First edition of Sharjah Architecture Triennial 

First edition of Sharjah Architecture Triennial 

The Sharjah Architecture Triennial is the first major platform to invite dialogue on architecture and urbanism in the Middle East, North and East Africa, South and Southeast Asia. The inaugural edition opens in November 2019 curated by Adrian Lahoud with the theme of Rights of Future Generations. Inherent in this theme is a commitment to address climate change as the most urgent challenge facing humanity today.

The Triennial is pleased to announce Ambassador Lumumba Di-Aping as the chair of the Rights of Future Generations Working Group, a forum for dialogue and advocacy on behalf of future generations who will bear the burden of climate impact. Additionally, as part of the Triennial’s wider programming, an Environment & Ecology Forum will be held in Sharjah on 15 March exploring how particular environmental contexts and conditions in the Global South produce unique relationships between human beings and ecosystems.

The 2019 edition of the Triennial has invited Di-Aping, who represented developing countries as Chairman of the G77+China at the December 2009 Copenhagen climate change conference, to bring together United Nations representatives, government officials, international rights groups, and members of relevant civil society organizations. The Working Group’s mission is to advance the protection of future generations’ fundamental rights in a world where climate change is dramatically shifting along socio-economic, legal, gender, racial and political dimensions. Through examining the quality and form of life as it is experienced today and as it will be experienced in the future, the Rights of Future Generations Working Group will collaboratively produce The Sharjah Charter to be presented at The Sharjah Summit at the Triennial. Members of the Working Group will be announced in September 2019.

Al-Qasimiyah School, Al-Manakh, Sharjah. Credit: Sharjah Architecture Triennial.

A part of this programme is the upcoming 15 March forum on the subject of Environment & Ecology, the third in a series organized around Housing & Domesticity and Schooling & Education; along with an upcoming forum on Diasporic Networks, these make up the major research strands within the Triennial’s theme. The 15 March forum interrogates climate change as a consequence of societies that have learned to see other living beings as little more than resources to be exploited. Speakers are confirmed as Dalal Alsayer, Ph.D. Candidate in History and Theory of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania; Samia Henni, Assistant Professor at the College of Architecture, Art and Planning at Cornell University; and Marina Tabassum, founder of Marina Tabassum Architects and 2016 winner of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.

Aerial view of Corniche Street and Al Mujarrah neighborhood. Photograph by Ieva Saudargaitė. Credit: Sharjah Architecture Triennial.

Responding to the unique circumstances that architects, scholars, planners and artists in the post-colonial Middle East, North and East Africa, South, and Southeast Asia face, Rights of Future Generations  initiates the Sharjah Architecture Triennial’s mission to serve as a space for dialogue that supports an emerging generation of architects drawn from across the Global South and their diaspora.

Philippe Gravier presents Parent & Kuma at FIAC

Philippe Gravier presents Parent & Kuma at FIAC

Galerie Philippe Gravier will be exhibiting the sculptural works of French sculptor Claude Parent as well as Japanese architect Kengo Kuma for the very first time on the most iconic of all Parisian squares: the Place de la Concorde. The location is a development of the FIAC Hors les Murs promenade in the Jardin des Tuileries, and the architectural project presents a combination of historic and contemporary architecture and artists’ houses. Around 40 sculptures and installations will be presented in situ, within a number of locations around Paris including the Petit Palais, around the Grand Palais, and on Avenue Winston Churchill.

The fascinating selection of artworks scattered around Paris gives artists and galleries an opportunity to enter into dialogue with historically rich Parisian heritage, at the same time giving passersby an opportunity to engage with art against a beautiful scenic backdrop.

Claude Parent: Blending Form and Function

Philippe Gravier presents Parent & Kuma at FIAC

The French-born Claude Parent (b. 1923 – 2016) is one of France’s most renowned architects on the international art scene, admired by many, particularly that of Jean Novel. Parent was the founding father of the ‘Function of the Oblique’, alongside friend Paul Virilio, which established a new relationship with the ground based on instability and irregularity. He believed that buildings should feature slopes, ramps and angles, be wall-free wherever possible and have a predominance of space over the surface; it is these qualities that embody the piece Les Ilots that will be installed at Place de la Concorde. Irregular, discontinuous forms and sloping lines are remarkably combined. Les Ilots is composed of steel and aluminum, which are at once objects of furniture design as well as sculpture.

Kengo Kuma: An Alternative Experience between Architecture and Landscape

Philippe Gravier presents Parent & Kuma at FIAC

The Japanese born Kengo Kuma (b. 1954 – present) provides a new perspective between bamboo, traditional Japanese wood, paper, and textiles. He lives and works between Paris and Tokyo, and the heritage of Japanese culture and the modernity of contemporary architectural forms inform his discourse in perfect harmony with nature. The artwork that will be presented at Place de la Concorde entitled OWAN introduces rhythm and diversity into spatial experiments. The piece was influenced by a variety of materials including a traditional Japanese tea bowl and fish scales, creating its multifaceted outcome. By fusing the metal with its natural environment, a contour that is never defined, OWAN combines the indoor with the outdoor creating a nomadic, modular, and durable artwork that introduces a sense of rhythm to the landscape in which it is placed.


Post-War Italian Art: Tornabuoni at Frieze Master’s

Post-War Italian Art: Tornabuoni at Frieze Master’s

Tornabuoni Gallery was founded in 1981 in Florence (Italy) by Roberto Casamati, specializing in Italian art of the 20th century. Spanning across Europe and the United Kingdom, the gallery has spaces in Florence, Milan, Forte Dei Marmi (Italy), Paris (France), London (UK) and Crans Montana (Switzerland). For its third consecutive year, TornabuoniArt will be returning to Frieze Master’s (4th – 7th October) in London at Regents Park. Aiding the discovery of several thousands of years of art in a unique contemporary context, Frieze Masters will feature more than 130 leading modern and historical galleries from around the world, showcasing art from the ancient era and Old Masters to the late 20th century. Running parallel to the fair at their London space, TornabuoniArt will be exhibiting a selection of works by the artist Afro Basaldella entitled ‘Afro: Gesture, Line and Colour: The Makings of an Abstract Expressionist’.

Spotlighting the best of 20th Century Italian Art


Tornabuoni presents Italian Post-War at Frieze Master’s

GIUSEPPE-CAPOGROSSI, Superficie 266, 1951-54, oil on canvas 65×50-cm

Amongst the 9 artists that will be presented at the fair perhaps one of the most notable is Lucio Fontana (b. 1899 – 1968), who focussed his artistic principles around the concepts of time and space, contributing to the aesthetic movement Spacialism. Following this Fontana started making holes on the surfaces of his paintings, deepening his spacial research, and imparting a 3 dimension to his paintings by working on them as a sculpture. His works were all different versions invariably entitled Concetto Spaziale.

Enrico Castellani (b. 1930 – present) , also presented at the fair, was closely acquainted with Fontana, along with Vincenzo Agnetto and Piero Manzoni. These key figures of the Italian avant-garde strongly protested against Informal Art and wanted to develop a new pictorial language. Castellani rejected mimetic art and believed that light, shadow, and space had to be included in the painting without being actually represented with descriptive means. He created his first Superficie, now emblematic of his work, as an answer to his ideas. These works consist of monochrome paintings pushed and lifted with hidden nails behind the canvas. Castellani still give relief to plane surfaces and creates striking light and shadow games.

Another iconic artist one gets to awe at amongst the masterpieces at the fair is Piero Dorazio, who, after a break with figurative painting, contributed to the Forma I manifesto in 1947, alongside Pietro Consagra, Achille Perelli, Carla Accardi and Julio Turcato. Markedly inspired by futurism and expressing leftist political views, the manifesto strongly contrasted with socialist realism, as illustrated by Renato Guttuso. It signaled Dorazio’s full embrace of abstract art and served as a guideline for the rest of his work. Dorazio pursued his career with a cubist approach, then futurism, with bright, contrasting colors. Although his work can appear scattered, the guiding principle remains the movement of the hand, which also serves as a basis for color and light.


Tornabuoni presents Italian Post-War at Frieze Master’s

PIERO DORAZIO Jeux de distance, 1962 oil on canvas, 81×100 cm

Female Representation

Carla Accardi (b.1924 – 2014), was a key figure in the Italian abstract art of the latter half of the 20th century, she also contributed to the Forma I manifesto in 1947. In the early 1950s, she was the only woman represented in a number of shows and exhibitions featuring Alberto Burri, Lucio Fontana, and Mattia Moreni. During that period she worked with an incredibly limited palette, almost monochrome and minimalist, in response to Jackson Pollock’s action painting. Her chromatic dynamism had a major influence on the Arte Povera movement, both in Italy and Europe.

The full list of artists at the fair include Giuseppe Capogrossi, Alberto Burri, Libio Basaldella Afro, Lucio Fontana, Salvatore Scarpitta, Enrico Castellani, Piero Dorazio, Carla Accardi and Mario Ceroli.

Tornabuon Art will also be present at FIAC, Paris (18th – 21st October) where they will be exhibiting the art of Giorgio Morandi, Lucio Fontana, Emilio Vedova, Piero Dorazio, Enrico Castellani, Dadamaino, Agostino Bonalumi, Alberto Biasi, Alighiero Boetti, Paolo Scheggi, Pier Paolo Calzolari, and Mikayel Ohanjanyan. Their Paris space will be dedicated to a show exhibiting the works of Alberto Burri, who will also be present at their booth during Frieze Masters.