Art Basel 2017: Middle Eastern artists make their mark

Art Basel 2017: Middle Eastern artists make their mark

Seher Shah, Reza Aramesh, Fahd Burki

Text: Faizal Dahlawia

Editor: Shannon Wylie

Basel transforms into arts central this weekend with the opening of Art Basel and Buro 24/7 Middle East puts the focus on regional artists who are set to present the artworks that matter.

The spotlight shines on Art Basel over the next four days as the world's arts fraternity congregate in the Swiss town for a creative extravaganza. Expect painters, sculptors, installation artists and a Middle Eastern cohort of the brightest emerging creatives to showcase their masterpieces including Reza Aramesh, Maha Maamoun, Seher Shah and Fahd Burki. Here's why you need to see their works now...

Seher Shah (Green Art Gallery)

Driven by the concept that utopias are created through a collection of milestone moments, New York-based Pakistani artist Seher Shah drew inspiration for her drawings and sculpture from two pieces of architecture. The works fuse distinctive ideology into technology: India's Golconde (modernism with spirituality) and Nakagin Capsule Tower (modularity and reformation).

Art Basel 2017 Middle Eastern artists

Reza Aramesh (Leila Heller Gallery)

London-based Iranian artist Reza Aramesh presents Site of the Fall: Study of the Renaissance Garden, a collection of three larger-than-life Carrara marble sculptures that depict the agony of sentencing for the convicted. The artist juxtaposes different textures – the roughness of rope against smooth stone – in a depiction of how the West historically perceived suffering.

Art Basel 2017 Middle Eastern artists

Maha Maamoun (Gypsum)

Egyptian visual artist Maha Maamoun visited public offices across Cairo to capture the divine that's hidden in the midst of the daily tensions between staff and visitors. Using only the camera on her phone, Maamoun focuses on the pieces of paper plastered on walls containing prayers that act as reminders for humility, patience, compassion and the drive for excellence.

Art Basel 2017 Middle Eastern artists

Fahd Burki (Grey Noise)

With a fascination towards symmetry, symbols and forms, Pakistani artist Fahd Burki showcases a collection of graphic elemental drawings (pencil and ballpoint pen) on canvas and paper. Together these reflect a minimalistic ideology; one that strives to find the balance between the figurative and the non-representational.  

Art Basel 2017 Middle Eastern artists

Art Basel 2017 runs from June 15-18 at the Messe Basel Exhibition Hall. Now, take an exclusive look inside the Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech with Buro 24/7 Middle East before its grand opening in October.