With the Sharjah Biennial taking place this March, the UAE have now announced the 14 artists who will travel to Venice Biennale in May. Many of them developed their diverse styles through their association with the Emirates Fine Art Society, founded in 1980 by artist Hassan Sharif. Mohammed Kazem's immersive video Walking on Water was a talking point at the 2013 Biennale and will return to the Pavilion, along with stalwarts Hassan Sharif and Abdullah Al Saadi. Lesser-known artists such as Salem Jawhar, Ahmed Al Ansari and Mohamed Yousif have also been chosen to represent the UAE by the president and director of Sharjah Art Foundation, Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi. She is the country’s first Emirati curator to take a show to Venice since the country started participating in 2009.
Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, founder of Abu Dhabi's Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, praised the broad cross section of artists: "Over the last decade the UAE art scene has experienced a surge in international recognition and appreciation, however many are still not aware of the depth and diversity of our artists, who have been working decades longer than the current art boom”.
Read more on the UAE's programme for Venice
Image: Mohammed Al Qassab, Untitled, 2006. 90x140cm. Acrylic on