With Modern Art from the Middle East, the Yale University Art Gallery joins the campus-wide celebration of the 175th anniversary of Arabic studies at Yale and honors Edward Elbridge Salisbury, B.A. 1832, the first professor of Arabic and Sanskrit in the Americas. The installation presents a selection of paintings and sculptures by artists rarely exhibited in the United States. The objects are drawn from the Barjeel Art Foundation in the United Arab Emirates, founded by Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi to promote art from the Arab world through both local and international exhibitions. The works on view highlight the art movements that blossomed in Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria in the second half of the 20th century and testify to the emergence of a unique aesthetic in these countries. Hovering between abstraction and figuration, the objects fuse modern elements with ancient sources and sociopolitical references.
Exhibition organized by Frauke V. Josenhans, the Horace W. Goldsmith Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art; Kishwar Rizvi, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Associate Professor of Islamic Art and Architecture; and Mandy Merzaban, Founding Curator, Barjeel Art Foundation; with Najwa Mayer, Ph.D. candidate, American Studies, in collaboration with the Barjeel Art Foundation. Made possible by the Art Gallery Exhibition and Publication Fund.