Past Exhibitions

I Will See It, When I Believe It

I Will See It, When I Believe It

May 15 - July 27, 2019

I Will See It, When I Believe It, 2019, The Third Line, exhibition poster, 59.4 cm x 84.1 cm, offset print

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

The Breeze at Dawn Has Secrets to Tell You

September 24 - November 3, 2018

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Triangle Rainbow, 2018, Reverse plexiglass painting and mirror reverse glass painting on plaster and wood, 100 x 80 cm, Detail

Group Presentation

Frieze London 2018

October 4 - 7, 2018

The Third Line, Frieze London, 2018, Installation View

The Third Line is pleased to return to Frieze London with a group presentation of sculptural works by Hassan Hajjaj, Hayv Kahraman, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Rana Begum and Zineb Sedira. Through material manipulations of light, surface and memory, these five practitioners highlight how sculpture can define and disrupt physical, conceptual, and political spaces and reveal the aesthetic, intellectual and visceral dimensions of the medium.


Frieze New York 2018

May 3 - 6, 2018

SAM_Ziru #4, Murders Stars_Photographic Print on Fuji Crystal Archive Metallic/Pearl paper, with acrylic mounted on dibond_230x130cm

Pouran Jinchi

The Line of March

September 13 - October 21, 2017

Pouran Jinchi _The Line Of March _2017_The Third Line _Installation View _2

Curated by Dexter Wimberly

A Fast, Moving Sky

May 24 - July 25, 2017

Andrew Lyght, AF034 Drawing Structure, 2016 - 2017, Oak Frame, Oil Stick, Acrylic Paint and Primacolor Pencil on Plywood, Nylon Cords, 94 x 107 x 26 cm

Amir H. Fallah

Almost Home

May 24 - July 25, 2017


Fouad Elkoury

Suite Egyptienne

April 13 - May 16, 2017

Fouad Elkoury, Suite Egyptienne series, 2017, Installation View

Farhad Moshiri

Frieze New York 2017

May 5 - 7, 2017

Farhad Moshiri, 'Orange', Installation View

Sophia Al Maria


February 22 - April 1, 2017

Sophia Al Maria, EVERYTHING MUST GO, 2017, Installation View

Hassan Hajjaj

Hassan Hajjaj | Pop-Up Exhibition

10-17 February 2017

Hassan Hajjaj, Keziah Jones, 2011, Metallic Lambda Print On Dibond With Wood & Plastic Mat Frame, 136 x 101 cm

To celebrate GPP Photo Week 2017, The Third Line is pleased to present a pop-up exhibition with work by Hassan Hajjaj. The exhibition will show works from several of Hassan’s series, including My Rockstars: Volume 1 from 2012 and Noss Noss from 2007.

Much like Hajjaj’s personal exploration, the photographic series, is an on-going examination of belonging in an increasingly globalized society where boundaries of cultural identity – most notably African, Arabic and Western – are constantly being pushed. Using traditional mats and fabrics as well as found objects that he sources in local markets of his hometown Marrakech, Hajjaj bridges the gap between past and present and various cultures, creating pieces that seamlessly merge folkloric elements into Western contemporary art.


Golnaz Fathi

Gallery 1: Line | Khat

December 21, 2016 - January 28, 2017

Golnaz Fathi _Numbers 2013_pen On Chinese Paper (24 Double Sided Pages _20x 336cm _2

Alireza Masoumi

Gallery 2: Nowherescape

December 21, 2016 - January 28, 2017

Alireza Masoumi, Untitled, 2015, rollerball on paper, 28 x 35 cm

Laleh Khorramian

Gallery 1: Saturns Neckless

November 2 - December 10, 2016

Laleh Khorramian _Alien M1-2016_Monotype And Mixed Media On Polypropylene _66x 100cm _650

Sherin Guirguis

Gallery 2: El Beit El Kabir

November 2 - December 10, 2016

Sherin Guirguis _Formulations VI_2014_Mixed Media On Hand Cut Paper _50.8 X 45.7 Cm _650

Hayv Kahraman

Gallery 1: Audible Inaudible

September 18 – October 22, 2016

Hayv Kahraman, Get Directions (Right), 2016, Oil on linen, 89 x 89 cm

Slavs and Tatars

Gallery 2: Made in Germany

September 18 – October 22, 2016

Slavs and Tatars_Reverse Dschihad (Arabic and Russian)_Installation view



June 15 - July 16, 2016

TTLWTD-POSTER-50copies -2


Wednesdays - June 15, June 22, June 29 | 9PM - 10PM

For our Summer Programming, which coincides with Ramadan, we have invited WTD Magazine – an architecture and design publication based in Dubai – to curate our first edition of alternative programming at the new gallery space at Alserkal Avenue. 

Starting on the evening of June 15th, three gatherings will take place across three weeks, with a different word selected each time for deliberation by an intimate selection of thinkers belonging to varied fields. Three consecutive Wednesdays will see politicians, historians, healers, florists, and more, convening around a dining table and speaking upon the terms Mysticism, Materiality and Void.

The conversations will be spontaneous in format and content, but will be timed for short durations. Each evening will host up to 3-4 speakers and the cycle will start at 9PM sharp, running through an hour of inspired conversations. Throughout, small offerings of food and drinks, using Saffron as an ingredient, will be served to those in attendance.

More details of the event and speakers will be announced every week on our social media. The event is open to the public, and seating is open planned, so no RSVP is required.

June 15 | 9PM - 10PM: MYSTICISM 

June 22 | 9PM - 10PM: MATERIALITY 

June 29 | 9PM - 10PM: VOID


Also in Gallery 1: The Third Line is presenting works by Abbas Akhavan, Ala Ebtekar, Babak Golkar, Golnaz Fathi, Hayv Kahraman, Laleh Khorramian, Pouran Jinchi, Sara Naim, Slavs and Tatars, and Zineb Sedira, in conversation with this summer's programming.


Huda Lutfi

Magnetic Bodies: Imaging the Urban

April 25, 2016 - June 4, 2016

Huda Lutfi, The City Goes Pop (detail), 2015, photographs, acrylic and oil paint on wood panel, 105 x 201 x 5 cm

The Third Line is pleased to present Magnetic Bodies: Imaging the Urban, Huda Lutfi's second solo show in Dubai. The exhibition, which includes photo-collage, sculpture, installation and video works, is part of an on-going exploration which cross-examines the urban sprawl of Cairo through the lens of Huda as an artist and an historian. New works are presented alongside seminal pieces to delineate the teeming, spilling multitudes that comprise the chaotic fabric of the city. The layered visuals, marked with elements such as plastic mannequins juxtaposed against blue skies and archaeological cross-sections of the megalopolis, create surreal landscapes—suspending the idiosyncrasies and impossibilities of urbanity in unchartered space and time.

The use of the doll iconography began early in Huda's career with her Found in Cairo (2006) and Arayess series (2006), which explored the effects of globalization on the production of local cultural objects and traditions. Since then, she has employed the figure of the doll repeatedly to explore the objectification and imposed modes of identity construction of the body. In the newer works, Huda explores the rich mannequin culture of Cairo and ties it to the personal and public politics that colonize a constantly evolving cityscape. Using photography as a medium of documentation, she creates bodily re-combinations through bricolage and photomontage techniques. Following 2011, Huda has incorporated more of her own photography into her collage works; inspired by the events in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the need to document became more urgent. Ever since then, Huda has employed the photographic medium to generate repeated copies of the mass-produced mannequins—an uncanny doubling that lends her work a surreal historicism. 

Press Release

Hassan Hajjaj

Gallery 1: La Salle de Gym des Femmes Arabes

March 14 - April 16, 2016

Hassan Hajjaj, La Salle de Gym des Femmes Arabes, 2016, Installation view

Sara Naim

Gallery 2: When Heartstrings Collapse

March 14 - April 16, 2016

Sara Naim, When Heartstrings Collapse, 2016, Installation view


Art Dubai 2016

March 16 - 19, 2016

Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Two Suns in a Sunset [03], 2010, digital print on photographic paper with face mounting, 50 x 120 cm.jpg

The Third Line at Art Dubai | Booth B7

The Third Line is participating in the 10th edition of Art Dubai and is exhibiting solo presentations by Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige and Youssef Nabil. Also at the fair,Sophia Al Maria will be speaking at the Global Art Forum. In addition to this, a new monograph on Farhad Moshiri, published by SKIRA, will be launching during Art Week.

Press Release

Youssef Nabil

I Saved My Belly Dancer

February 3 - March 5, 2016

Youssef Nabil, I Saved My Belly Dancer #XIII (detail), 2015, hand coloured gelatin silver print

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

Infinite Geometry

January 5 - 30, 2016

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Hexagon (Second Family), 2015, Felt tip marker and pen on paper, 70 x 100 cm


The Third Line is delighted to announce the opening of its new gallery space in Alserkal Avenue, with the inaugural exhibition focusing on a solo presentation by Iranian nonagenarian Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian. The exhibition will reflect upon the different facets and materials of her geometric practice and will feature a range of drawings, carpets, and mirror works, showing the depth of her conceptual consideration throughout her career and medium. While many of the drawings and mirror works are new and only produced in the last few years, the presentation also includes drawings and carpets that were made in the early 90s, all of which have never been shown before.

BOOK - MONIR: Works on Paper | Author: Etel Adnan, Frank Stella, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian; Edited by Karen Marta

This intimate book of drawings, interwoven with an extended interview by Hans Ulrich Obrist with Monir Farmanfarmaian, Etel Adnan, and Frank Stella, tells the story behind these painstakingly crafted works on paper that play a central role in the artist’s principles of repetition and progression. With the support of the LUMA Foundation and published on the occasion of the exhibition,Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Possibility at the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York (13 March – 3 June 2015), this publication is a snapshot of a fascinating and highly important facet of the artist’s work.

Limited copies of the book will be available for sale at The Third Line bookstore.

Press Release

Hayv Kahraman

Artissima 2015

November 6 - 8, 2015

Hayv Kahraman, Test Your Iraqiness, 2015, Oil on linen, 96.5 x 144.8 cm

Group Presentation

FIAC 2015

October 22 - 25, 2015

Installation view at FIAC 2015

Group Presentation

Frieze London 2015

October 14 - 17, 2015

Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige - installation view at Frieze London

Abbas Akhavan

Art Basel 2015

June 18 - 21, 2015

Abbas Akhavan, Study for a Monument (detail), 2015, Cast bronze, cotton fabric dimensions variable. Photo: Nikolaus Steglich, Starnberg


Abbas Akhavan - Study for a Monument

The Third Line is very pleased to announce our participation at Art Basel’s Statements sector with Study for a Monument, a solo presentation by Abbas Akhavan. Abbas’ floor-based installation of bronze-cast plants is a continuation of recent works that archive and memorialize native and endemic flora in compromised ecologies.

Building upon previous research, Study for a Monument is a new iteration of bronze cast reproductions of flora native to the region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. This area, modern-day Iraq, has suffered immensely due to social, political and ecological turmoil over the decades, where warring establishments have contributed to irreparable damage to the topography.

Bronze, traditionally used for weaponry and later as a hardwearing material for monuments, is highlighted here by Abbas as a duplicitous material – one that appears permanent but in fact lacks loyalty as it shape shifts in times of political transition – melted and reformed from one political figure to another. In Study for a Monument, the vertical figure has been replaced by anatomically correct fragmented flora laid out horizontally on white cotton sheets.

By archiving the locale-specific plants and flowers, the artist follows the traditional 19th century practice of scientific taxonomic record-keeping for the colonial-held lands. However, Abbas presents a delicate juxtaposition in the work’s production and presentation – while the material captures the carefully researched botanical species in bronze, the presentation takes them apart in pieces, as if on a dissection tray or confiscated goods, they are shown on the floor – hoping to remodel formal structures of authority and knowledge.


Hassan Hajjaj – Karima: A Day in the Life of a Henna Girl
71 minutes, color | produced and directed by Hassan Hajjaj
Stadtkino Basel, Klostergasse 5, Basel

Hassan Hajjaj’s first feature-length film will be making its European debut at the Art Basel Film sector. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Hassan Hajjaj and Maxa Zoller.

Press Release

Zineb Sedira

Sands of Time

April 29 - June 6, 2015

Zineb Sedira, Transmettre en abyme, 2012, three channel video installation

Zineb Sedira - Sands of Time

The Third Line is pleased to present Sands of Time, Zineb Sedira’s first solo show in the region. The acclaimed artist will be showing photographs and sculptures that document the economic, political and geographical movements around sugar trade. She will also be exhibiting the video Transmettre en abyme, which will be shown in a three-channel installation in the Project Space. Zineb's photographs and video works use the intimate perspective of her own experience to investigate more universal ideas of mobility, memory and transmission, as well as explore issues concerning the environment.

Press Release

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

Frieze New York 2015

May 14 - 17, 2015

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Untitled, 2012, Felt marker, color pencil and mirror on paper, 70x 100 cm

Ala Ebtekar

Nowheresville \ 'nä-kōja,-abäd \

March 16 - April 18, 2015

Ala Ebtekar, Nowheresville \ 'nä-kōja,-abäd \, 2015, installation view

Ala Ebtekar - Nowheresville \ 'nä-kōja,-abäd \

The Third Line is pleased to open its Spring 2015 program with Ala Ebtekar’s Nowheresville \ 'nä-kōja,-abäd \ . Working with ideas of the celestial, home to planetary and spiritual configurations that have fascinated humanity since the beginning of time, the artist combines early 12th Century traditions of Persian cosmic philosophy with modern-day scientific imaging of the heavens. His explorations over the years, into the union of both spectrums, and a search for the portals into imagined futures, culminate in this mystical homage to Light.

Press Release

Project Space: Abbas Akhavan, Study for a Curtain

Group Presentation

Art Dubai 2015

March 18 - 21, 2015

Sara Naim, Metamorphic Masafi 3, 2015, C-type digital print, 18 x 8 cm

Sahand Hesamiyan


November 19, 2014 - January 31, 2015

Sahand Hesamiyan, Khalvat, 2014

Sahand Hesamiyan - Khalvat

The Third Line is pleased to present Khalvat, Sahand Hesamiyan’s first solo show in the UAE. Sahand’s practice primarily explores contemporary sculptural directions, which take cue from Islamic architecture and present ancient concepts of transcendence in a modern context. In continuation of his practice, the artist analyses the relationship between Iranian architecture and its metaphysical symbolism.

The show is based around, and named after, the main sculpture Khalvat – a Persian word that translates to a hidden, private sanctum. Linking science and geometry to the abstract nature of spirituality, it is a reflective attempt to discover the esoteric nature of Iranian culture through the dissection of its architectural forms. Khalvat adopts the traditional triangular form of Rasmi, with the artist exposing through the superficial layers of the structure to offer a look towards the inward and sacred, by juxtaposing the external embellished Iranian architecture with its abandoned equivalent, transparent and accessible in its carcass form.

Traditional Iranian Islamic architecture is introverted, enclosed and recondite. The final creation is inaccessible, and can’t be appreciated completely at a glance or discovered in the initial survey. Intricate ornamental details, superfluity of architectural elements and richness of colors and shades make external envelopment impenetrable for a person to understand the structure within. Preserved with mystery and grandiosity, traditional Iranian architecture is almost inscrutable. 

The task set by the artist is to search for the truth, which in Sufi tradition should be found in a clear form. In that sense, layers are peeled apart, opening to the viewer an ability to discover meaning, spirit and the core. Khalvat is a result of comprehensive research in attempting to find a coherent structure in Iranian architecture, and with it a cultural framework itself. 

ESSAY: Khalvat - Towards Meaning, by Maymanah Farhat (pdf)

Babak Golkar

The Return Project

September 24 - November 8, 2014

Babak Golkar, Assisted Reconstruction, 2014, Paper cut-out from the original framed print (Fair Trade), straw, plastic bottle, water and watercolor, 31 x 25 x 8 cm

Babak Golkar - The Return Project

The Third Line is pleased to present a critical new body of work The Return Project by Babak Golkar, the artist's second solo show in Dubai. A break from his previous works, The Return Project is an assemblage where readymade consumer articles are dissected, reconstructed and represented within the commercial conditions of their wholesale environment – questioning the structure of contemporary art practices.  

Babak has developed a distinct practice that engages critical investigation and renegotiation of spaces between cultural and socio-economical registers. With The Return Project, the artist seamlessly operates inside, and positions his work within, the parameters of a commercial system, interjecting the value constructs governing the contemporary art world. The project dismantles the artistic object and the artistic persona within their own contemporary systemic conditions by skewing the established points of references and relationships that seemingly authorize how and where the true value of art resides.

An object is purchased from a store and brought to the studio for photo documentation. The object is then dissected, collaged and reconstructed into a new consumer article and photo documented in its new state. The two photographs, forming a diptych, are printed in the same scale as the original object. Throughout the process original tags and labels are kept intact. The new object, now declared as an art work by the artist, accompanied by the tags and receipt and a hidden note stating "This is to authenticate this object as a work of art, signed" are then returned to the store for a full refund. The store’s return policy (often 7-10 days) determines the timeframe for the studio process. The returned object – that is, the art object - enters and circulates in the inventory of the store and is once again available for sale, but at the store’s determined price. The leftover cut-off pieces from the reconstruction process are reassembled to form a residual object to accompany the diptych. A small gesture in the large scheme, each action is planned and executed around a particular concept and is autonomous. Aside from the method that determines the project, each piece/action zooms in on a contemporary issue at stake, ranging from geo-politics and global economy to cultural shortcomings and art historical limitations.

Taking a stance, yet equally embracing the inherent anonymity, The Return Project, operates within and disrupts the limits of policies in systems that offer goods in a competitive market. The Return Project employs notions of performativity through two, often disproportionate, contexts – that of everyday retail and the rarefaction of the gallery context. 

ESSAY: Experiments with Discontinuity, by Sara Raza (pdf)

Project Space: Farah Al Qasimi, The World is Sinking 

Group Show

Summer Show 2014

June 4 - July 24, 2014

Sara Naim _Al Niente _2009_C-type Digital Print _50.8x 43.18cm

The Third Line will be closing the season with Summer Show 2014, presenting a selection of artworks by artists represented by the gallery and those who have shown at the gallery in the past. 

With a series of media ranging across photography, painting, sculpture and installations, Summer Show 2014 will be showcasing the works of Arwa Abouon, Ala Ebtekar, Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Golnaz Fathi, Hassan Hajjaj, Huda Lutfi, Laleh Khorramian, Pouran Jinchi, Rana Begum, Rhea Karam and Sara Naim.

Fouad Elkoury

The Lost Empire

April 30 - May 29, 2014

FE_Balaton Airport _2010_Chromogenic Print Diasec _50x 75cm

Fouad Elkoury - The Lost Empire

The Third Line is pleased to present The Lost Empire, Fouad Elkoury’s third solo show in Dubai, which presents the artist’s photographic journey through abandoned soviet military bases.

In a practice spanning more than four decades, Fouad’s work has come to be associated with documentary photography through lands that have experienced strife – with the landscape and architecture pockmarked with human conflict. The current body of work explores a similar topography of war.

After having decided to document abandoned soviet military bases in 2009, Fouad visited dozens of military bases in Poland, Hungary, Estonia and East Germany between 2010 and 2011. Most were aviation fields; others served separate purposes. And despite having being told there was nothing to photograph there, Fouad found the abandoned desolation far more captivating. 

Deserted and invaded by nature, a force far more primal and stronger than weapons of war, the bases have become unserviceable areas of land. The utter silence and emptiness left Fouad the only protagonist in the plot, searching for abandoned stories, and his only ally was light, without which nothing could be seen.

ESSAY: The Mute Witness, by Negar Azimi (pdf)

PROJECT SPACE: Lamya Gargash, Traces 

Group Presentation

Art Brussels 2014

April 25 - 27, 2014

Sahand Hesamiyan, Gonebade Kabood (Lapis Lazuli Dome), 2012, Steel and Paint, 60 x 69 x 60 cm

Slavs and Tatars

Language Arts

March 17 - April 17, 2014

Slavs and Tatars_Language Arts_2014_Installation view 1

Slavs and Tatars - Language Arts

The Third Line is pleased to present Language Arts, Slavs and Tatars’ first solo show in the Middle East. Following a run of internationally acclaimed museum shows and publications, the artists’ performative use of language takes a new turn, with an exploration of alphabet politics.

Slavs and Tatars’ recent work turns to language as a source of political, metaphysical, even sexual emancipation. With their trademark mix of high and low registers, ribald humor and esoteric discourse, the collective addresses the thorny issue of alphabet politics and attempts by nations, cultures, and ideologies to ascribe a specific set of letters to a given language.

The march of alphabets has always accompanied that of empires and religions: Latin script along with the Roman Catholic faith; Arabic with Islam and the Caliphate; as well as Cyrillic with Orthodox Christianity, and subsequently the USSR. Within this body of work, it is not peoples or nations that are liberated, but rather phonemes, from attempts to restrain and rein them in.

Language Arts celebrates language in all its polyphonic glory, with original works in Persian, Russian, Turkish, Georgian and English. A new series of sculptures, installations, textiles and printed matter address a range of subjects: from name changes, in Love Me Love Me Not, to the orality of language, with Rahlé for Richard. The Trannie Tease vacuum forms present transliteration ­– the conversion of scripts ­–as the linguistic equivalent of transvestism: a strategy equally of resistance and research in notions of identity politics, colonialism, and liturgical reform. The Love Letters carpets address the issue of manipulation of alphabets across Arabic, Latin and Cyrillic, through the Russian Revolution’s most well-known, if conflicted, poet-champion, Vladimir Mayakovsky.

Slavs and Tatars often collide those things considered opposites, or incompatible — be it Islam and Communism, metaphysics and humor, or pop culture and geopolitics. From their first publication Kidnapping Mountains (Book Works, 2009) to the more recent Khhhhhhh (Mousse/Moravian Gallery 2012), the collective has consistently turned to language as a tool for disruption, humor, and unexpected meaning. By challenging an understanding of language as exclusively rational or semantic, Slavs and Tatars emphasize its potential to be affective and sensual, concealing as much as it reveals; even becoming a platform for sacred wisdom, rather than a mere vehicle for secular knowledge or profane, everyday use.

The Third Line show will open parallel to Marker, the artists’ curatorial début, focused on Central Asia and the Caucasus, at Art Dubai.

Tarek Al Ghoussein

K Files

January 29 - March 7, 2014

TAG_K Files _025_2013_Digital Print _60x 90cm _ed Of 6_650

Tarek Al-Ghoussein - K Files

The Third Line is pleased to exhibit Tarek Al-Ghoussein’s K Files, displayed as part of a two-person show at the first ever Kuwait Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale 2013, and showing for the first time outside the biennale. For the Project Space, Tarek puts together an installation of found objects, personal artifacts and newspaper clippings that consider the story of his family life via public forums such as eBay.

Keeping in line with his study of identity crises in the face of ideological politics, Tarek produced a special body of work for the Kuwait Pavilion titled National Works. This was in continuation of the larger archival sequence K Files, which documents found material from family albums, antique shops, the Internet and other sources in an on-going process. The performative photographs feature interactions between the artist and sites of grandness and importance in an attempt to track significant places in Kuwait’s development.

Presenting new work in the Project Space, Tarek assembles an installation of personal paraphernalia that tell the story of his family life, pursuing a personalised investigative turn into his K Files documentation. His father’s role as the Kuwaiti dignitary to the United Nations, and later as an ambassador to the United States, led towards the discovery that many moments of his family’s life are now public property. While he refrains from direct political commentary, Tarek does take into account how the mergence of the public and the private have been imperative in shaping his own life, largely contributing towards the artist’s engagement with his identity.

Amir H. Fallah

The Collected

December 11, 2013 - January 23, 2014

AHF_The Triangle In The Shattered Square

Amir H. Fallah - The Collected

The Third Line welcomes back Amir H. Fallah with his third solo show in Dubai, The Collected, which investigates the complex relationship between patronage and art making, collector and artist, and the dynamics of the creative process in today’s art world. All the paintings in the show are pre-sold, commissioned portraits, where the artist exercised complete artistic authority to manipulate the image according to his own interpretation. The process involved initial collaboration with the commissioner, a performative component in the staging, and the element of surprise in the reveal of the works to the patrons for the first time during the show preview. 

In his new body of work, Amir explores classical and renaissance portraiture traditions employing a critical approach by subverting the mechanisms of control. Art history boasts of countless examples of commissioned portraiture, where images conceal the patron’s physical identities and instead feature material possessions as a sign of stature and wealth, and solely the patron determined the final depiction of their identity. In this case, the artist exerts control over aesthetic and conceptual decisions, with the process relying heavily on trust and a powerful agreement to hand over creative authority back to the artist. The paintings will be revealed to the patrons for the first time at the exhibition opening.

Amir visited collectors’ residences in Dubai more than a year ago and staged the portraits by gathering various material belongings from within their homes as markers of their identity, particularly gravitating toward those mundane objects that seem loaded with sentimental meaning - a worn afghan, an idiosyncratic plant, a figurine or running shoes. After carefully assembling the composition through collaborative efforts with the subject, he photographed the setting and used the image as a starting point. The works further changed in his studio when transferred onto the canvas and evolved through his personal interventions and stylized interpretation, telling the patrons’ personal histories through his eyes.

The surfaces are layered with collage and paint and the imagery often reflects the artist’s own cultural alliances: references to Persian miniatures may appear in the form of careful borders along the edge of a canvas and blankets may start to resemble the long veils associated with Eastern cultures. Images are embellished and details introduced or omitted based on extemporaneous decisions, and the initial source photographs are completely obscured. Sometimes, subjects appear in dramatically neoclassical poses, lounging across a wooden table or perched on a pedestal. Faces and other obvious markers are concealed and the only identification is through personal elements that surround them. For example The Triangle In The Shattered Square includes a skateboard, a bottle of spray paint, a digital camera, and geometrical patterns picked from ceramic tiles at the collectors residence.

Amir approaches his current paintings as an investigative and analytical historian. Aside from unraveling a different perspective to art historical portraiture traditions and the dynamics of modern day art collection and art making, he also reflects upon concerns of identity and representation that are central to his practice.

Project Space - The Salon

Sherin Guirguis


October 30 - December 5, 2013

SG_Untitled -(Bab -Huda )_2013_Mixed -media -on -hand -cut -paper _274.32x 182.88cm

Sherin Guirguis - Passages//Toroq

The Third Line is pleased to present Sherin Guirguis’ first solo show in the region. Sherin investigates post-colonial themes of political, cultural and social dogma and feminist activism within the framework of the Egyptian diaspora, both in the public and private spheres. Delving deep into the building blocks of culture and identity, specifically from the approach of a diaspora artist, she presents her interpretation of what it means to be defined by the transformative events of the moment.

For Passages//Toroq, Sherin presents works in two parallel series that address concerns of identity formation, highlighted predominantly in the wake of the mercurial Arab Springs. The title of the exhibition refers to both the literary and historical passages that are quoted in the work as well as the social passageways, or toroq, forged by the revolution. Crucial to its people, the revolution defies the political, social and cultural standards that have been imposed by and grown out of colonization. Sherin references historical developments in Egypt in order to have a clearer insight to the present.

As an Arab-American artist, and part of the Egyptian Diaspora for more than two decades, Sherin’s art practice has involved studying important works of Egyptian literature, music, poetry, design and architecture of the past to be able to contribute to this discourse in the present. She has developed a unique style by selecting decorative and ornamental elements from these sources and shaping a critique through associative juxtapositions. By invoking many meanings of Egyptian identities – for example, one man, one woman; one writer, one activist; one work of fiction and one biography – the artist defines the apparent contradictions of cultural identity, and at the same time, points to the similarities of diasporic life that have now become the norm for many Arab artists.

Press Release

Project Space - Raja'a Khalid, Southeast to Armageddon

Group Presentation

FIAC 2013

24 - 27 October, 2013

BG_L.C.-II_-2009-2013_38.1x 38.1x 5.1cm _Wood ,-stain ,-metal ,-paint _side -view

Group Presentation

Frieze London 2013

October 17 - 20, 2013

SAM_Bint -Schrodinger -(Schrodinger 's -Girl )_2013_Video -Installation -on -3-cuboglass -TV_Still -2

Pouran Jinchi

The Blind Owl

September 18 - October 24, 2013

PJ_Pink -Painting -(The -Blind -Owl -Series )_2013_Ink -on -Canvas _122-x -122cm

Pouran Jinchi - The Blind Owl

Pouran Jinchi returns to The Third Line with her third solo show, The Blind Owl, continuing her investigation into deconstructing calligraphy and looking into the deeper complexities of the written word. The artist explores the physical form and its signified insinuations through the lens of the dark narratives of The Blind Owl, a major literary work by Iranian author Sadegh Hedayat. 

This publication, penned in the late 1930s, explores a grim fascination with death and for the most part was banned in Iran. It was this polemic around the book that aroused curiosity in Pouran’s youth, and has been a source of inspiration for her work. “I write only for my shadow which is cast on the wall in front of the light. I must introduce myself to it” - Pouran uses Hedayat’s quote as a point of departure for exploring various media such as intricate drawings on paper and paintings, as well as sculptures in copper and plexiglass, to deliver her experience of the confessional narrative.

In this new body of work, Pouran interprets the Iranian tradition of calligraphy and Islamic geometry through the lens of contemporary aesthetics and focuses on the weight of letters, phrases and quotes to convey her own narrative. As with previous works where she drew inspiration from seminal text works like the Quran and the Cyrus Cylinder (ancient Persian text based artifact), The Blind Owl is an example of how Pouran uses literature to inform her practice. By using abstraction and repetitive patterning, she provides a visual experience that is left to the individual interpretation of the viewer.

PROJECT SPACE - Nadia Ayari, The Fountain and The Fig

Rana Begum

No. 10

June 19 - July 30

RB_No .415_2013_Paint On Mild Steel _135x 33x 33 Cm _3

Rana Begum - No. 10

The Third Line is pleased to present Rana Begum's third solo show in Dubai, No.10, exhibiting metal sculptures coated with vibrant colours that push the relationship between colour, form and three-dimensional space. Taking inspiration from urban order and disorder, Begum creates surfaces and planes that are luscious and seductive. To engage with these works the viewer must walk around them, embracing the materiality and making the viewing of the work a visceral and physical experience.

The show includes wall-mounted folded metal works that vary in sizes. These are developed out of previous studies in paper and delicately emulate the weightlessness of the original material. Mild steel, mirror finish steel, copper and brass are some of the industrial materials Begum is fascinated with. Careful consideration is given to the folds and angles and colors are scrupulously applied to various facets to create crystalline compositions.

Placed at irregular intervals and unusual heights, the installation plays with spatial concerns and recreates a semblance of kinesis. The sharp composition of light, reflection and geometry all come together to create multiple perspectives.

In addition to these works are two benches that take on a more grounded and sculptural interpretation of the theme. The large floor pieces also occupy viewers in much the same way as the airy wall series, inviting them to view the work from all sides, taking in their multiple faces and shifting geometrical planes.

This new and more playful body of work follows Begum's established practice of working with minimalist aesthetic and urban physiognomies – each work demanding a level of interaction to be able to experience its entirety. As is significant with her previous works, this exhibition explores how the slightest shifts in colour, shape, movement, and viewing angle can create complex and beautiful new alignments. 

PROJECT SPACE - Amir H. Fallah, The Arrangement

Laleh Khorramian

Art Basel 2013 - Statements

June 13 - 16, 2013

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Laleh Khorramian - Solo Project

The Third Line at Art Basel | 13 - 16 June, 2013 | Booth S6 - The Third Line is very pleased to be participating for the first time in Art Basel, and will be presenting a solo booth by artist Laleh Khorramian in the Statements sector. Khorramian’s mixed media paintings and video installation include objects circulating around the theme of her latest body of work M-GOLIS, a sci-fi/fantasy tale that is seen through the persona of Lt. Aurelio Swimm.

The Third Line is participating with more than 300 leading contemporary galleries at one of the most dynamic fairs in the world today. The Statements sector, one of eight categories at Art Basel, carefully selects proposals that present exciting new solo projects by young and emerging artists.

The works on display are fragments of a future science fiction film titled M-GOLIS, with Khorramian’s presentation focusing on paintings and objects related to the making. The animation, which is yet to be completed, will be the fifth in a series of films relating to the five elements of matter, earth, air, fire, water and ether, with M-GOLIS focusing on ether.

The narrative of M-GOLIS is set on a foreign planet of the same name in the year 2202. The planet ravaged by chemical wastes, is sparsely populated with prisoners whose sentence is to reside there and reverse the pollution by distributing mycoremediating mycelium spores that decompose toxic wastes. The film follows the journey of inmate Lieutenant Aurelio Swimm’s incarceration on the chemically polluted planet, where his consciousness has been altered by his extreme isolation and exposure to a toxic and increasingly hallucinogenic environment.

In one of the works, COMMUNICATION SHRINE, the artist presents an interactive installation that is housed within an ordinary refrigerator. Upon opening it, one encounters the world of Swimm more intimately through found objects, personal trinkets and three videos running simultaneously. Primarily intended as a communication portal to earth for the lone Lieutenant, this object has taken on a sacred totemic role, serving as an altar to things he considers precious in his solitary existence. By switching between her own creation, and that of her imagined character’s, Khorramian plays with multiple possibilities that allow her to examine the relationship between art and audience. 

Youssef Nabil

Time of Transformation

April 24 - June 12, 2013

YN_The Last Dance (I)_ Denver 2012_Handcoloredgelatinsilverprint _26x 39cm -each (12prints )_650

Youssef Nabil - Time of Transformation

The Third Line is pleased to present internationally acclaimed artist Youssef Nabil’s fourth solo show in Dubai, which premieres the New York based Egyptian artist’s latest body of work. Working with his characteristic technique of hand painted silver gelatin photographs, Nabil introduces us to three new series that reflect upon the clash of archetypes that define the state of his present day home country. 

This new body of work explores notions of transition and change as Nabil reflects upon an Egypt that is rapidly transforming and acquiring new ideals that he is unfamiliar with. An alien disconnect that has much more to do with the changing landscape than his physical absence, Nabil presents ephemeral imagery that he feels will soon be lost forever.

The Veiled Women series features women from the fields of art, music and cinema, all adorning the Mediterranean veil. In these portraits, Nabil ruminates about meanings associated with the veil now and how it was once worn in the Mediterranean cultures. By reincarnating the idea of the veil he loved, Nabil provides an allegory that is in sharp contrast to its connotation in the present day. The portraits echo a loss of innocence and the assimilation of new ideals that delineate between sex and religion.

In The Last Dance series, change is explored through the medium of dance. Multiple images of belly dancers caught in whirling movements make up a kaleidoscopic visual frenzy. While the images are sensual in nature, it is the association of the ‘sexual’ with this art form that is now threatening its survival in Egypt. The slow disappearance of these belly dancers is significant of a new cultural identity that is following political shifts in the Egyptian mindsets.

The Transformation panels look at the subtle change in the subject through seven stages. Almost staged as dramatic renditions of reactionary expressions, the work addresses how the artist is personally grappling with, and responding to, the transformations that are taking place within him.

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

Monir Farmanfarmaian 2004-2013

March 18 - April 19, 2013

1 main view

The Third Line is proud to present a survey exhibition of Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian that reflects upon the past decade of her remarkable artistic journey. Showcasing works from 2004 until now – including those being displayed for the first time – the exhibition highlights Monir’s stellar career as a pioneer in contemporary Iranian art.

Mapping a chronological trajectory through the different series of works that Monir completed over the past nine years, the exhibition follows the evolution of her signature styleaineh-kari mirror mosaics and her investigation into divine cosmology. The principal theme in her art practice of correlating mysticism with numerology, Islamic geometry and architecture remains a quintessential feature within this exhibit.

Through wall based panels and free standing works, Monir presents a masterful balance of meticulous craft and contemporary abstraction that utilizes an interaction of surface texture, light and reflection, colour and form. She also delves into media such as drawings in felt marker and pen and ink, layering works of coloured lines to trace structures of nomadic tents, minarets and models of architectural sculptures. Employing techniques from her Iranian heritage that date back to the sixteenth century, Monir chooses to return to the origins of abstraction and theology, and moves beyond the craft to present a modern interpretation of both the medium and the content.

Monir strives for perfection in her intricate drawings and kaleidoscopic mirror mosaics, which is highlighted in her impressive career that spans over 60 years. From early beginnings in Iran, and a later period in New York where she was a contemporary of Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and Frank Stella, Monir began to tie the two dichotomies of her influences - arriving at modern abstraction in form through the use of Islamic geometry found in Iranian architecture. The resulting work has been an unconventional marriage between the deeply traditional and the genuinely avant-garde, placing her in a league of her own.

Golnaz Fathi

Falling Leaves

Jan 22 - Mar 07, 2013


Ebtisam Abdulaziz


December 05, 2012 - January 16, 2013

Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Autobiography, 2012, Installation view

The Third Line is proud to introduce Ebtisam Abdulaziz’s first solo show at the gallery entitled Autobiography. The Emirati artist presents works that seamlessly shift between intimacy and science, imparting details into the artist’s private thoughts and the visual coding that symbolizes her systematic thinking.

Autobiography continues Abdulaziz’s exploration of 'system art', a term used to describe a type of abstract art characterized by geometric forms, placed either in a single concentrated image or repeated in a system. In this series, works presented include found objects, small works on paper and large drawings on canvas, which all embody numbers and codes, rules and equations, from her everyday life into visual cryptograms and grids that only the artist can understand.

Using the Duchampian approach of readymade objects, Abdulaziz maps the number plates of cars from her frequent trips between Abu Dhabi and Dubai to matrices of domino layouts, each number corresponding to a certain color or domino shape. The found objects works retrace Abdulaziz’s footsteps and daily journeys, where she finds and collects objects, cleans and paint them, and carefully arranges them in glass cylinders, as if creating a time capsule to preserve the moment. Finally, the small works on paper, each one with its distinctive cipher, are representative of pages from the artist’s personal daily diary and memoirs, allowing a glimpse into the life of an otherwise isolationist society.

The pieces lure the audience in with their abstraction and curious cryptography but the real hook is in the voyeuristic opportunity to glimpse into the life of the artist through her eyes, by drawing attention to the details we normally take for granted. The work challenges the mind scientifically and visually, and yet, still caters to the deep-rooted human need to understand oneself vis-à-vis the roles in societies that are equally dominated by hidden rules and structures.

Hayv Kahraman


October 24 - November 29, 2012

HK_Extimacy ,2012_Installation Shot

Eminent artist, Hayv Kahraman, returns to The Third Line with new work that tackles the complex relationships between gender and identity constructs; geopolitical and physiological boundaries; and, the perception of self vis-à-vis the demands of conformity within society.

Six panels depicting women extracting a cross sectional slice of their own bodies encompass the gallery space. Expanding on her previous series, Kahraman’s depictions of these women personify a hybrid identity hinting to the affinity of dismembered bodies with fragmented geographical locations. This somewhat crude act of detaching a limb is also reminiscent of a violent uprooting and is revealed materialistically in the work. Manifested through the artist’s heterogeneous use of wood and rawhide, the artist forces an unnatural but seamless coexistence between mixed materials.

First explored in her work Quasicorporeal, Kahraman’s inspiration stems from her personal story and own segmented body scan, which she then applies throughout this body of work. Within this framework, she also includes two rawhide light-boxes in the show that depict a cross-sectioned anatomical slice. The violent and nonchalant aspect of plane sectioning a frozen cadaver speaks to a similar detachment and separation that occurs within people of a diaspora or in exile.

Kahraman further extrapolates this point through a 3 dimensional sculpture, namely the Möbius body. The structure, of no beginning and no end, aims to deconstruct binary notions of mind and body, male and female, inside and outside; where hierarchy is created by one element inherently becoming the subordinate of the other.

Hassan Hajjaj

My Rock Stars: Volume 1

September 12 - October 18, 2012

HH_My Rockstars

The Third Line presents a new body of work by acclaimed photographer Hassan Hajjaj. My Rock Stars: Volume 1 pays homage to traditional African portraiture, while celebrating present-day pop stars, unsung artists and personal inspirations in Hajjaj’s life.

With the help of a pop up studio that he would erect on the streets of Morocco, London, Paris and Kuwait, Hassan Hajjaj’s series, now 13 years in the making, will be shown for the first time at The Third Line. The series is simultaneously a haut-couture street experiment and a revival of African photography from the 1960s and 70s. Hajjaj’s subjects range from musicians, fashion designers, dancers to singers, capoeira masters, and boxers; all of whom are immortalized in a fleeting moment in time, sealing their muse-like qualities forever.

Much like Hajjaj’s personal exploration, the photographic series, is an on-going examination of belonging in an increasingly globalized society where boundaries of cultural identity – most notably African, Arabic and Western – are constantly being pushed. Using traditional mats and fabrics as well as found objects that he sources in local markets of his hometown Marrakech, Hajjaj bridges the gap between past and present and various cultures, creating pieces that seamlessly merge folkloric elements into Western contemporary art.

Lamya Gargash

Through The Looking Glass

April 25 - June 30, 2012

LG_Through The Looking Glass

In her first solo exhibition, Emirati artist Lamya Gargash presents a provocative new body of work that examines identity, perception and acceptance in modern day society. Lamya Gargash, representative of the inaugural UAE Pavilion during the 2009 Venice Biennale, unveils a new body of work that addresses societal notions of beauty, intimate perceptions of self and identity through a portrait series at The Third Line. Influenced by such artists as Cindy Sherman, the photographs aspire to raise challenging and important questions about self-reflection and criticism in relevance to media representation of body image and beauty standards in today’s society. 

Through the Looking Glass investigates how we constantly view ourselves in comparison to an ever elusive standard, prompted by the constant bombardment of media imagery dictating ‘how we should look’. Minor defects become drastic, resulting in even more drastic measures undertaken to reach that ideal standard of beauty. Our self-perception, and subsequently our identity, becomes indistinct; as if viewing ourselves through a distorted looking glass.

Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige

Lebanese Rocket Society: Part III, IV, V

March 19 - April 19, 2012

JHKJ_Lebanese Rocket Society _Installation Images _650 (3)

For their first solo exhibition at The Third Line and following the first two parts of the project presented at the Sharjah Biennale in March 2011, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige continue their ongoing research on the Lebanese Rocket Society. This exhibition explores three new bodies of works - specifically during the 1960’s at the time of the “great Arab dream” – through a video and sound installation, a photographic series and documentation from Part I and II of the project.

The adventure of the Lebanese Rocket Society began in the early sixties at Haigazian University to study, create and launch rockets for further exploration. From 1960 to 1967, more than ten Cedar rockets were launched giving a rise to national celebrations, resulting in a set of stamps representing the Cedar IV rocket in commemoration of the 21st anniversary of Lebanon’s independence. Since then, the story has become a distant, if not forgotten memory; Hadjithomas and Joreige, as an homage to the notion of monument, recreated a scale reproduction of the Cedar IV rocket, which was exhibited at the 2011 Sharjah Biennale.Restaged, their photographic series that documents the reenactment of the rocket’s transportation through the streets of Beirut, capturing traces of puzzled reactions and strange occurrences.

Ala Ebtekar


January 18 – March 08, 2012


Informed both by his cultural background and what it means to be a part of a diasporic community in the 21st Century, Ala Ebtekar’s meticulous paintings, drawings, and installations have imagined what the present day could look like if it collided with history and mythology.

Exhibited widely throughout the United States and internationally, Ebtekar’s impressive body of work over the past decade has drawn evocative parallels between events unfolding today and events and stories of the past. Challenged by an increasing desire to look towards the future and how to manifest this palpable impulse into a new series of work, he began researching the narratives and concepts of the literary genre of science fiction, where depictions of the future, space flight, and time travel set the stage for narratives of realistic speculation about possible future events.

Babak Golkar


November 10, 2011 - January 12, 2012

BG_Untitled (Azadi Tower )_2011_Acrylic Sheets And Wood _137x 147.5x 12.5cm _Section _650

Parergon is Babak Golkar’s first exhibition in the region, bring a unique and thought provoking challenges in architectural design and sculpture. The series is comprised of objects that resemble interrupted or deformed frames. As the frames are not closed, the viewer is able to view the cross sections and explore the distinctive forms that they represent. On a careful examination, the section cuts reveal identifiable architectural silhouettes of well-known structures, such as the Hagia Sophia and the Dome of the Rock.

The title of the exhibition comes from the studies of French philosopher, Jacques Derrida (1930-2004) who developed the theory of ‘deconstruction’, with his work having been labeled as post-structuralism and associated with postmodern philosophy.

Group Show


September 12 - October 27, 2011


Artists: Abbas Akhavan, Huda Lutfi, Arwa Abouon, Amir H. Fallah, Fouad Elkoury, Farhad Moshiri, Hassan Hajjaj, Laleh Khorramian, Slavs and Tatars, Susan Hefuna, Youssef Nabil

To begin the fall season, The Third Line invites guest curator Rami Farook to continue a conversation about the state of the world today. Comprising of works from The Third Line, Traffic and The Farook Collection and exhibiting at the two spaces, the show attempts to question and discuss the state of the contemporary environment through artistic representations depicting social behavior, ecology and psychology.

THE STATE: SOCIAL / ANTISOCIAL? is inspired by and, a continuation from, previous shows at Traffic also titled ‘the state’. This exhibition resumes a dialogue explored earlier in shows held at Traffic: THE STATE(2010), the inaugural exhibition, questioned the socio-political state post September 11; anTHE STATE: UPPERS & DOWNERS(2011) ran a commentary on the global condition, from an economic perspective, with the city of Dubai as a focal point. This third installment of investigation combines works from the collection of The Third Line, Traffic and The Farook Collection, and is exhibited at both galleries to connect the conversations previously limited to one physical space. 

Group Show

Snail Fever

June 22 - July 28, 2011


Curated by Sara Mameni, this exhibition includes works by Abbas Akhavan, Fatima Al Qadiri and Khalid al Gharaballi, Ala Ebtekar, Haris Epaminonda, Christodoulos Panayiotou, Rayyane Tabet, Slavs and Tatars and Newsha Tavakolian.

This exhibition is about music - especially the kind that goes viral. The artists in the show think about music epidemically. They invoke musicians who never die or those who become alive only through death. They present the body of musicians in their absence, in their disembodiments and in their replacements with the curved neck of the gramophone or the magnetic cones of a boombox. They confront us with the fictionality of icons, projecting our own inadequate selves within it.  Music here is made visual, scaled into words and images, haunted by the specter of the voice. 

Susan Hefuna

Cairo Dreams 2011

April 27 - June 16, 2011

SH_Cairo Dreams

Susan Hefuna returns to The Third Line with an exhibition of aluminum sculptures and ink drawings in Cairo Dreams 2011. Her new body of work is as dynamic as it is personal, dealing subtly with fragility and vulnerability. She tackles the complexity of capturing and preserving a present moment in time through aluminum and ink. 

Her works navigate through space, travel the mind and capture the unedited. The works navigate between architectural spaces and compositions of equilibrium, whilst guided by and through the human mind and body.

Laleh Khorramian

Water Panics in the Sea

March 10 - April 13, 2011

LK_Water Panics In The Sea

The Third Line, in collaboration with The Pavilion Downtown Dubai presents Water Panics in the Sea, a digital stop-frame film by Laleh Khorramian. Reflecting on human themes of odyssey and conquest, the film follows the voyage of a ghost ship/time machine as it traverses the ocean waters through an accelerated, indistinct chronology.

This is the fourth in a series of short films loosely based on the five elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water and Ether. Constructed through a process of iterative magnification and manipulation of minute details derived from monotype prints and drawings, the film seeks to question our habituated perception by an intricate use of scale, distance, time and space. Along with an original soundtrack the film produces a theatrical framework through a process of layering and sampling.

Farhad Moshiri


March 14 - April 14, 2011

Shukran , Farhad Moshiri , March 2011_Installation (2)_650

Farhad Moshiri returns with a third solo exhibition delivering humor, sarcasm and his ability to detract from social situations to the more simplified actions of daily life.

Moshiri presents a single new work which continues to simplify his subject through his composition and style within the neo-pop movement. He continues to experiment with his materials, using cake icing dispensers, Swarovski crystals, and even assortments of kitchen knives to make works that incorporate increasingly textured and sculptural approaches.

Hayv Kahraman

Pins and needles

October 28 - December 20, 2010

HK_Hold Still _2010_Oil On Linen _106.6x 172.7cm _650

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian


January 27 – March 03, 2011


Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian opens the new season with a solo exhibition of new mirror mosaic works. This new series continues to explore the variable arrangement of geometric figures, this time with an emphasis on the physical movement of the shapes.

In her latest series, aptly titled Convertibles, her ornate works elevate this interplay to another level, creating formations that physically can be arranged in multiple variations. With the detailed intricacies of the cut mirror and her acute sense of modern aesthetics, Farmanfarmaian creates three-dimensional sculptures that challenge the basis of contemporary compositions. In her new work duplicating the selected figure either side by side, or facing each other, yet always connected, she creates a series of geometrical formations resulting in a number of kaleidoscopic variations

Golnaz Fathi

Controlled Chaos

September 23 - October 21, 2010

GF_Lightbox (16)_2010_Print And Lightbox _50x 70cm _Ed .of 4, 1AP_650

Fathi’s new works balance colour and layers of text in an exploration of an illegible calligraphic language. Through her distinctly personalized style, she continues to demonstrate her dexterity using the simplicity of the line.

For her fourth solo exhibition at The Third Line and beginning the fall season, Fathi will present a selection of light boxes and works on paper. She began working with light boxes in 2007 while seeking an alternative to her previous works on canvas. This exhibition also sees her return to working on paper, a medium which offers a sense of vulnerability as the brushes stroke the surface of the blank page.

Group Show

I. U. Heart

June 24 - July 31, 2010

IUHeart _Opening -(7)

The Third Line presents works by Mahmoud Bakhshi, Shahab Fotouhi, Arash Hanaei, Mamali Shafahi and Vahid Sharifian that illustrate their individual responses towards how Iran’s politics and policies dominate the world’s perception of the country through a diverse selection of media.

This exhibition encased and inspired by globalisation and ambiguity, aims to identify the interaction between Iran and the US, Iranians in the US and Iranians in Iran. Through pop culture, socio-political references and a variety of media, I. U. [Heart] investigates the broader and more complex interactions between artists, history and identity.

Abbas Akhavan


May 05 - June 10, 2010


For his first solo exhibition in the region, Akhavan creates a site-specific map of Dubai highlighting monumentous features and recognizable imagery associated with the city. This installation stems from his artistic representation of Dubai which parallels to the city’s accessibility and fragmentation.

Akhavan will work to create an installation including a series of maps painted directly on to a wall within the gallery space. These geographical renditions converge along the lines of mapping and remapping the space, geography and architecture of Dubai as well as its growing art market. The embellished gold wall is then divided much like sectioning a city into parts where collectors are trans- formed to landowners on purchase of a section of themap.

Shirin Aliabadi

Eye Love You

March 15 - April 22, 2010

SA_4 Large Eye Paintings On Wall , Eyes Series _2010_650

For her first international solo exhibition, Shirin Aliabadi presents this new work in the form of a young girls’ visual diary, the drawings and sketches she composes in class whilst daydreaming about life, love and the uncertain future that awaits her. 

Whimsical scribbles in a high school text book become the drawings and paintings in this exhibition. They appear as streams of thoughts following a playful account that comes together also as a poem.

Pouran Jinchi

Ritual Imprint

January 21 – February 25, 2010

PJ_Set Of 22 Prayer Stones _Painted Earthenware _Circle 25 Cm Diameter _650

With her second solo exhibition in the region, Jinchi will exhibit a selection of new works based on the ritual of faith. This series of drawings pursues a specific artistic question: to imagine a form for prayer. The drawings are maps of faith, propelled by questions on the place of religious ritual in a secular age. 

Like the patterns and habits of everyday life, their circular motifs are the result of forms repeated over time. The drawings are in fact rubbings, made by scratching charcoal on thin paper so that it captures an imprint of the textured surface placed beneath it.

Lamya Gargash


November 23 - December 31, 2009

LG_Blue Purple Chair _2005-2006_C-prints _60x 60cm _650

The Third Line is proud to present Presence, the exhibition and debut book launch by Emirati artist, Lamya Gargash. Gargash’s photographic series documents unwanted houses and structures in the United Arab Emirates that have been abandoned or left for demolition. 

The images represent a culture that developed after the oil boom nearly thirty years ago that now stands unwanted, providing a narrative that delves beyond the walls and into the lives that they once contained. The bookPresence by Lamya Gargash, has been made possible with the support of The Emirates Foundation, Anasy Media Production and H.E. Dr. Anwar M. Gargash. 

Fouad Elkoury

What Happened to My Dreams?

November 12 - December 17, 2009

FE_A Thought For Palestine (Diptych )_2009_Ink Jet Print Mounted On Aluminium _62

Fouad Elkoury’s latest photographic series captures fragments of broken societal values, reflecting the lost ideals of a generation that once held expectations for a fair and just society. Elkoury layers text on black and white and colour photographic montages mounted on aluminium, in a poetic and personal exploration of national aspirations and the dream of the individual.

The show’s title references the social theories of author and filmmaker Paul Virilio, who explores the relationship between image and war technology. Asking the question “ce qui arrive” (“what happened?”), Virilio provides an analysis of the ways in which a militaristic view now dominates an emerging world culture.

Ala Ebtekar


October 08 - November 05, 2009

AE_Kafsh O Kolah [helmet ]_2009_Rubber And Leather _80x 22x 22cm _detail 1_650

For Ebtekars first solo exhibition at The Third Line, the artist explores iconic figures from contemporary Iran. In this new series, Ebtekar paints directly onto color photographs of Iranian women in iconic poses demonstrating strength and vision.

The scarves (roosari) that cover their head and hair are transformed into a soft armor, although delicately detailed and placed; they reference a strong spirit and resilience. Ebtekar portrays women as warriors, suggestive of both ancient Persian epics and the most recent call for freedom by Irans youth - a movement frequently led quite visibly by Iranian women, who have re-entered the world stage with a particular power and grace.

Rana Begum

The Moment Of Alignment

September 10 - October 01, 2009

RB_No .178_2009_Spray Paint On Powder -coated Aluminium _20x 25cm _a _650

For Rana Begum's second solo exhibition in Dubai consists of  six new large-scale, coloured aluminium works form the exhibition supported by a selection of works on paper.           

Moving beyond the colour codes of her first solo exhibition at The Third Line, Rana Begum has evolved from a multiple layering of colour to hard edged repetition and symmetry. Maintaining a perpendicular format and intuitive application of colours, Begum’s new work demands an active participation between the audience and the pieces themselves. 

[Images are of the works with views from the right, centre and left]

Amir H. Fallah

Make It Believe

April 22 - May 30, 2009


Golnaz Fathi

The Doha Series

March 04 - May 03, 2009

GF_Scrolls Triptych _2009_Acrylic And Embroidery On Canvas _53x 800cm _650

The Doha Series is a unique initiative launched by The Third Line, which sees four select artists travel to Doha, Qatar and produce a body of work in response to the experience of the city. 

The Third Line is proud to announce the launch of this series with an inaugural exhibition of new works by artist Golnaz Fathi. Using the colors, black, white and sandy ochre, Fathi has created three new carpet works visualizing the cultural similarity between her home country of Iran and Qatar.

Youssef Nabil

I will go to Paradise

March 12 - April 16, 2009

I Will Go To Paradise

The third solo exhibition of photographs by artist Youssef Nabil refers to a misplaced nostalgia of a past era. The works are composed of his signature re-appropriation hand colouring technique of black and white photographs.

I will go to Paradise encapsulates loose references to selected moments from the artist’s life. Nabil views his life as a movie and the captured images are certainly cinematic in their compositions and allusions to narrative.

As the title of the exhibition suggests, I will go to Paradise,builds on Nabil’s obsession with and acceptance of death. In these liminal scenes he lingers between worldly realities and serene dreams, loneliness and fame, tinged with sex and death.

Tarek Al-Ghoussein

D Series

February 12 - March 05, 2009

TAG_Untitled 1 (D Series )_2008_Digital Ink Jet Print _55x 75cm _Ed .of 6_650

The Third Line is proud to present photographs by Tarek Al-Ghoussein with a series exploring belonging and identity and how the relationship of the solitary figure and surrounding space is defined. 

A Palestinian - Kuwaiti based in the UAE, much of Tarek Al-Ghoussein's work deals with how his identity is shaped in a context of inaccessibility and loss in relation to an imagined “homeland”. In many of his photographs the artist is dwarfed by a vast desert landscape, reconstructing allegorical scenarios for the obstacles, barricades and walls erected in the Occupied Territories. This is Al-Ghoussein’s first solo exhibition at the gallery and coincides with the launch of his first artist book, In Absentia.

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian


February 10 - February 26, 2009

MSF_Triangle On Triangle No .4_2008_Felt Marker , Color Pencil & Mirror On Paper _60x 90cm _650

This latest collection of sculpture and drawing by Farmanfarmaian demonstrates the journey of a person exploring the geometry, craftsmanship and aesthetics of her country, with the addition of a modern, fine art element. 

Her work brings together the as created a unique dialogue that engages traditional Iranian crafts as well as international contemporary art, coercing her audience to observe an old beauty with an avant-garde appreciation.Intricate ornamentation of Iranian architecture with the pared-down aesthetic of modern abstract expressionism and minimalism in colourful, geometric motifs.

Group Show

Lines Of Control

January 15 – February 05, 2009

RR_All Eyes Skyward During The Annual Parade _2004_ Digital Print -Diasec _ 250x 610cm _650

Green Cardamom and The Third Line present Lines of Control

Consisting of a series of exhibitions to be held in Dubai, Karachi and London, the focus is on the partition of India and its impact on the visual culture of the subcontinent.

A second series of exhibitions will take place in January / February 2010 at The Third Line and Green Cardamom. These will look at the partitions in the Middle East and how artists from the region have responded to them. 

Artists include Bani Abidi, Roohi Ahmed, Farida Batool, Rana Begum, Iftikhar Dadi and Nalini Malini, Anita Dube, Sophie Ernst, Ahsan Jamal, Amar Kanwar, Tariq Khalil, Ahmed Ali Manganhar, Naeem Mohaiemen, Raqs Media Collective, Rashid Rana, Seher Shah, Abdullah Syed, Hajra Waheed and Muhammad Zeeshan.

Youssef Nabil

I won't let you die

November 19, 2008 - March 12, 2009

BOOK_STORE_Page _4_Image _0002

The Third Line presents Youssef Nabil's latest artist book, I won't let you die, published by Hatje Cantz (Germany). The book was launched at the The Third Line booth during the 2008 artparis-Abudhabi art fair. 

The book features text by the artist himself, as well as an extended essay from art critic and curator Octavio Zaya.  It also includes conversations between the artist and three of his former subjects: Shirin Neshat, Ghada Amer, and legendary Egyptian actress Faten Hamama. With 272 pages and 137 illustrations in color, this is the first comprehensive presentation of Nabil's photographs of artists, his friends, and himself, and images staged over the past fifteen years.

Huda Lutfi

Zan’it Al-Sittat

November 13, 2008 - January 08, 2009

HL_Perfume Garden _2008_71 Perfume Bottles With Hand Painted Collage _Detail 1_650

Zan’it Al-Sittat is an exploration into the city of Cairo, and more specifically, the visibility of women in Egyptian culture and society.

Both historian and artist, Lutfi is a bricoleur. She collects disparate images and manipulates them to re-invent her personal vision of Cairo, its histories and events. In doing so, Lutfi simultaneously comments on the political relevance of her home country, lifting old feminine icons from history and giving them new life by re-contextualising historic time lines, creating hybridised, timeless female figures.

Laleh Khorramian

Zenith and Nadir

October 09 - November 06, 2008

Laleh Khorramian, Green as a Heart, 2008, Glass, lead, wood, stain, neon, paper, 96.5 x 96.5 x 12 cm

Featured in Khorramian's second solo exhibition at the gallery, I Without End (6:20 min) is a time-lapse animation, which captures a couple carved out of orange peels, sensually entwined to one another. The couple are at times androgynous, coarsely comical but intensely engaged, their heads skewed in place with the visceral violence of a Francis Bacon painting. 

The absurdity of the material as a sensual metaphor depicts the unfolding intimacy of two individuals. Upon close inspection and the alteration of time, the figures lie somewhere between the living and dying. They are essentially decaying to a rhythmical breath, engaged in movement until the moment all moisture is finally gone.

In other works on paper, Khorramian mono-prints and drawings in oil, crayon, collage, pen and ink are never too far removed from her animations, since they provide the fertile source material for them. In these works, microscopic, remote landscapes roll behind fragmented figures with narratives embedded again and again.

Group Show

Roads Were Open / Roads Were Closed

September 10 - October 02, 2008

Road -were -open ---Roads -were -closed

Artists: Fouad Elkoury, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Laila Shawa. 

Roads Were Open / Roads Were Closed is an interdisciplinary exhibition which maps varying approaches and practices around the experience, perception and memory of conflict-related trauma featuring works by Fouad Elkoury, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Laila Shawa. 

This exhibition will feature a panel discussion with Elkoury and Joreige, as well as a series of films shown over the duration of the exhibition.

Fouad Elkoury's On War and Love is a series of 29 daily journal entries recorded during the 2006 bombardment on and incursion into Lebanon by Israel. The work combines photography and text in order to reveal the artist''''s intimate thoughts as he recounts this event which is doubled by the decision of his partner to leave him.

In Wonder Beirut, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige retrace the career of Lebanese photographer, Abdallah Farah. In 1975, Farah started damaging the negatives of his postcards, burning them little by little, imitating and simultaneously documenting the battles and bombings of the civil war. Hadjithomas and Joreige both republish these images to record the demise of this city, as well as that of the photographer’s psyche.

Tarek Al-Ghoussein's series ofSelf-Portraits depict the artist in various settings where open spaces and obstacles intercept each other. Based in the UAE, many of his photographs include the artist dwarfed by a vast desert landscape, stuck in front of remnants of walls in the middle of an open space.

London-based Laila Shawa’sWeapons of Mass Destruction is an oversized slingshot, stretched back as if ready for release. Despite the tension within its strips, the rock in its pocket is clearly grounded and presents no danger. 

This exhibition was generously supported by Bank of Sharjah.

Youssef Nabil

Youssef Nabil

May 08 - July 01, 2008


To inaugurate The Third Line, Doha a solo exhibition of photographs by artist Youssef Nabil from May 8 – July 1, 2008 opened the new galley space in Qatar.  This exhibition is made possible with the support of Deutsche Bank.

Many famous artists have been Nabil’s subject in the following years including Tracey Emin, Natacha Atlas, Paulo Coelho, Nan Goldin, Kate Moss, David Lynch and Louise Bourgeois: each sitter's story being told through Nabil’s black and white photographs which are painstakingly hand coloured with dream-like dewed tones.

At the age of 35, Nabil has established himself as one of the most influential photographers of his generation. Growing up in the cinematic Cairo, Youssef was intoxicated with the golden age of its stars. His works draw inspiration from his childhood memories of black and white films filled with glamour, elegance and melodrama.

Golnaz Fathi

Sleepless Nights

May 29 - June 19, 2008

GF_Aspiration _2008_Print (light Box )_27x 21cm _650

Firmly anchored in extensive training in traditional calligraphy, Fathi has for over fifteen years now been perfecting the ability of script to communicate meaning away from its actual referent.

In Sleepless Nights, Golnaz Fathi delves into the flexibility of Persian calligraphic script, and its varied applications, with a thick brush, fine pen or bright white lines of light. As the words are vacated from their meaning, their forms take to the forefront and are charged with emotive potential. However, whereas her previous works included bright reds, blues and yellows competing with the speckled script, simple blocks of black and white now dominate the stream of words.

In this most recent body of work, Fathi has moved towards much smaller, more invested and obsessive types of mark making. The traditional modes of practicing calligraphy are still referenced as entire surfaces turn black with scribbles, known as theSiah Mashgh approach.This practice was originally a warm up exercise for the calligrapher to refine the shape of letters by repeating them over and over. These applications thus resulted in the page being filled with words and letters, hence the name Siah Mashgh literally meaning “black practice”.

Susan Hefuna

Patience is Beautiful

April 23 - May 18, 2008

SH_The Absence Will Continue For Ever (Ana Wa Inta Baeed )_2007_Textile , Egyptian Cotton _100x 150cm _detail _650

Susan Hefuna’s exhibition Patience is Beautiful is an exploration of self expression, identity and displacement as the artist explores her German-Egyptian heritage through works in wood, bronze, textiles and drawings.

The mashrabiya has always been a prominent feature in Hefuna’s work, eliciting ideas of displacement and longing. A fundamental part of Islamic architecture, the mashrabiya was made to protect the interior from heat and light, and improve the circulation of air whilst simultaneously protecting women from public view and allowing an interaction of sorts with the outside world. In Hefuna’s work, the mashrabiya becomes a symbol, the state of being simultaneously included and excluded by both society and self-imposed ‘rules’.

This exhibition has been generously supported by Deutsche Bank.

Shezad Dawood

Until The End Of The World

February 21 - March 27, 2008

SD_Al Alim (The All Knowing )_2008_Acrylic , Blue Neon Lights , Tumbleweed _160x 70x 60cm _Detail 2_650

Shezad Dawood’s Until the End of the World, engages the viewer in a complex revisiting of historically documented artistic practices, and with a simple tweak in perspective, opens a vast area of convergence, interweaving and overlapping between two monolithic belief systems.

As an exploration of the beginnings and endings of cosmological truths and universal systems, Dawood works from the final sections of the Qu’ran presenting an interdisciplinary installation comprised ofpaintings, neon lights and tumble weeds, which call into question the convergence of design, formalism and mysticism.

Pouran Jinchi


January 16 – February 14, 2008

PJ_Headgear (Louis Vuitton I)_2005_Gouache On Paper _76.2x 58.42cm _ 650

Pouran Jinchi incorporates delicately crafted paintings of patterned and branded fabrics with traditional calligraphy and Islamic geometric design to form her own unique line of post modern headgear. By focusing on the garment and labelling, Jinchi reconfigures these high end lifestyle items in an effort to articulate a personalised identity, so much so, that the wearer of these garments disappears and only the object remains. 

In this series, Jinchi examines the blending of her ancient language and the new language of commercialism where, Nike, Burberry and ancient calligraphy morph into one creating customary head gear – these gauche of paper works make comment of ethnic marketing, deconstructing notions of identity and renegotiating how these identities are formed in a globalised society.

Other works in this series feature the intricately composed patterns where ornate thread-like lines weave in and out forming a macro view of the fabric. Jinchi then creates another layer to these works by adding calligraphy based forms with their fluid and aesthetically formed design.

Group Show

Life Drawing

December 19, 2007 - January 10, 2008

HK_Chained Women _2006_Sumi Ink On Paper _45x 65cm _650

Life Drawing: Approaches to figurative practices by Neda Hadizadeh, Ghadah Al Kandari, Hayv Kahraman and Lamya Gargash, presents works that converge through literal or fragmented depictions of the body. Through the different mediums of drawing, painting and video, these four young female artists decipher the figure and its representation while simultaneously commenting on the environment in which they live. 

Kuwaiti artist Ghadah Al Kandari's works range from colourful and brash like portraits to extremely simple black and white drawings.The commonality between her painting and drawings are her subjects – all are relatives depicted in off-beat domestic settings which hint toward family dynamics and the relationships between the individuals. 
Iraqi artist Hayv Kahraman's highly graphic drawings depict the ravaging effects of war, which always affect women the hardest. Using Sumi ink on brown paper, Hayv's wide stylistic references range from Japanese and Arabic calligraphy art nouveau, Persian miniature and Greek iconography.

Emirati artist Lamya Gargashcatches our curious gaze by omitting vital information from the female form. Gargash’s video portraits highlight the awkward space between the garment and the body by manipulating two comparative images – one displayed with only the garment in view, the other with only the body in view, questioning society’s perceived understanding of female representation.
Iranian artist Neda Hadizadehpaints fragmented figurative works with vibrant brush strokes and strong black lines. Dripping, figurative outlines are placed on a background of colour, usually contain the model’s fingers or bony hands covering or concealing segments of the figure. Her work depicts the human form with angst and psychological drama in a dark and unsettling manner.

Hassan Hajjaj

Noss Noss: Photographic Works and Other Moroccan Stories

November 22 - December 13, 2007

HH_Classic Ahmed _2000_C-print ,walnut Wood Frame & Found Object _87x 62cm _650

“Noss Noss” means “so so” in Arabic, but in Morocco it is used to order a coffee with milk (half and half). The use of this common phrase heard at Marrakech cafes is typical of Hajjaj’s world where urban street culture and the everyday coexist. From young people in Marrakech on the back of motorcycles to men in fez’s smoking cigarettes, Hajjaj’s work portrays young locals posing on the streets of Morocco and simultaneously captures Western stereotypes of the people of North Africa. 

Here Hajjaj takes European stereotypes of the North African world and turns them into a visual celebration in what he calls 'souk with a twist'. His photographs are then finished with a unique kind of Moroccan product placement: recycled bike tyres, tins of food or used batteries sourced from the markets of Morocco are then placed around the image, framing the work in the unique Hassan Hajjaj style. Each relief style frame is individually made by the artist, each referencing the co-existence of the new and the old.

By recycling, re-appropriating and re-empowering Western stereotypes of North Africa, Hajjaj has come up with a powerful and celebratory aesthetic that is very much like a visual hip-hop: he does not combine Africa and the West, rather, he speaks the voice of a generation that can no longer tell the difference.

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

Recollection: Works by Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

October 27 - November 15, 2007

Monir -Farmanfarmaian _Golestan _2003_Four -layers -of -drawings -on -plexiglass _41x 30x 15cm

Working in the traditional craft of reverse glass painting and mirror mosaics, a medium dominated by master mirror workers, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian quickly earned the respect of her collaborators with her innovative patterns and her pioneering approach to materials. 

Rigorously applying Islamic geometric principles such as Mizan and Tawhid (Balance and Unity), Monir manages to hover between intricate ornamentation and paired down minimalism, between the influences of Seljuk, Safavid and Qajar and of Mondrian and Vasarely. 

Throughout her long and well documented art practice, Monir has stayed true to the craft from which she draws boundless inspiration while relentlessly pursuing ground breaking methods and new geometries. Her work has created a voice that at once and with equal relevance, engages in a dialogue around traditional Iranian crafts, as well as in international contemporary art.

Rana Begum

Color Codes

September 06 - October 10, 2007

RB_No .101 (Dyptich )_2007_Resin On Lithographic , Electrical Tape , Vinyl , Paint & Wood _76x 76cm _650

Rana Begum's exhibition at The Third Line will showcase the London artist's most recent body of works. Lodged between op-art and minimalism, Begum's paintings draw an unlikely inspiration from repetitive geometric patterns within Islamic art and architecture. The result is a series of tightly controlled compositions, where impeccably applied colorful hard-edge lines are coated in a thick layer of glossy resin, to create seductively tactile reflective surfaces. 

Begum's paintings are an exercise in rhythm and symmetry and much like music, have a spiritual quality to them that embraces the heart and gratifies the eye. Begum received her Fine Art Degree in painting at the Chelsea College of Art and Design and her MFA in painting from the Slade School of Fine Art, both of London.

Group Show

Long Distance: Between Location and Emotion

May 31 - July 01, 2007


Artists: Remi Arora, Abbas Akhavan

An interdisciplinary double-bill, this exhibition investigates links between the body and the memory that it carries and is the result of a multi-faceted three-way exchange via e-mail, telephone, mp4 transmission, instant messenger and MySpace, anchored in the notion of correspondence as a means of artistic collaboration. While the respective practices of artists Remi Arora and Abbas Akhavan are quite disparate, common language emerged throughout our conversations with them as they were both drawn to explore the potential for emotional intensity inherent within even the most generic of places. 

Arora's video works are the result of a series of nocturnal stake-outs conducted in front of empty parking lots, abandoned gas stations, strip malls, and motels. 

Akhavan's work blurs the lines between euphoria and anxiety indulging the viewer with a slowed down grandiose series of color splatters that burn the sky, addressing the discomfort our bodies feel confused by identical stimuli loud vibrations, flashing lights etc. that takes us from the bombed streets of Lebanon to a national celebration in Canada.

Farhad Moshiri

Candy Store

March 03 - May 26, 2007

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This exhibition sees Moshiri adopt a more direct approach towards his subject. Using a cake icing dispenser to sculpt elaborate patterns on canvas, his theme is literal to the title of the exhibition: candy. 

Despite over the top ornamentation, including Swarovsky Crystals and Baroque drapery, Moshiri's paintings maintain a minimalist elegance, while simultaneously questioning the connotations of good taste and the implications of aesthetics.

Marwan Sahmarani

Can You Teach Me How To Fight

March 22 - April 18, 2007

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Montreal-based Lebanese painter Marwan Sahmarani retraces the tragically circular history of so-called civilizations. The result is a highly expressive tapestry, interweaving references to Christian icons of warrior saints a la St George and St Maurice; with the traditions of Islamic miniatures and fresco paintings depicting the epic battles against Mongols and Crusaders. 

Splattering turpentine over muscular horses, smudging the sharp blade of a sword with his finger, or crushing an oil stick onto a bearded face, Sahmarani exposes his own desire to fight, by exploring the physicality of his materials. Mastering his medium as well as the history books he uses as source material, Sahmarani''''s works have taken on a sadly prophetic quality in our region where violence seems to constantly renew itself.

Youssef Nabil

Portraits, Self-Portraits

February 24 - March 15, 2007

Portraits Selfportraits

Youssef Nabil's long awaited solo show at The Third Line is finally here. With his unmistakable style, Nabil shoots his subjects bare of any make-up on high contrast black and white film to then meticulously apply the necessary maquillage manually onto the prints. 

Utilising this old hand coloring method commercially used in the 30's, Nabil creates seductive eye candy prints that always seem to walk a thin line between contrived superficiality and an eerily penetrating gaze into the "characters" photographed. Equally recognizable is Nabil's subject matter: displaced nostalgic retro and quirky sexual cliche applied to diva-esque figures like Fifi Abdou, Samira Said and Laila Elwy as well as an array of regional and international art icons such as Ghada Amer, Sherin Neshat, Nan Goldin, Tracey Emin...and of course himself. 

Nabil reveals himself to be tapped into, as well as a product of a globalized circulation of images and culture. We find ourselves exposed as voyeurs witnessing the aftermath of ambiguously deviant sexual acts, or sharing a window view with a seemingly unaware subject from over his/her shoulder.

Group Show

Under the Indigo Dome

January 08 – February 08, 2007


Ala Ebtekar and Amir Fallah’s artworks are stepping stones of sorts, suggesting as many similarities as differences between such extremes.             

Ebtekar’s black and white drawings, sketched on paper, like studies for an oil-daubed masterpiece, Kushti warriors are integrated with B-Boy poses that simultaneously echo a faded era of popular culture while mirroring the integration of hip-hop culture into an equally pop mainstream today. Each figure rests under an ornamented dome-like arc; soldiers of the past forming a fortified structure with the equally macho posturing of rap artists, break-dancers and MCs.

Fallah meanwhile takes a more personal approach to explore notions of identity and masculinity. His second exhibition with The Third Line, he has here created a series of drawings on paper, large paintings, photographs and an installation all inspired by boyhood and ideas of what constitutes a ‘safe haven’.


Fouad Elkoury

Civilisation (fake=real)

December 02 - December 22, 2006

FE_Construction At Night _2005_Lambda Print _100x 124cm _Ed .of 13_650

In 1982, he covered the Israeli invasion of Beirut and in 1984 published Beyrouth Aller-Retour, a book documenting the bomb-shocked city - a prelude to his sophomore project Beirut City Centre in 1991, and ignited a distinguished bibliography which continues to this day.

Elkoury created the Beirut-based Arab Image Foundation in 1997, and in 2001 introduced video into his repertoire with the filmLettres à Francine to accompany the chiaroscuro-esque photographic series Sombre, withMoving Out (2003) and Welcome to Beirut (2005) to follow.

Group Show

From Egypt With Love

November 03 - November 22, 2006

From -Egypt -With -Love _Huda -Lutfi _Installation -shot -4

Artists: Susan Hefuna, Huda Lutfi

Timelines are compressed and icons subverted in this prestigious double-bill reflecting dualities of past and present, mixed identities and cross-cultures. 

Self-referentially lodged between two worlds is German/Egyptian artist Susan Hefuna whose series of mashrabiyas both actual structures and photographic depictions - have won critical acclaim, not least by the Louvre, who in 2004/5 included her alongside 12 other selected international artists for the favourable Counterpoint show. 

Huda Lutfi, meanwhile, is an urban archeologist of a very different kind: rummaging through old artifacts and throwaway items in Cairo's markets, factories and antique shops, she flattens periods of history by calling up Pharaonic, Coptic, Islamic, Greek and Ottoman eras in one single image.

Golnaz Fathi

Golnaz Fathi

September 21 - October 19, 2006

GF_Untitled XXV (Qabbani Black )_2006_Acrylic On Canvas _29x 20cm Each _650

Golnaz Fathi's newest works are inspired by the late, great Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani and incorporated into an installation for her second solo exhibition at the gallery. Fathi returns with her signature style of incomprehensible calligraphic text masquerading across large canvases as language. However, whereas last time areas of bright red, blue and yellow jostled for centre stage with the scatterbrain script, simple black and white now dominate the odd blot of scarlet. 

The show's focal point is the Qabbani room; an enclosed homage to the contemporary poet and his prolific legacy celebrating Arab womanhood through unique and sensual verse. The space specially created for The Third Line is enveloped in stimuli, from the rose petals underfoot to an imposing tricolour painting echoing the Syrian flag to a blank canvas whose lettering has tumbled to the floor. Fathi's talent is in expression through interpretation. Where there are no words, there is meaning through form and palette. She won't spell it out. Literally.

Travelling Exhibition

Moving Walls

August 27 - September 16, 2006

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A new travelling exhibit premiering in Dubai aims to spark debate about the role of documentary photography in effecting social change. Moving Walls: A Documentary Photography Exhibition is sponsored by the Open Society Institute (OSI), a private foundation based in New York City, and features the work of seven photographers. In conjunction with the exhibition, OSI and The Third Line are sponsoring workshops for Dubai-based photojournalists and students. 

Moving Walls: A Documentary Photography Exhibition features portraiture, collaborative projects, social documentary work, photo montage and war reportage. The photographers in this exhibition use diverse techniques to reveal more than can be conveyed in a single image on the front page of a newspaper. They encourage the viewer to study a body of work, to consider what it says, and 'if inspired or provoked' to act.

Group Show

No Vacancy

July 13 - August 02, 2006

AUD Maisam Darwish

Men in boxes, poets as muses, subliminal messages; this eclectic presentation by eight young artists put life's foibles under the spotlight. Maisam Darwish, Abdul Rahman Alhussain, Alex Cordier, Kaveh Kashani, Leila Ghomi, Maryam Jalali, Jumana H, Arwa Manager, Rahab Al-Majed and Raji Al-Alsarif here use a combination of black and white and colour photography. 

The American University in Dubai (AUD) is a private, non-sectarian institution of higher learning founded in 1995. It's a branch of the American Intercontinental University, and a leader in collaborative and technology driven education. 

Group Show


July 21 - August 10, 2006


Six students majoring in Graphic Design and Visual Arts here present photographic works, each exploring different themes but united in the quest for individual visual identity. Now in their third year of their degree programme, Lateefa bint Maktoum, Latifa Saeed, Shamma Al Ameri, Wafar Hasher Al Maktoum, Mazyoona Abdulla and Alia Bin Drai present visual meditations on their world at large. Latifa College was established in October 2003 under the patronage of HH Shaikha Alia Bint Khalifa Al Maktoum, providing a unique experience in art and design education for graduates of Latifa School for Girls. The students followed an intensive one-year, full-time programme in art and design, intended to provide a sound platform of creative abilities upon which to build through undergraduate studies, as well as developing relevant study skills, designed to facilitate the transition from school to university.

Group Show

Figure/Ground: Women and Their Surroundings

April 20, 2006 - May 14, 2006

AAB_Celestialsphere _2005__disital Print On Photographic Paper _78x 76cm _650

Artists: Arwa Abouon, Doa Aly, Rana El Nemr, Mona Marzouk

The figure/ground relationship is one of the basic rules of perception. The premise of the rule is that the figure in a painting or photograph is perceived as a structured entity over a shapeless background. Despite the totality of an image being visible to us, our perception focuses on the subject and accords it specificity, while viewing the ground as a generic, inactive and secondary compositional entity.

Artists Arwa Abouon, Doa Aly, Rana El Nemr and Mona Marzouk, each in their way re-visit the figure/ground relationship and give it new meaning in order to ‘activate’ the ground both perceptually and conceptually as an entity that shapes and is shaped by the figure. Indeed, the exhibition seeks to reveal the ground as anything but generic, exposing surroundings that are culturally loaded, gendered and sexually charged. 

Farhad Moshiri

Farhad Moshiri

January 25 – February 16, 2006


Comprised mainly of Moshiri's jar series, the paintings in this exhibition have a sculptural quality to them. Their massive presence does not overshadow their sentimental fragility: both in terms of content and treatment. 

Often incorporating calligraphic renditions of contemporary Farsi love songs, Moshiri's crackled archeological findings subtly toy with orientalist expectations, and speak to us in an elegantly subversive tone that we can only pensively marvel at.

Shirin Aliabadi

Beyond Black

November 09 - November 26, 2005

SA_Girls In Car 1_Color Photographic Print _70x 100cm _Ed .of 5_650

In the context of Iran, both from the point of view of the west as from within, the very act of representing or identifying oneself inevitably becomes a political act...especially for a woman. 

In essence, what the five female photographers in Beyond Black do is vocalize individual perspectives that tear us away from collective narratives and easy generalisations; be they coming from a western eurocentric perspective, or a regional gender-biased agenda.

Youssef Nabil


September 23, 2005 - October 14, 2005


At a young age, Nabil discovered works by Egyptian-Armenian studio photographer Van Leo who during the 1940s and 1950s took portraits of famous homegrown personalities, from politicians to singers. 

Today, Nabil weaves this homage into intimately captured portraits of both Egyptian and Internationally acclaimed artists, belly dancers, fashion designers and actors. His hand coloured photographs take on dream like tones transporting the viewer back in time to the age of golden cinema.

Golnaz Fathi


June 30 - July 15, 2005

GF_Untitled (red Black Circle )_2003_Acrylic On Canvas _153x 125cm _650jpg

Trained as a calligrapher, Golnaz Fathi's paintings seem to break all the rules of traditional Persian calligraphy. Her letters are used merely as forms, her verse as her composition. One recognizes that there is script in her work, but her paintings carry meaning that has no known coded alphabet.

The strength of her work stems from the drive to express emotions that cannot be pinned down into words. Fathi's works succeeds where language fails, all things considered, there is solace to be found.

Group Show

Heal The World

April 07 - April 08, 2005

No Image

Local and internationally-based artists were invited by Sunny Rahbar of The Third Line to participate and attend 'a Tightly Curated Approximation of a Global Lifestyle.' 

Celebrating the opening of the 7th Sharjah Biennial, Rahbar set out to demonstrate there are no differences between us: local and international, Sharjah and Dubai, artist and art lover. Artists were requested to submit their daily schedules to Rahbar and where then all uniformly printed and displayed at the exhibition venue.