Select Exhibitions


Ways of Seeing

Taking its cue from John Berger's 1972 seminal text on visual culture, Ways of Seeing explores the various formalistic strategies through which artists accord forms and concepts that are otherwise familiar with renewed appearances and meanings. The exhibition features 33 artists, and consists of 70 works ranging from 1000 BC to the present, spanning a variety of media from painting, sculpture and photography to sound, film and installation.



Marking the 4th edition of Jeddah 21, 39, this exhibition is conceived as an educational platform that explores the notion of travel as a vehicle for learning and growth. safar features creative projects, mostly new commissions, by 16 emerging artists from Saudi Arabia, alongside 8 immersive new-media installations by leading international artists, as well as more than 50 public events and workshops.


Art et Liberté

Rupture, War and Surrealism in Egypt (1938 – 1948)

Building on several years of in-depth academic and field research, this exhibition marks a historic presentation of this hitherto undocumented and little-known chapter in the art history of Surrealism and its negotiation within Egypt.


When Process Becomes Form

Dansaekhwa and Korean Abstraction

This exhibition is the first comprehensive presentation in Europe of a generation of loosely affiliated Korean artists whose negotiation of abstraction has become known as Dansaekhwa. It brings together more than fifty seminal paintings from international museum and private collections, ranging from the 1960s until the 1980s.


Staging Film

The relation of image and space in video art

Through 12 seminal video installations by leading figures of video art, this exhibition explores the link between films seen in traditional cinema settings, and those that are experienced as an installation within a museum space. With works that date from the early 1990s until today, the exhibition illustrates how over the past two decades video artists have been redefining the relation between the projected image and the physical space in which it is presented.


I Spy With My Little Eye

A New Generation of Beirut Artists

An exhibition introducing a new generation of emerging artists connected to the city of Beirut, taking the departure point from the artists as clandestine observers rather than public commentators.

  • Casa Arabe, Cordoba (Spain):
    December 2015 – February 2016
  • Casa Arabe, Madrid (Spain):
    17 September – 22 November 2015
  • The Mosaic Rooms, London (United Kingdom):
    11 July – 22 August 2015

Songs of Loss and Songs of Love

Oum Kulthoum and Lee Nan-Young

An exhibition based on a fictious encounter between the two famous singers that almost met in Paris in 1967. Includes 18 artists from the Middle East.

  • Gwangju Museum of Art, Gwangju (South Korea):
    16 May – 13 July 2014

Tea with Nefertiti

The Making of the Artwork by the Artist, the Museum and the Public

Employing the Nefertiti bust as a metaphorical thread, the exhibition explores how an artwork can become a tool for the writing of much-contested narratives that serve as frameworks through which an image of another culture can be imagined and consequently fixed. Features over 40 artists, as well as pieces from Ancient Egypt, Islamic Art and over 50 support documents and catalogues.


Overcoming the Modern

Dansaekhwa: The Korean Monochrome Movement

A survey of the most important but forgotten movement in Postwar Korea including its 8 most important members Lee Ufan, Park Seo-bo, Yun Hyung-Geun, Lee Dong-youb, Ha Chong-Hyun, Huh Hwang, Chung Chanp-sup and Chung Sang-hwa.


Mona Hatoum


Solo Exhibition featuring over 80 works in the artist’s most comprehensive show to date in the Arab World, spanning three decades of work.


Paul Guiragossian

The Human Condition

The first major retrospective of this leading Lebanese modernist artist, organized on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of his passing. Includes over 300 artworks and archival documents, providing an entry into the study of alternative modernities at large.


Akram Zaatari

Letter to a Refusing Pilot

A new commission and solo presentation questioning Lebanese society’s contested relationship with Israel through recent historical events that overlap with personal accounts from the artist’s childhood.


Rock Paper Scissors

A playful juxtaposition on media used by nine different artists, including Jackson Pollock, Kasper Sonne, Soonja Han, Kim Chun Hwan, Louise Nevelson, Robert Carter, Hadie Shafie, Louise Burgeois, Jim Dine.


Lee Bae

The Conceptual Formalist

A solo show featuring 50 works created since 2000 by this leading Korean minimalist artist.

  • Nicholas Robinson Gallery, New York (USA):
    8 September – 22 October 2011

Told Untold Retold

23 Stories of Journeys through Time and Place

Inaugural Exhibition of Mathaf – Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha featuring 23 new commissions by Artists with Roots in the Arab World . Since then, these commissioned works have been shown in over 30 exhibitions worldwide.


Iran Inside Out

Influences of Homeland and Diaspora on the Artistic Language of 56 Contemporary Iranian Artists

A formalistic comparison of artists based inside Iran and those having lived in the Diaspora since the Iranian Revolution of 1979.



Artistic and Cultural Convergences Between Italy and Lebanon, Syria, Egypt and Iran

An in-depth analysis of personal and artistic relationships of a specific generation of modernist artists, in light of the historical, political and cultural connection between their homelands.

  • Chelsea Art Museum, New York (USA):
    10 December 2008 – 7 February 2009