivity affect the creation, dissemination and preservation of visual narratives. Related programming for the exhibition focuses on Vox Populi, Archiving a Revolution in the Digital Age, an archive of images, videos and texts documenting the 2011 events in Tahrir Square. Planned events include talks with the artist and curator and panel discussions held in conjunction with the Middle East Institute. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C. through June 5.


Spinosaurus: Lost Giant of the Cretaceous.. As recently as 10 years ago, scientists believed the Tyrannosaurus Rex was the largest predatory dinosaur. That is, until they met the Spinosaurus. Measuring 15 meters, this giant carnivore was two meters longer than the biggest T. rex ever discovered. Discovered several years ago along the Moroccan-Algerian border, the Spinosaurus roamed the earth 95 million years ago and had long crocodile-like jaws and a distinctive sail on its back. The exhibition at Palazzo Dugnani allows visitors a close encounter with this massive creature and the chance to learn some fascinating facts about its discovery and the world in which it lived. Milan through October 1.


Egypt’s Sunken Secrets. Egypt’s Sunken Secrets displays 293 artifacts from different Egyptian museums: 18 from the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir Square, 22 from the Graeco-Roman Museum, 31 from the Alexandria National Museum, 15 from the Bibliotheca Alexandrina Museum and 207 from the Sunken Monuments Department. Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, September 7 through January; Martin-Gropius-Bau exhibition hall, Berlin, April 15 through August 2016; London, November 15, 2016, through March 2017. London November 15 through March 15.


CULTURUNNERS. On the occasion of the UN’s International Day of Peace on September 21, the Rothko Chapel, in partnership with Art Jameel, hosts the launch of Edge of Arabia’s multi-year us tour of this independent artists’ expedition. In the spirit of the chapel’s mission to inspire people to action through art and contemplation and to provide a forum for global concerns, the event enables pioneering artists, scholars and community groups to cultivate new perspectives on cultural collaborations beyond identities defined by culture, religion, nation, citizenship, economic status, profession, gender or age. Rothko Chapel, Houston through December 31.


Gold and the Gods: Jewels of Ancient Nubia . Gold and the Gods: Jewels of Ancient Nubia draws on the world-class collection of jewelry from ancient Nubia (located in what is now Sudan) accumulated by the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), which constitute the most comprehensive collection outside Khartoum. “Gold and the Gods” focuses on excavated ornaments from an early 20th-century expedition by MFA with Harvard University, dating from 1700 BCE to 300 CE, including both uniquely Nubian and foreign imports, prized for their materials, craftsmanship, symbolism and rarity. MFA, Boston through May 14.