President Trump and Contemporary Art in Saudi Arabia

Words by Elena Scarpa
May 22, 2017

President Trump has started his first foreign visit, which will take him to several countries, including Saudi Arabia.

For his visit in Saudi the government put together two contemporary art exhibitions. As The Art Newspaper reports, the first one was organized by King Abdulaziz Centre in Dhahran where at the end of the 2017 Aramco is due to open its own cultural institution; the exhibition was on view for three datys at Diwan al-Malaki in the country’s capital and presents work by 17 artists including Ahmed Mater, Abdullah Al-Othman and Ahmad Angawi (all of them were also part of Rhizoma, Edge of Arabia’s Collateral Event during the 56th Venice Biennale in 2013). The show has a particular focus on young artists and aims at presenting the Kingdom’s culture and to encourage the dialogue between Saudi and the USA.

Another exhibition of contemporary art is on view at the Ritz Carlton, also in Riyadh. Its curated by Aya Alireza and Raneem Farsi who have put together a show which includes works by Maha Malluh (one of the artists chosen by Christine Macel for this year’s Venice Biennale) and Abdulnasser Gharem who currently also has a solo show at Lacma.

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