First edition of Bahrain Art Week in Paris

First edition of Bahrain Art Week in Paris

“The Legacy and the Contemporary Memory”, the exhibition of Bahraini contemporary artists, takes places at the Grand Palais in Paris on September 13 – 15, 2018. The exhibition, making part of the Bahrain Art Week in France, presents a wide range of thematics, styles, and generations of Bahraini art: from religious art to contemporary social critique, from post-impressionism to digital art, from post-war generation to millennials. 

Since its creation in 2016, Bahrain Art Week, created by Kaneka Subberwal ArtSelect , aims to promote Bahraini contemporary art to meet the needs of an international community of collectors discovering talent. The English, Russian and Indian edition of Bahrain Art Week have already had success in 2016 and 2017: a selection of 15 Bahraini artists has already been presented in London at the Victoria & Albert Museum in 2016 and the Saatchi Gallery in 2017. In the same year, ArtBAB became the participant of the Cosmoscow contemporary art fair in Russia as well as in India during the 2017 and 2018 India Art Fair. Bahrain Art Week was launched soon after the creation of the Art Bahrain contemporary art fair.

“ArtBAB is a platform that connects international galleries with established and emerging artists of Bahrain, widening the outreach to collectors in the region,”

Art Bahrain Across Borders (ArtBAB) contemporary art fair had been created by Kaneka Subberwal under the patronage of Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa of Bahrain. Curated by Jonathan Watkins and Alistair Hicks, ArtBAB aims at pivoting galleries, artists, and collectors towards the country, establishing a more pronounced connection between Bahraini art and the global art market. “ArtBAB is a platform that connects international galleries with established and emerging artists of Bahrain, widening the outreach to collectors in the region,” states Subberwal. In 2017, ArtBAB saw 60 participants from Bahrain, the UAE, India, Ukraine, France, the USA and others across its three categories: Gallery arena boasting a cluster of international galleries, the ArtBAB Pavilion Artists (with free entry for Bahraini artists), and General Entry Artists. The stellar line-up included New York-based artist Bradley Theodore, known for his paintings Queen Elizabeth and Pyramid, and a piece by Turner Prize-winning English artist Keith Tyson.

ArtBAB 2018 will also see the return of the not-for-profit exhibition space that featured the Floating World exhibition this year with 32 large-scale installations screening films by a great number of international artists. “Floating World made ArtBAB 2017 unique,” says Watkins. “It was a not-for-profit factor in the art fair equation, ambitious in its range of moving imagery by some of the most important international artists working today, with a strong visual appeal. A kind of landscape lounge, it was an environment for all visitors to enjoy.”

The Grand Palais is a large historic site and museum complex located in Paris. The Construction of the Grand Palais began in 1897 following the demolition of the Palais de l’Industrie (Palace of Industry) as part of the preparation works for the Universal Exposition of 1900. For the 2011 Monumenta exhibition, sculptor Anish Kapoor was commissioned to create the temporary indoor site-specific installation, Leviathan, an enormous (ca. 775,000 square feet) structure that filled half of the main exhibition hall of the Grand Palais. 

Kaneka Subberwal invited Corinne Timsit Art Advisory (CT2A) to be co-organizer and co-curator of Bahrain Art Week in Paris.

Founded by Corinne Timsit and Eric Bonici in 2014 in Paris, CT2A is a media, events, and advisory company specialized in the contemporary art comprising two magazines, ARTPREMIUM and CORPORATE ART, an art advisory department, and an immersive online resource –

17 artists on show at the Grand Palais

Aysha AlMoayyed – Balqees Fakhro – Dr Ahmed Ahmed – Faika Al Hasan – Hala Kaiksow – Sayed Hasan Al Sari – Jamal Abdul Rahim – Mayasa Al Sowaidi – Mohamed Al Mahdi – Nabeela Al Khayer – Omar Al Rashed – Othman Khunji – Rawan Al Hosani – Salman AlNajem – Lulwa bint Abdulaziz Al Khalifa – Marwa Rashid Al Khalifa

When the Painting Becomes a Sound

When the Painting Becomes a Sound

The exhibition “Zao Wou-Ki – L’espace est Silence”, curated by Fabrice Hergott, is the first large exhibition of Zao Wou-Ki in Paris for the last 15 years. It assembled the large-scale paintings and drawings of the master of the abstract painting, who left a very significant trace in the history of European contemporary art.

Very ancient and omnipresent, the music was the first absolutely abstract artistic expression in the human history. For thousands of years, the music was inspiring creators of figurative painting. However, only modern artists dared for the first time to create an utterly abstract painting, capable of being so emotional and impressive as the music.

This utopical ambition firstly appeared in the early 1910’s with the first successful tentatives of some European artists (Wassily Kandinsky, Robert Delaunay, Kazimir Malevich, František Kupka and others) to create a brand new type of painting, capable of transmitting emotions and feelings with the use of non-figurative forms and colors. The more time passed, the more courageous the painters were in their search for an ideal and pure artistic expression. However, for many of them the music, an ancient art, remained the principal source of inspiration.


That was the case of Zao Wou-Ki (1920-2013), a Chinese-born artist, living in France since 1948, who is well-known today as one of the most influential abstract painters of the 20th century. Inspired by contemporary music and poetry, he succeeded to create artworks that impact the spectator as the music itself. The flow of colors and forms of his oils on canvas absorbs the viewer, allowing him to feel a rich gamma of emotions as if he was listening to a musical composition. In the same time, his artistic language is complex, with many references and undertones, that is why almost every painting or drawing of the artist is a multi-dimensional artwork, which can be rethought and reconstructed.

The elegant combination of western achievements of abstract painting with eastern calligraphic and picturesque traditions made Zao Wou-Ki an emblematic figure of the international art scene in the age of globalization. Inspired by his favorite western artists, like Monet or Matisse, he always had a specific eastern perception of their art and was capable of transcribing it on canvas or paper.

Zao Wou-Ki arrived in France in 1948. Sometime later he discovered French impressionist and post-impressionist art and also met a poet Henri Michaux and a contemporary composer Edgar Varèse, people, who significantly affected the young artist. That was a time when Zao Wou-Ki adopted a new artistic expression of the abstract painting, even if the term ‘abstract’ seemed to him too radical and inappropriate at the moment. In 1956, remaining under the influence of contemporary music and a new wave of American and French artists, Zao Wou-Ki created “Traversée des appearances” (oil on canvas, 97 x 195 cm), a masterpiece that determined a new, ‘non-figurative’ period in his artistic career.


Then, the talented artist started experimenting on a large canvas, developing his iconic style of abstract painting. Fascinated by music, he created in 1964 an artwork named “Hommage à Edgar Varèse – 25.10.64” (oil on canvas, 255 x 345 cm), a large canvas that absorbed the artist’s respect to the composer. This magnificent work illustrates the artist’s capability to depict even the music with its intangible vibrations and rhythm.

Dynamic or calm, colorful or nearly monochrome, rapturous our disturbing, Zao Wou-Ki’s art spoke to everyone. However, after transcending the boundaries of human expression, the artist did not stop and decided to transcend the time. His admiration for the Monet’s “Nymphéas” let him to the creation of “Hommage à Claude Monet, February-June 91” (oil on canvas, triptych, 1991, 194 x 483 cm), a quasi-figurative painting with an unusual combination of cold and warm colors. “Hommage à Matisse I – 02.02.86I” (oil on canvas, 1986, 162 x 130 cm) is a wholly different abstraction, which awakens some nostalgic memories due to monochrome stripes and emblematic palette.

Inspired by contemporary music and poetry, he succeeded to create artworks that impact the spectator as the music itself. The flow of colors and forms of his oils on canvas absorbs the viewer, allowing him to feel a rich gamma of emotions as if he was listening to a musical composition.

However, the most important artistic breakthrough was waiting for him ahead. Zao Wou-Ki newer stopped experimenting, and at the end of his career, he turned to Chinese ink drawings on a large-scale paper. Was it a new step in the evolution of abstract painting or the return to the origins –  the Chinese calligraphy, this new art helped Zao Wou-Ki to achieve an incredible freedom of expression and also to achieve the recognition of the drawing as part of the contemporary art market.

Artworks of the Chinese-born master of abstraction, exposed in the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, were crucial for the history of art, determining turning points of the artist’s career. He died in 2013, remaining one of the greatest artists of the past century, recognized by experts, collectors and the public.

Under the radar: STPI

Under the radar: STPI

ArtPremium had the chance to interview Emi Eu, director of STPI, a creative workshop and gallery located in Singapore. Exhibiting artists such as Anri Sala, Jane Lee, Do Ho Suh, Rirkrit Tiravanija and more, and celebrating their 15th Anniversary, STPI has position itself as a forward thinking organization working closely with public institutions.

15 years ago when STPI was inaugurated, the director struggled to convince artists to come over Singapore to participate in their residency programs. Now, after a long journey and having witnessed the globalization and booming of the contemporary art market, Eu affirms they no longer have to fight to persuade creators to come to the city. Aided by the national government – 20% of their annual budget is provided by them – STPI’s financial plan is a genuine model of a successful partnership between public and private sectors working together to position Singapore in the contemporary art radar. Another strategy they have been developing is to participate in international art fairs, “the art fairs are for us the best marketing platforms, as we are far aways from the culture centres such as London, Paris, or New York, we connect with the rest of the world”, stated Eu during our exchange.

But what is STPI’s objective and what distinguishes them from other galleries? Aside the financial scheme, the gallery focuses on working with artists that focus on paper and print making. “The artist must possess the caliber of working in a collaborative environment, he must be capable of taking advantage of all the resources we have for their disposition”, stated Eu. Artists such as Sun Xun, Ashley Bickerton, Philippe Parreno, Teresita Fernández, Haegue Yang, among others, have participated in their workshops. And yet, there are some artists that before working with STPI never worked on paper, STPI is therefore a laboratory for those creators.

Until November 11th 2017, STPI will be exhibiting the work of Alfredo and Isabel Aquilizan, a duo of artists breaking frontiers and experiments with the shapes of papers. We are eager to see what new will be the forthcoming projects of this unique space.


A Matter of Blood

Contemporary Israeli artist Sigalit Landau explores Judaic symbols and Israel’s history. Via her artistic practice, the audience understands and is instructed on the current state of mind of the artistic ecosystem.

Eamonn Doyle - "I, On , End"

After 20 years of hiatus, Eamonn Doyle has risen from the crowd with a fresh perspective to street photography. His work echoes the bustling sounds in the capital city of Ireland.

Motley’s the Only Wear

The collaborative duo Aziz + Cucher revitalises the historical tapestry in contemporary art, documenting the bleak realities of our modern world.

Prix Marcel Duchamp to Hadjithomas & Joreige

Prix Marcel Duchamp to Hadjithomas & Joreige

Prix Marcel Duchamp 2017 Joana Hadjithomas et Khalil Joreige ∏ Centre Pompidou, 2017, Audrey Laurans (9)

Prix Marcel Duchamp 2017 Joana Hadjithomas et Khalil Joreige – Centre Pompidou, 2017, Audrey Laurans


Once again the time has come to disclose the winner of the prestigious French award, the “ Prix Marcel Duchamp ” given by the ADIAF. This year’s edition has been bestowed to the Lebanese duo Joanna Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige. Both from an Arabic background, the pair collaborates producing documentaries and visual artworks conveying a “humanitarian message”, according to the director of the ADIAF Gilles Fuchs. This is the reason why the pair was awarded the prize, as their body of work is politically engaged; furthermore it depicts the blending of two cultures the French and the Lebanese.

The Prix Marcel Duchamp, created in 2000 was created to grant artists who chose to work in France international notoriety in order to position them in the contemporary art globalized world. Since its genesis, it has awarded artists such as Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Mircea Cantor, Kader Attia, Thomas Hirschhorn and more.

For the first time, alongside the financial aid (35 000 euros), the ADIAF gave the artists a sculpture made by Fabrice Hyber with “eau de Paris” symbolizing the playful spirit of Marcel Duchamp.


Inspiring Actions, Martin Schoeller at Paris Photo with Pernod Ricard

Inspiring Actions, Martin Schoeller at Paris Photo with Pernod Ricard

Elna Nordstrom - Pernod RicardAry_Ganeshalingam - Pernod RicardIlargi_Leturia_Ugarte - Pernod Ricard
Ary Ganeshalingam – Global Marketing Manager
Chivas Brothers Ltd – London, United Kingdom
© Martin Schoeller pour / for Pernod Ricard


Elna Nordström – Product Development Manager Operations.
The Absolut Company – Ahus, Sweden
© Martin Schoeller pour / for Pernod Ricard
Ilargi Leturia Ugarte – Global Brand Manager
Pernod Ricard Winemakers – San Sebastian, Spain
© Martin Schoeller pour / for Pernod Ricard

German photographer, Martin Schoeller worked conjointly with the French company Pernod Ricard to photograph some of the faces that constitute the company’s spectrum of employees.

The idea behind this project was to take 18 portraits of Pernod Ricard’s employees all over the world in order to show to the public the people who construct and expand the brand’s name. With the texture and light characterising Schoeller’s portraits, the photographer highlighted the brand’s work ethic and aimed at bearing witness of the importance of each employee. Every portrait is different and captures the detail of the person photographed, Schoeller thus highlights the uniqueness and beauty of the members of the company.

Pernod Ricard Group often calls upon contemporary artists to campaign with them to put under the spot their employees and their importance within the company. Among other artists who have participated we can cite Omar Victor Diop, Li Wei, Olaf Breuning, Vee Speers, Marco Lopez and more. Martin Schoeller  (b. 1968, Munich, works and live in New York City)  is the 42th artist invited to participate in this kind of project, perpetuating the tradition and bearing witness of Pernod Ricard’s commitment to contemporary art.

At the end of 2017, the campaign will be exhibited at Paris Photo 2017 international fair from 9  to 12 of November at the Grand Palais.. “This people are our ambassadors for our values and become a source of inspiration,” stated Olivier Cavil, director of communication for Pernod Ricard.

Printing the World at Centre Pompidou

Printing the World at Centre Pompidou

Imprimer le monde Achraf Touloub_Dessein Global 2015 (dÇtail) Impression 3 D photo Gilles Puyfages

Achraf Touloub, Dessein Global 2015 (deetail) Impression 3 D. Photo: Gilles Puyfages


The gallery 4 at the Centre Pompidou in Paris is currently presenting Printing the World, an exhibition taking place until the 3rd of July, exploring the 3D universe and its possibilities.

In 1984 the first 3D printer was patented by a French research group giving birth to a new era in the material world. Little had they known of the incommensurable possibilities that this machine had to offer, especially in the art world. The show presents approximately 40 artists, designers and architects conjointly questioning and using the 3D printer to create new and improbable objects.

Imprimer le monde Jon Rafman_New Age Demanded (Pocked), 2013_Courtesy de l'artiste

Jon Rafman, New Age Demanded (Pocked), 2013, Courtesy of the artist

From the macro world with creations such as Grotto II by Michael Hansmeyer and Benjamin Dillenburger, to the micro world where the 3D printer is utilised to print cells, this technology is revolutionizing the way we conceive art and its status. Unlike other techniques, the 3D printer can faithfully copy what is it told to reproduce, it enables artists, designers and craftsman to almost attain perfection. For instance, the designer Mathias Bengtsson has created a steady table mixing different materials.

Thus, what is the artist’s role in this universe? If the object can entirely be produce by a machine, where lies the future of art? Inventiveness is the key, for 3D remains a tool and not a threat for artists such as Jon Rafman who has conceived an odd – to say the least – universe with his 3D printed torsos and his animated videos. On the other hand, the transdisciplinary artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg recreated a 3D portrait from recollected chewed up gum, hairs and cigarette butts that people in New York city left unwittingly behind them.

Imprimer le monde University of Tokyo Advanced Design Studies Unit_Drawn Pavilion_2017

University of Tokyo Advanced Design Studies Unit Drawn Pavilion 2017


Once again artists and science converge in an effort to bring fresh and new proposals to the table. The exhibition, despite its shortness succeeds as preface of what is yet to come.



South Africa under the spotlight at the Venice Biennial

Two major artists, Candice Breitz and Mohau Modisakeng, are representing South Africa at the 57th edition of the Venice Biennale.

Artist to Watch: Kathy Lovas

In the manner of vernacular photography, artist photographer and major in Biology, Kathy Lovas analyzes images’ repercussion and role in our lives.

Building Bridges, Not Walls

Until the 25th of July 2017, the gallery Mayoral in Barcelona will be presenting Building Bridges, not Walls, a retrospective of the Spanish artist Manolo Millares curated by Alfonso de la Torre and Elena Sorokina.