Calligraphy artist Wissam Shawkat seeks to break the mold after mastering classic styles

By The Frontier Post | March 30, 2020

Monitoring Desk DUBAI: “If you continue practicing calligraphy in its traditional scripts, that’s a limitation by itself,” Iraqi artist Wissam Shawkat told Arab News while explaining the need to master the craft and then innovate to push Arabic calligraphy into the future. “I mean I am not against learning traditional scripts. I’ve been doing calligraphy…

The Cat: A Natural and Cultural History by Sarah Brown

By The Frontier Post | March 28, 2020

Monitoring Desk Of all the domesticated species, cats have enjoyed the most complex relationship with people — one that still leads to arguments about whether you can truly call the cat asleep by your fire “tame.” The Cat is a comprehensive, richly illustrated exploration of the natural and cultural history of this much-loved pet. Chapters…

Healing as art: Marina Fokidis discusses Art Dubai’s online performance program

By The Frontier Post | March 27, 2020

Monitoring Desk DUBAI: In these strange times, where it feels to many as if we have suddenly assumed the role of characters in a sci-fi film, fighting off an unknown assailant whose attacks are highly unpredictable and deadly, most would agree that we need to conjure up other modes of power. While the art world…

Art Dubai Residents: Nigerian artist Tonia Nneji wants women to know they aren’t alone

By The Frontier Post | March 26, 2020

Monitoring Desk DUBAI: Nigerian visual artist, photographer, art blogger and graffiti artist Tonia Nneji was one of six talents invited to take part in the Art Dubai Residents program, which will no longer exhibit physically due to the coronavirus pandemic. Color plays a central role in Nneji’s practice — a tool she embraces to imbue…

A new future for art fairs? Highlights from Art Dubai’s first digital program

By The Frontier Post | March 25, 2020

Monitoring Desk DUBAI: Back in February as the rapid spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) threatened the global art calendar, Art Basel Hong Kong was the first to go. Day by day, the art world watched as fair by fair was either postponed or cancelled. Frieze New York, 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair, Milan’s Salonedel Mobile, Art…

Egypt disinfects landmark museum as virus fears grow

By The Frontier Post | March 24, 2020

Monitoring Desk CAIRO: Cleaning crews descended upon the landmark Egyptian Museum in Cairo on Monday, dousing it with disinfectants as fears mount over the spread of the novel coronavirus. Sporting white coats, gloves and face masks, the men sprayed sanitisers across the vast museum halls, home to thousands of precious relics spanning Egypt’s prehistoric era…

Deep Roots

By The Frontier Post | March 23, 2020

Authors: Avidit Acharya, Matthew Blackwell and Maya Sen Despite dramatic social transformations in the US during the last 150 years, the South has remained staunchly conservative. Southerners are more likely to support Republican candidates, gun rights, and the death penalty, and southern whites harbor higher levels of racial resentment than whites in other parts of…

Finding the ‘spirit of freedom’ in artist Samir Sayegh’s calligraphy

By The Frontier Post | March 21, 2020

Monitoring Desk BEIRUT: “Here you have the spirit of calligraphy,” says the artist Samir Sayegh, pointing to one long fluid brushstroke on canvas. “It is energy that gives it balance. This energy comes from a certain set of feelings — feelings that are deep inside — and the contemplation of who you are as a…

Under the hammer: Contemporary art from the Arab world

By The Frontier Post | March 20, 2020

Monitoring Desk Sotheby’s is billing this 1949 depiction of a Greek port in the early morning by the Alexandrian painter — widely regarded as the founder of Egypt’s modern-art movement — as the highlight of this auction. It is expected to fetch close to half-a-million dollars. “An otherworldly stillness emanates from the work,” the brochure…

Music by the Numbers – From Pythagoras to Schoenberg

By The Frontier Post | March 19, 2020

Author: Eli Maor Music is filled with mathematical elements. The works of Bach are often said to possess a math-like logic, and Arnold Schoenberg, IannisXenakis, and Karlheinz Stockhausen wrote music explicitly based on mathematical principles. Yet Eli Maor argues that it is music that has had the greater influence on mathematics, not the other way…