Women represent 40% of the artists exhibited at MENART FAIR! This is a fact, not a claim, and even less a proclamation. This surprising proportion simply led us to wonder about the
status of the female artist in the ME.NA regions.
Etel Adnan (Lebanon), Lumière Blanche, 2016, wool, 162 x 243 cm, 63,77 x 95,66 in, Ed. 3
Courtesy of Galleria Continua
Among the 72 artists present, around thirty are women. This is a one-off
observation among others: geographical origin, period of creation,
figurative vs. abstract … We analyze this data to understand supply
and demand, advance our future editions and show the best and reality
of this art scene.
Reem Al Faisal (Saudi Arabia), “Only the Lonely I”, analog print, 60 cm x 50 cm
Courtesy of Mono Gallery
There were, of course, female artists who revolutionized the artistic, even
social, scene in the 1950s to 1970s. At the same time as in the West.
These pioneering modern artists shook up the rules of the game in the
art scene. Vertical and courageous figures such as Etel Adnan
(Lebanon), Simone Fattal (Syria) and Mona Hatoum (Palestine), Behjat
Sadr (Iran), Nji Efflatoun (Egypt), Baya Mahieddine (Algeria) and
Chaïbia Talal (Morocco) modernized the chessboard, by joining in a
provocative way the gesture, the word and the posture. But the status
of the female artist cannot be summed up in its isolated rocks. And
times have changed.
Delel Tangour (Tunisia), Hya (triptyq), B/W silver prints on fine art paper Hahnemuhle ultra smooth, 24 x 30 cm, limited prints 1/3,
Courtesy of AYN Gallery
Michelle Maluf (Lebanon), Inca, 2019, Leather, thread and ticks, 100 x 50 cm, Courtesy of Galerie Cheriff Tabet
In a way, the contemporary female scene – much richer, more varied and
more dispersed – is the heir to those golden years. But all the
societies concerned have evolved, sometimes even regressed … The
media are often very different (photo, video, digital, installations,
performances …) and social networks protect as much as they expose
these creators. Women artists continue to produce despite obstacles, in
a largely masculine, patriarchal and religious universe, which
complicates their affirmation, expression and recognition.
Simone Fattal (Syria), oil on canvas, 171 x 121 cm,
Courtesy of Galerie Tanit
The place of the female artist in the Middle East, the Gulf, Iran and the
North Africa is neither easy to characterize, nor similar everywhere:
it varies from one point to another of this transverse continent, from
one point to another, according to longitude and local history,
proximity to the East or the West, politico-religious radicalism or
tolerance … If the backdrop remains masculine Islam all the same
dominant, more or less subtly, we have encountered all the scenarios.
The nuance is essential, therefore.
Hiba Kalache (Lebanon), pitched in a swirl of absurdity, 2020, mixed media on canvas, 125 x 107 cm, Courtesy of Saleh Barakat Gallery
Apart from the British initiative Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN), there would not be, to our knowledge, a “gendered” claim, a feminist artistic
current or the display of a difference compared to the artist. male.
This or that woman artist has here and there affirmed her femininity or
even her feminine preference, but not to the point of nourishing a
“current”. Conversely, many artists strive to put their origins or
their gender in the background, preferring to express themselves in
their work, their creations and their inspirations.They are above all artists, which will be confirmed by this first edition of MENART FAIR.
Wijdan (Jordan), Walah, 2015, Murano glass,
29 x 19 x 7 cm, Courtesy of Wadi Finan Art Gallery
Delecroix Tabatabaei (Iran), Amour, 2016, acrylic on paper,
98 cm, Courtesy of the artist and Shirin Art Gallery
MENART FAIR thanks for their support :
Cornette de Saint Cyr – 6 avenue Hoche – 75008 Paris Tel : +33 1 47 27 11 24
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Sanitary measures implemented by Cornette de Saint Cyr & MENART FAIR
In accordance with current
French regulations, strict sanitary measures are put in place to
guarantee the health and safety of all visitors :
– Hands-free ticketing
– One-way circuit in the fair
– Wearing masks is compulsory
– Availability of hydro-alcoholic gel
– Real-time monitoring of site saturation.
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