Buddhism along the Silk Road
Buddhism along the Silk Road illuminates a remarkable moment of artistic exchange, drawing together objects from India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the western reaches of Central Asia—regions connected in the sixth century ce through trade, military conquest and the diffusion of Buddhism. At the root of this transnational connection is the empire established at the end of the fifth century by the Huns, which extended from Afghanistan to the northern plains of India. Over the next century, trade routes connecting India to the western reaches of the Central Asian Silk Road continued to link these distant communities, facilitating ideological exchange.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York through February 10, 2013.
Recent Work by Jananne Al-Ani explores enduring representations of the Middle Eastern landscape. "Shadow Sites ii," her most recent video installation, is inspired by both archival photographs and contemporary news reports, and is exhibited alongside a selection of extraordinary original prints by renowned archeologist Ernst Herzfeld (1879–1948). Separated by nearly a century, these works pose fascinating questions about the impact of photography on views of the Middle East.
Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C. through February 10, 2013.
Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges With the Arts of Islamic Culture
Beauty and Belief: Crossing Bridges With the Arts of Islamic Culture aims to bridge differences and inspire insight through beauty, and address the question, "What makes Islamic art Islamic?" Tunisia-born project director Sabiha Al Khemir has assembled over 250 works from 40 lenders in the US and nine countries in Europe and the Middle East, including unique manuscripts from the Royal Library in Morocco. The exhibition represents a journey through Islamic culture from the seventh century onward, combining historical and geographic background with successive sections of calligraphy, figurative imagery and pattern, but it makes a point of touching on the present day, also including works by contemporary artists.
Newark [NJ] Museum February 12 through May 19, 2013.
Evening Ragas gathers more than 60 photographic portraits, interiors and landscapes by British photographer Derry Moore that form an inspiring portrait of pre-modern India.
Tasveer Galleries, Delhi February 22 through March 5, 2013.
Lalla Essaydi: Revisions
Lalla Essaydi: Revisions brings together selections from the artist's photographic series, her rarely exhibited paintings and a multimedia installation. Moroccan-born, Essaydi now lives in the United States and believes that her work, with its intimate portrayal of Moroccan women, would not have been possible without distance from her homeland. While each work and genre speaks volumes, from the ensemble—subversive and challenging, yet refined—emerges Essaydi's critical reflection on her experience as a liberal Moroccan, Arab, African and Muslim woman living across cultures.
National Museum of African Art, Washington, D.C. through February 23, 2013.
Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist
3 July – 22 September 2013, Tate Modern, Level 2
Tate Modern presents the UK's first major exhibition of Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi (b.1930). Bringing together 100 works from across more than five decades of his international career, this retrospective will highlight one of the most significant figures in African and Arab Modernism, and reveal his place in the context of a broader, global art history.
'Light from the Middle East: New Photography', 13 November to 7 April 2013, V& A, London
The V&A is excited to announce a new exhibition opening next week 'Light from the Middle East: New Photography', curated by Marta Weiss, V&A Curator of Photography, and based on the Art Fund Collection of Middle Eastern Photography at the V&A and the British Museum. This is the major exhibition of contemporary photography from and about the Middle East.
This exhibition presents work by artists from across the Middle East (spanning North Africa to Central Asia), living in the region and in diaspora. It explores the ways in which these artists investigate the language and techniques of photography. Some use the camera to record or bear witness, while others subvert that process to reveal how surprisingly unreliable a photograph can be. The works range from documentary photographs and highly staged tableaux to images manipulated beyond recognition. The variety of approaches is appropriate to the complexities of a vast and diverse region. Light from the Middle East is
divided into three sections, Recording, Reframing and Resisting, each of which focuses on a different approach to the medium of photography.
The exhibition runs from 13 November to 7 April 2013 and is free of charge.
More information on the exhibition and on the events which will be happening around it can be found at:
Mughal India: Art, Culture and Empire, British Library
Disappearing Heritage of Sudan, 1820–1956: Photographic and Filmic Exploration in Sudan
Disappearing Heritage of Sudan, 1820–1956: Photographic and Filmic Exploration in Sudan documents the remnants of the colonial experience in Sudan from the Ottoman, Egyptian and British periods. This photographic and video project by Frederique Cifuentes explores the mechanics of empire, highlighting colonial architecture, design and construction—official buildings, private residencies, cinema houses, railways, irrigation canals and bridges—and the impact they had on Sudanese society before and after independence in 1956. It also helps us understand the ways in which people appropriated and used the buildings after the end of the colonial period.
Oriental Museum, Durham [UK] University January 1 through March 1, 2013.
Love and Devotion
From Persia and Beyond celebrates the beauty of Persian manuscripts and the stories of human and divine love they tell, featuring more than 60 rare Persian, Mughal Indian and Ottoman Turkish illustrated manuscripts from the 13th to the 18th century, as well as related editions of European literature, travel books and maps. These works come from one of the richest periods in the history of the book and shed light on the artistic and literary culture of Persia, showcasing classic Persian tales and revealing the extent to which Persian language and culture influenced neighboring empires, as well as parallels in the work of European writers dating back to Shakespeare, Chaucer and Dante.
Bodleian Libraries, Oxford, November 29, 2012 through April 28, 2013.
The Horse: Ancient Arabia to the Modern World.
British Museum, London May 24 through September 30.
The Horse: Ancient Arabia to the Modern World traces the animal's story across thousands of years of human history, displaying exhibits that range from newly excavated Saudi rock carvings—which may move the date and place of first domestication thousands of miles south and thousands of years back—to a miniature Persian gold chariot with four horses, made around 2500 years ago, to Victorian London's dung dilemma. Because a skilled archer on horseback was the most dangerous weapon in any war before the development of artillery, the exhibition also includes two complete sets of Islamic and western horse armor. The wild horse was domesticated at least 5000 years ago, initially for meat and later for transport, transforming how far a man could travel and how much he could carry. The exhibition traces the evolution of the elegant, swift Arabian horses, whose distinctive arched necks and tails can be seen in Assyrian sculptures, Egyptian wall paintings and ancient Greek vases.