Arab Artwork Revealed in a New Light
An exhibition currently showing at the Institut du Monde Arabe (Institute of the Arab World) is going to shake up certain preconceived notions that many people have about the Arab world — starting with the idea that nudity is forbidden in contemporary Arab civilizations. The works presented at the exhibit, entitled The Body Revealed, prove that this is certainly not the case, and visitors can witness the use of nudity in modern and contemporary Arab art.
This audacious collection has been brought together in order to provoke analysis of the representation of the body in Arab visual art. This analysis is animated by themes as 'Trance,' 'Suffering,' 'Beauty,' 'Desire' and even 'Memories.' Two hundred pieces by seventy artists hailing from different Arab countries breath life into the collection.
The collection spans two levels of the building, where visitors can see how Lebanese and Egyptian painters — among others — learned the art of the nude painting in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century and imported it to their home countries upon their return. These artists would go on to open art schools where their appreciation of nude artwork was propagated. Through paintings, photographs and videos, visitors will understand this history in its proper context.
The collection represents an ode to contemporary Arab culture, where a new generation of artists have been expressing their vision of the body on canvas and in sculpture for the past 30 years or so. The works of female artists are especially celebrated in the second part of the exposition, which is dedicated to contemporary creation. The desire for equal treatment is apparent throughout. Until July 15, 2012 visitors staying at the Hotel Regencia can discover this unique collection for themselves.
Institut du Monde Arabe
1 rue des Fossés-Saint-Bernard
Metro : Jussieu / Cardinal-Lemoine / Sully-Morland
Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Closed on Monday
Tickets: 8 euros