Event Calendar

12 November 2016

Visual Dialogues

  • Visual Dialogues
    Visual Dialogues Visual Dialogues


Total Arts at Courtyard


12 November 2016 to 30 December 2016


10:00 AM - 6:00 PM






Sheik Zayed Road, Al Quoz Industrial 1, Street 4B, Courtyard Building
14214 Dubai


Part of a continuing exhibition series "Visual Dialogues", Total Arts at the Courtyard is pleased to present an
exhibition of recent works by:
Fereydoun Ave & Shaqayeq Arabi
November & December 2016
Opening: 12th Nov 2016

Fereydoun Ave & Shaqayeq Arabi continue their ongoing dialogue with one another’s practices exploring the fields of the three and two dimensional, using the place where these two different planes meet to explore a mutual interest in material, abstraction and the found object.

Fereydoun Ave's new cycle of works “Shah Abbas and his Page Boy” marks a high point of his oeuvre. It brings together the sum total of what distinguishes him as a great Iranian artist – and, indeed, as a true cosmopolitan.
In his work, Ave weaves together, as it were, a web that sums up the world in all its complexities and contradic-tions. He unites the artistic expression of the Western avant-garde – Ave was a close friend to Cy Twombly – with that of Eastern traditions. By using ambivalence as a constructive principle he does not bring about a Culture Clash but rather a syncretistically appealing fusion. The works in Shah Abbas and his Page Boy recall the form of community-living that has been practiced in Iran ever since primeval times, and evoke indirectly the divide be-tween private intimacy and familiarity on the one hand and the restrictions on freedom in public life imposed by in Iran’s over-regulation on the other. The title for this series of works also links the present with the past. Ave brings into play the mighty Persian ruler Shah Abbas – notorious for his promiscuous life-style – and addresses a further aspect which he had taken up previously in his famous Rostam series of works: namely the area of tension created by the ambivalent concepts of Iranian masculinity. This striking sortie into the country’s history raises awareness of Ave’s view that the above-mentioned discrepancies are to do with the phenomenon of social contradictions deeply anchored in the collective cultural image of how Iran perceives itself.

Shaqayeq Arabi’s assemblages are often composed of simple materials, fundamentally abstract, yet evoking a range of associations. They speak to both the built, urban environment and the natural world by combining the textures of found objects with the rawness of materials. her work examines the different forms and textures of materials, and, through them, the balance between the expressively abstract and the suggestively pictorial. They propose a metamorphosis from the base, synthetic nature of their materials to the ethereal nature of a composi-tion – be it installation or sculpture. These totem-like sculptures embody her interest in exploring how the sum total of an object’s parts can comprise what Ave has referred to as “a larger visionary whole.”

Indeed, both Ave and Arabi work by composing works out of the objects available to them in their surroundings – turning them into a poetic stream of consciousness.

Notes for Editors:

About Shaqayeq Arabi
Shaqayeq Arabi is a painter, sculptor and installation artist living between Tehran, Dubai and New York City. Starting to paint and practice calligraphy in the early 1990s, she received a Master in graphic design from Al-Zahra University Tehran in 1996, a BAF from University of Valencinnes, France in 2001 and a MAF from Sorbonne University, Paris the following year.
For her, art is a form of spontaneous personal expression, as well as an exploration of her past and present memory. She finds her point of departure in image, sound and smell, as well as the sensitivity of the surrounding environment. In sketching, composing and connecting accumulated fragments together, Arabi traces her reminis-cences, creating a tangible and touchable reality out of the emotions and sensations. Arabi has had exhibitions in Middle East and Europe, including Roots (Total Arts, Dubai, 2014) and Study of an Upturned Ziggurat (Depart-ment of Signs and Symbols, New York, 2015).

About Fereydoun Ave
Born in Tehran, Iran, in 1945, Fereydoun Ave is one of the major players in the Iranian art scene in Tehran. With a career grounded in the theatre and film world, he gained a BA in Theatre Arts from Arizona State University in 1969 and studied film at New York University in 1969-70. Prior to the Iranian Revolution, he worked as a stage and graphic designer at the Iran American Society in Tehran, was Resident designer for the National Theatre, Tehran, and was advisor to National Iranian Television and the Shiraz Arts Festival. Between 1974 and 1979 he was acting artistic director of the Zand Gallery in Tehran. Besides being an avid collector and artist, in the 1980s after the revolution, he created his own alternate space, 13 Vanak Street, which launched many Iranian artists. A life spent between Europe, America, and Iran has informed the formal and theoretical basis for his art.
He has participated in numerous international group exhibitions including Routes at Waterhouse & Dodd in Lon-don; Creek Art Fair in Dubai as well as Art Dubai; Salon d'Automne de Paris and the Iran Heritage Show in Lon-don. Ave has had solo shows at the Silk Road Gallery and the 13 Vanak Street gallery in Tehran and the Herve Van Der Straten Gallery in Paris among others. His works are in many prestigious collections such as La Caisse des Deptos et Consignations and the Centre Georges Pompidou Collection in Paris, the Rose Issa Collection in London and the Contemporary Art Museum in Tehran. Most recently in February 2014 one of his mixed-media collage pieces using the iconic and historical Iranian hero figure Rostam was purchased by the Metropolitan Mu-seum of Art in New York.

Total Arts is one of oldest galleries in the UAE. Established in 1992, it relocated to The Courtyard after the inau-guration of the building in 1998. Total Arts is recognized as a pioneer on the Dubai arts scene, created by founder Dariush Zandi to allow for a creative platform at a time when the Dubai arts scene was beginning to first grow. Since then, it has established itself as an educational platform, raising awareness of both local and international artistic talent. It continues to foster dialogue between established artists and collectors, as well as emerging artists and students from across the region, particularly Iran and the UAE. The gallery’s current activities include a regular roster of lectures, workshops, film screenings, exhibitions and artists’ talks.

Address: Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Qouz industrial1, Street 4b, Courtyard building, Tel: 04 347 5050
For high quality images, artist’s biography and interview with the curator: totalart@courtyard-uae.com