Generation: Contemporary Art From Saudi Arabia
Minnesota St. Project // Ever Gold [Projects], Atrium, Galleries 104 & 200
1275 MINNESOTA ST
AUG 11–SEP 6, 2016
Opening Party Thursday, August 11
7pm & 8pm: Performances by Ahaad Alamoudi
7:30pm: Performance by Nugamshi
Artist Talks with Sarah Thornton Saturday, August 13
GENERA#ION: Contemporary Art from Saudi Arabia, presents San Francisco’s first exhibition of contemporary art from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This timely, cross-generational survey of artists working at the center of the Islamic world, opens on August 11th and runs until September 6, 2016.
Featured artists include: Sarah Abu Abdallah, Ahaad Alamoudi, Njoud Alanbari, Ahmad Angawi, Dana Awartani, Ayman Yossri Daydban, Manal Al Dowayan, Abdulnasser Gharem, Ajlan Gharem, Masameer, Nugamshi, Shaweesh, Rashed Al Shashai, Dhafer Al Shehri, and Telfaz 11.
GENERA#ION marks the third stop on a multi-city Saudi artist’s tour of the United States, and is supported by The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (iThra) in partnership with prominent Saudi artists. The tour, which launched earlier this summer at the Station Museum in Houston, Texas before traveling to Aspen, Colorado, aims to generate people-to-people dialogue and a better understanding between the two nations. Following a run at Minnesota Street Project in San Francisco, the tour will continue to Bates College Museum of Art in Lewiston, Maine and other major cities across the country.
As the world’s media reports a resurgent tide of religious intolerance and conflict, a tight-knit group of Saudi artists, both men and women, have acted upon a dream to discover the people and the diversity of America—from the East to West coast. Trekking across the U.S interstate highway system and major cities, these artists are on a mission to share not only their innate passion to create but also to learn from the local public’s reactions to their artworks.
As Abdulnasser Gharem, founder of Gharem Studio and a driving force behind the tour, comments, “The artists in this show present a new intellectual paradigm that utilizes unique concepts and terminology to define the artists’ role within their society and their generation. Rather than analyzing art and society separately, the artists confront art as a reflection of society, positioning themselves as its mirrors.”
San Francisco has always welcomed marginalized groups and outsider voices. Since the 1950s, the Bay area has attracted influential artists, poets and thinkers and been the incubator for some of the great generational movements of their time. More recently, technological innovation and a cultural renaissance in the heart of downtown have once again put the ‘City of Rebels’ on the world stage. It now seems fitting that San Francisco welcomes these outsider artists from Saudi Arabia, very much the pioneers of their generation, willing to address cultural norms and taboos and their societal impact. In traveling to the U.S. at this time, they are defying mainstream expectations, reaching out directly to bridge the divide across the most contested political and ideological border of our time. This exhibition represents a unique opportunity for the people of San Francisco to enter into a meaningful dialogue with these artists at this crucial time.
The tour is spearheaded by Dr Khalid Al-Yahya, Programs Director at the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, Saudi’s premier arts, culture and education institution, and will incorporate exhibitions and events at partner cultural institutions and universities across the U.S. Dr Al-Yahya comments, “We at the Center are delighted to connect these young Saudi artists with U.S audiences, at this crucial time. The tour aims to create a platform for alternative dialogue and cultural empathy between communities.”