On 30 January the Saatchi Gallery’s second show, Unveiled: New Art From the Middle East opened, presenting the work of over 20 of the region’s most exciting artists. Dedicated to the flourishing contemporary Arabic art scene, the exhibition offered a cutting edge survey of recent painting, sculpture and installation.
Despite a long-standing visual tradition going back several centuries and a fiercely independent creative mindset, new artists from the Middle East have been largely overlooked internationally because of the widespread political conflict that dominates the region. However, in recent years the contemporary art scene in Cairo, Tehran, Beirut, Jordan and Dubai has become more vibrant and active than ever before. In about five years Abu Dhabi will be the home of one of the most dense concentrations of cultural resources in the world, while artists from the region are shattering tidy preconceptions to present an extraordinarily diverse range of artistic expression emerging from the Middle East and its Diaspora.