Barjeel Art Foundation Collection

Imperfect Chronology - Mapping the Contemporary II

  • An image of a video work by Lawrence Abu Hamdan,

    Lawrence Abu Hamdan, The All Hearing, 2014. Video, 12:42 minutes. Image courtesy Galeri NON and Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah.

  • Etel Adnan, Champs de Petrol, 2013, wool 159 x 200 cm website

    Etel Adnan, Champs de Petrol (Petrol Fields), 2013, Image courtesy of Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Barjeel Art Foundation

  • GCC Collective, Micro Council, 2013, Wood, brass, acrylic glass, glass web

    GCC, Micro Council, 2013, Image courtesy of Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Barjeel Art Foundation

  • Lawrence Abu Hamdan, The All-hearing, 2014, video web

    Lawrence Abu Hamdan, The All-Hearing, 2014, Image courtesy of Galeri NON, Barjeel Art Foundation

Past Exhibition

Imperfect Chronology: Mapping the Contemporary II

23 August 2016 – 8 January 2017

The display Imperfect Chronology: Mapping the Contemporary II focuses on the theme of mapping geographies, examining the notion of statehood and exploring how artists engage with the rapidly expanding cities of the Arab region.

Drawn from the Barjeel Art Foundation collection of modern and contemporary Arab art, this is the final display in a year-long series at the Whitechapel Gallery.

Artists featured include Lawrence Abu HamdanEtel AdnanMarwa Arsanios, Ali Cherri, Manal Al Dowayan, Sadik Al Fraji, GCC Collective, Susan Hefuna, Iman Issa, Jumana MannaSophia Al-Maria and Zineb Sedira.

Read More

In Proposal for a Crystal Building (2003), Iman Issa (b. 1979) imagines a shimmering and fragile glass monument for Tahrir Square in Cairo, while Jumana Manna (b. 1987) appropriates a limestone porch from disputed territories in East Jerusalem, re-contextualising it in the gallery.

A large abstract tapestry by Etel Adnan (b. 1925) and a series of photographs by Zineb Sedira (b. 1963) reveal the intricate networks and trade routes that make up the global oil and sugar industries.

GCC Collective, Micro Council, 2013, Wood, brass, acrylic glass, glass web


Sat 22 Oct, 11.30am-6pm
Considering the themes raised in the Barjeel Art Foundation collection displays with speakers including Sultan Al Qassemi.

An image of the Barjeel Art Foundation Collection Catalogue.


A fully illustrated catalogue edited by curator Omar Kholeif maps a genealogy of modern and contemporary Arab art. Price: £24.99


This series of four chronological displays from the Barjeel Art Foundation collection continues the Whitechapel Gallery’s programme opening up rarely seen art collections to the public.

Display 1: Debating Modernism I

8 September – 6 December 2015

Debating Modernism I explores the emergence and subsequent development of an Arab art aesthetic through drawings and paintings from the early twentieth century.

Display 2: Debating Modernism II

<strong>15 December 2015 – 17 April 2016</strong>

<a href=””>Debating Modernism II</a> focuses on figurative works of art produced between 1968 and 1987.

Display 3: Mapping the Contemporary I

26 April – 14 August 2016

Mapping the Contemporary I presents photography and video works made between 1990 and 1998.

Display 4: Mapping the Contemporary II

<strong>23 August 2016 – 8 January 2017</strong>

<a href=””>Mapping the Contemporary II</a> explores how artists using various media artistically engage with the cities where they either live or work.

Find out more

See the press release

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