A project for mother and daughter team Mouna and Shireen, the Atassi Foundation is providing a much-needed platform for Syrian artists, from the displaced and diaspora to those who have helped define the country’s art
When the Atassi family left their native Syria for Dubai in 2012, many longstanding colleagues from the art world might have assumed that the opening of a new gallery would be in....
The inaugural exhibition at Concrete highlights the trajectories and shifts of art movements in Syria and its socio-cultural histories, from the early 20th century until the present day
The inaugural show at Alserkal Avenue’s Concrete brings Syrian art out from the shadows, focusing on portraits and figurative works from the Atassi Foundation
Alserkal Avenue opens its new multi-disciplinary venue Concrete during Dubai’s Art Week with an exhibition of Modern Syrian art from the collection of the Atassi Foundation.
Syria: Into the Light will be the foundation’s largest-ever exhibition and its first in the MENA region. Curated by
For decades Syrian art was underrepresented internationally in fairs and exhibitions, with few books or specialist curators and no collector base to match that...
In 1986, Mouna Atassi and her sister Mayla opened a small bookshop in their home city of Homs in Syria. Soon it was so popular that they opened a gallery in the attic that functioned not only as an exhibition space, but also as an important gathering place for intellectuals, critics and artists.
Fateh Moudarres, Elias Zayat, Nazir Nabaa and Ahmad Draq Sibai were some of the regular visitors and the Atassis began to collect artworks.
The sisters went their separate ways in the 1990s, with Mayla opening Green Art Gallery in Dubai and Mouna moving her gallery to Damascus, but they.....
One is unable at times to understand what is going on in Syria in light of the flood of daily news stories, as in every war, waste a lot of humanitarian details in the midst of death and destruction, hunger and oppression.
Here lies the importance of art more than ever, Regardless of whether a photograph or a painting or a film or a carved image, commemorates the event or a moment in a humane art touch the emotions more than numbers and statistics, and in a language addressing any person whatever moved away from the Syrian affairs. For the director of Atassi Foundation for Arts and Culture, Shireen Atassi, the role of art in this stage is to give a pretty civilized image of the Syrian people, away from the war, displacement, and massacres.
It was November 2012 when Mona Atassi and her family watched Syria fall apart. They had understood then that a return was not possible, at least not for years. In those grim moments, Atassi, a stalwart figure of the Syrian and Arab art scenes, felt that she had to set up a foundation to safeguard modern and contemporary Syrian art.
"I just knew I had to do this, it was like a light went on," she recalls. "I wanted to establish something to support and encourage Syrian art, far from the insanity that we were and are still seeing."
This year Art Dubai progresses beyond its infancy stage. Now in its tenth edition the fair is no longer the new kid on the block but still attracts large crowds, established artists and takes on in artistic form some of the challenges that are shaping today’s world.
Atassi Foundation’s inaugural project, A Syrian Chronology, will first be shown as part of Art Dubai Projects (16 - 19 March 2016). Produced by Syrian film director Hala Alabdalla and artist Khaled Barakeh, the commissioned mixed media installation will utilize the Foundation’s extensive archival material from Atassi Gallery’s 30 year history to weave together the story of art in Syria.