From Barcelona to Abu Dhabi

2 February – 17 March (Daily from 9am - 8pm )


Date 2 February – 17 March 2018 (Daily from 9am - 8pm)
Venue Manarat Al Saadiyat

From Barcelona to Abu Dhabi: Works from the MACBA Art Collection in dialogue with the Emirates

An exhibition showcasing highlights from the MACBA collection, one of the most significant in Southern Europe, in dialogue with artworks by 20 Emirati artists. Lead by MACBA’s Director, Ferran Barenblit, and in partnership with co-curator Nasser Abdullah, Chairman of the Emirates Fine Arts Society, the exhibition proposes a journey that allows us to think about the role of art in contemporaneity. A place for ideas and emotions, a place to be and to share, where life could be more livable. The point of departure is what defines us as humans: who we are, how we grow up, how we perceive the world. The exhibition focuses on our common rules of life in our cities and the way in which we relate to our natural environment. Finally, we will look at art itself, and its capacity to transmit ideas.

In Partnership with Manarat Al Saadiyat

Activities and programmes

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Daily Exhibition Guided Tour
Daily from 2 February – 17 March 2018
11am-12pm | 2pm-3pm | 3pm-4pm
Manarat Al Saadiyat
No registration required

Curator’s Tour
Friday 2 Feb | 3 – 4:30 pm
Gallery A, Manarat Al Saadiyat
Curator Ferran Barenblit (Director, MACBA) and co-curator Nasser Abdullah (Chairman, Emirates Fine Arts Society) lead a tour of the exhibition, discussing their collaborative curatorial project, and giving audiences insight into the works – from Lawrence Weiner’s massive linguistic equation and Juan Muñoz’ unsettling figures to Hassan Sharif’s woven forms, Ammar Al Attar’s intimate street photography and Ebtisam Abdul Aziz’ contorting black figure. The tour will cover the exhibition’s nine decades, 72 artists and diversity of mediums, exploring some of the most pioneering visual arts of the 20th and 21st centuries.
The curators will be joined by Abu Dhabi-born and New York-based artist, photographer and musician Farah Al Qasimi whose works examining urban environments, labour and cycles of consumption can be found in the exhibition. Farah will discuss her work and her recent residency, supported by Abu Dhabi Festival and Maraya Art Centre, at the Delfina Foundation, London.

Rope, Paper, Scissors – Getting Inspired by Hassan Sharif
Sunday 4 Feb | Two sessions: 5–7 pm and 7–9 pm Art Studio, Manarat Al Saadiyat
Children: all ages
Hassan Sharif was known for his transformative use of commonplace and everyday objects. In this workshop, kids will get inspired by materials from the world around them, learning about the Emirati artist’s process to create their own vivid and inventive works.

Sharp Tools – Reflecting on Filmmaking and Friendship
Sunday 4 Feb | 7 pm
Auditorium, Manarat Al Saadiyat
‘Sharp Tools’ not only tells the story of the pioneering artist Hassan Sharif, it also traces the confidences of creative friendship and collaboration. Emirati director Nujoom Al Ghanem will share excerpts from the documentary, discussing her work as a filmmaker and the challenges and privileges of creating this intimate portrait. Nujoom will be joined by Mohammed Kazem, a prominent Emirati artist and student of Hassan Sharif and Nasser Abdullah, co-curator of the exhibition and Chairman of the Emirates Fine Arts Society.
The talk will be followed by an exhibition tour.

Express Art!
Tuesdays, 11am –12pm: February 6, 13, 20, 27 | March 6, 13
Fridays, 2 – 3pm: February 9, 16, 23 | March 2, 9, 16
Gallery A, Manarat Al Saadiyat
Ages: 6+
Dive into the exhibition every Tuesday and Saturday with activities for children and tours for adults.
Kids will investigate MACBA’s portable art box, a treasure trove crammed with intriguing and inventive objects from the museum’s collection. Each piece in the box will spark ideas, conversation and debates, introducing works and concepts from the exhibition.
For the grown-ups, join the exhibition trail, a highlights tour of nine decades of works, exploring the concepts of ‘Figure’, ‘Environment’ and ‘Form’ as major moments of modern and contemporary art history are introduced.

‘Less Sticks, More Bricks’ | Construction for Kids
Saturday, 10 Feb, two sessions: 11–1 pm; 1–3 pm
Workshop Area, Manarat Al Saadiyat
Ages 12–15
Meet Shaikha Al Mazrou and hear about her epic sculptures, full of tension and balance – including ‘Balance I’ – one of the exhibition’s most astonishing works. Using wooden skewers and bricks, children will learn how to imagine and create their own constructions, exploring basic building skills and getting hands on with ideas from minimalism and conceptual art.
Limited places

Street Photography Walk
Saturday, 17 Feb, 1–5 pm
Meeting point: Reception Desk, Gallery A, Manarat Al Saadiyat, visiting works in the exhibition before embarking on a walking tour of Downtown Abu Dhabi
Ages 15+
A photographer and mixed media artist, Ammar Al Attar’s practice documents and translates the everyday, using these observations as vivid, research records of life in the Emirates. Join him on a street photography walk through Abu Dhabi to encounter the daily life of the city, seeing new perspectives on its people and places. Learn how to see and record stories in the world around you and hear from Ammar on how to skillfully and subtly approach public photography. Make sure to bring your camera or phone camera, as well as good walking shoes!
Limited places

‘From Sharjah to Abu Dhabi’ | Two Emirates, Two Exhibitions, One Curator
Saturday, 24 Feb, 11am – 6pm
Day-long activity – meeting point: Sharjah Art Museum Main Entrance, 11 am
Meet Nasser Abdullah, co-curator of ‘From Barcelona to Abu Dhabi’ and join him for a day trip between the Emirates with tours of two exhibitions. Begin at the Sharjah Art Museum with a visit to the 35th Annual Exhibition of the Emirates Fine Arts Society, before travelling to Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi for ‘From Barcelona to Abu Dhabi’.
Return bus transportation from Sharjah to Abu Dhabi provided free of charge.

Drawing Rhapsody – Form and Harmony: free-hand drawing workshop with live oud music
Wednesday, 28 Feb, 11am – 1pm
Gallery A, Manarat Al Saadiyat
Mattar Bin Lahej’s work synthesises music, collective and personal cultural contexts in an elegant harmony of form and material. In a specially staged, teacher-led drawing experience, encounter this Emirati artist’s work with live oud accompaniment.
Limited places

Panel Discussion: ‘Collecting Contemporary Art – Public Vs. Private in Europe and the Middle East’
Friday, 9 March, 6:30 – 8:00 pm
Auditorium, Manarat Al Saadiyat
Barcelona-based art critic and curator Montse Badia, an expert on the MACBA Collection, will be joined by a UAE-based collector with a regional perspective to discuss contemporary collecting contexts. They’ll explore European and Middle Eastern perspectives, from the public to the private, considering both traditional models and the innovations of the 21st century.

Art Trilogy: Figure, Environment, Form
Workshop with Al Anood Al Obaidly
Saturday, 3 March 2–4 pm
Art Studio
Ages: 10–15
In her practice, Emirati artist Al Anood Al Obaidly uses everyday things to consider how objects become invested with meaning and how they accumulate to shape our physical and emotional environments. She shares this material preoccupation with the late artist Hassan Sharif – both observing and processing the transformation of objects into subjects and art. Join her as she explores the exhibition’s three themes through exercises with found materials, with approaches that also pay special tribute to the work of Sharif.

‘From Barcelona to Abu Dhabi’: The End of the Journey – Final Co-Curator’s Tour
Saturday, 17 March, 6–7 pm
Gallery A, Manarat Al Saadiyat
A farewell look at the exhibition with co-curator Nasser Abdullah (Chairman, Emirates Fine Arts Society). A last chance to encounter some of the most pioneering works of the 20th and 21st centuries, exhibited for the first time in the Arab world in a curator-lead exploration of nine-decades of works by 72 artists, with a special focus on the 20 Emirati artists in dialogue with the MACBA collection.