DUBAI: Galleria Continua, one of the art world’s best-known contemporary art galleries, has launched a new exhibition in Dubai’s iconic Burj Al-Arab hotel, titled “New Wave.”
The show, which will run until Sept. 1, features works by a roster of acclaimed international artists, including Yoan Capote, Loris Cecchini, Nikhil Chopra, Anish Kapoor, Ornaghi & Prestinari, Giovanni Ozzola, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Manuela Sedmach, Serse, and Pascale Marthine Tayou.
With spaces in Italy, China and Brazil, among other countries, the gallery is no stranger to international audiences, but this show is particularly special as it pays tribute to its host city.
The art on show works to shine a light on the history of the UAE and more specifically the Burj Al-Arab and its position on a man-made island in the Arabian Gulf.
“We had an idea of paying tribute to the iconic architecture of the Burj Al-Arab, the building that is significant to the history of the city which put Dubai on the international map two decades ago,” co-founder of the gallery Lorenzo Fiaschi told Arab News. “The lush interior design of the hotel, developed by Khuan Chew, took inspiration from the four elements: Water, air, earth and fire. The new series of our exhibitions respond to this theme, with the first chapter of the series focusing on water and showcasing the works by the gallery artists related to the theme.”
For example, the site-specific installation Waterbones (2022) by Italian artist Loris is located in the center of the gallery space and represents particles of water. The structure of the work, which consists of hundreds of steel modules, responds to and contrasts with the undulating arabesque curves of the hotel.
Another work by Cameroon-born Pascale Marthine Tayou takes a more humanitarian approach. Titled “Lampedusa D” (2016) the artist uses glass marbles to compose a picture of an abstract landscape of waves and floating figures. It represents the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, renowned for its picturesque beaches but also as the landing point for refugees seeking asylum in the EU after days of dangerous sailing in the Mediterranean Sea.
“The title ‘New Wave’ is also (reflective of) the growing aspirations for contemporary art in the region, which we are witnessing now. Galleria Continua has a long presence in Dubai, we have been participating at the Art Dubai fair since its first edition in 2008,” Fiaschi said. “We can see the new exciting energy in the city. We believe that the group of artists that we selected for this show will appeal to our existing collectors, as well as new audiences.”
From internationally acclaimed artists such as Anish Kapoor and Michelangelo Pistoletto, to the emerging scene represented by Italian duo Ornaghi & Prestinari, as well as artists with a deep connection with the region such as Nikhil Chopra, “New Waves” reflects Dubai as a growing crossroads for international art.