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With the universal “please stay home” rule of confinement, many online initiatives have emerged.

In line with our mission of promoting and nurturing the appreciation of art and artistic growth, we at The Art Circle wanted to contribute to these initiatives in a more intimate way.

We have therefore tailored for you a series, called  "@HOME with...", a series of intimate conversations between guest speakers being artists, curators, collectors or archeologists and a moderator to continue to nourish our artistic curiosity.

We Care, Beyrut
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13 September, 2020 

8:00 P.M.

UAE time



@HOME with

Beirut, we care

The main mission of The Art Circle is to support artists. This time it is special. The Art Circle is honoured to present "Beirut We Care" a webseminar on september 13th featuring a conversation between 4 of the most proeminant lebanese artists and designers moderated by Beirut Art Fair curator Joanna Chevalier. The webseminar is part of a broader initiative to support lebanese arts in one of its worst times. Sunday talk will be followed by an important milestone of this initiative on september 30th at Piasa Auction house in Paris with the exceptional "From Beirut Art + Design scene" auction. Some of the Works for the auction will be presented by the artists you will meet on sunday. So please join us for this unique event and help us support the wounded but always thriving lebanese art scene. 

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To attend please send us an email:

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28 June 2020

8:00 P.M.

Abu Dhabi time



@HOME with

Ammar Abd Rabbo, Erika Larsen & Shannon Taggart

"Picturing the invisible"

in conversation with Jolaine Frizzel 

Jolaine Frizzel in conversation with the artists on how “picturing the invisible” resonates with their work.


Ammar Abd Rabbo is a French‐Syrian artist and one of the Arab world’s leading photographers. His work has been published in the most widely circulated publications, from Time Magazine to Paris Match, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, and Asharq Al Awsat. His photos appeared on more than 60 magazines. His work on Aleppo in war time (2013‐2014) was widely published and exhibited. He has been named “Knight of Arts and Letters” in a ceremony in Paris in 2018.

Erika Larsen is a multidisciplinary storyteller fascinated by the way people communicate with the nature world. Her monograph ‘Sami‐Walking with Reindeer’, a reflection of her time living in the Scandinavian Arctic, was published in 2013. Larsen was a 2017 Fellow with National Geographic Society for an ongoing project exploring how communities that maintain close ties to nature communicate this relationship through ritual. Her work has been included in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, National Geographic Society, Fotografiska Museum and the United States Embassy in Oslo.

Shannon Taggart is a photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. Her photographs have been exhibited and featured internationally, including within the publications TIME, New York Times Magazine, Discover and Newsweek. Her work has been recognized by Nikon, Magnum Photos and the Inge Morath Foundation, American Photography, and the Alexia Foundation for World Peace. Her first monograph, SÉANCE, was listed as one of TIME magazine’s best photobooks of 2019. Photographing the religion of spiritualism is her specialty.

Jolaine Frizzell is a Dubai‐based arts professional. She has a BA in Art History and BFA degree in Photography, and post graduated with an MA in Art History from the University of Western Ontario. She worked at various arts organizations, and was appointed as a Director at galleries in Zurich, and London. Over the past 12 years, she has been managing a gallery, working with international artists, curating exhibitions, and participating in events around the world. In 2015, Frizzell relocated to Dubai and has worked at Leila Heller Gallery and The Third Line. She is currently Director of The Institute for Emerging Art.

"Picturing the invisible"
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2 June 2020

8:00 P.M.

Abu Dhabi time



@HOME with

Claude Piening

"Orientalism and the Najd Collection"

Moderated by Mai Eldib

Claude Piening will be introducing us to Orientalism from its origins till the present time and will present the exceptional Najd collection.

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From top to bottom & left to right,  Charles Robertson, the carpet sellers, Cairo; Ludwig Deutsch, The Scholar;   Rudolf Ernst, The Palace Guard;  Jean-Léon Gérôme, Egyptian Recruits Crossing the Desert


Claude Piening is the Head of 19th Century European Paintings & Orientalist Art at Sotheby's London. With 23 years of experience in this field Claude has always held a particular interest in Orientalist art and championed its market. Under his leadership, in 2012 Sotheby’s launched the Orientalist Sale as a now eagerly anticipated annual event. Until 2019, it was the only dedicated Orientalist Sale offered by any of the international auction houses, which allowed him to capitalise on his knowledge of collectors and buyers in the field and to promote the sales personally in the Middle East. In addition to the annual Orientalist Sale in London, Claude has worked on numerous single-owner sales with an Orientalist content including, in October 2019, Important Works form the Najd Collection, the most impressive collection of Orientalist Art ever to come to auction and a second tranche of works from which will be offered at Sotheby's this June.

Mai Eldib is Director, Middle East at Sotheby's Cairo. For over a decade, Mai Eldib has played an instrumental role in providing a platform for promoting Modern and Contemporary Arab and Iranian Art, and is presently the Head of Sale for Sotheby's bi-annual 20th Century Art / Middle East auction. Mai also sits on the advisory board for MASS Alexandria - a school for Contemporary Arts founded by one of Egypt's most renowned artists, Wael Shawky, in order to prepare young students for the art world. As well as this, Mai strives to support young Egyptian artists through yearly scholarships programmes and study grants.

Orientalism and the Najd Collection
Women Empowerment
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28 May 2020

9:00 P.M.

Abu Dhabi time



@HOME with

Sama Alshaibi and Rania Matar

"Women empowerment through a lens..."

Moderated by Maya Samawi

The two artists, moderated by Maya, will highlight their different approach to a common concept in a « compare and contrast » discussion.


Sama Alshaibi Iraqui, living in the USA, is a conceptual artist. Her photographs, videos and immersive installations examine the mechanisms of fragmentation in the aftermath of war and exile. They often feature a female figure that references a complex site of struggle and identification and confront an image history of photographs and moving images through a feminist perspective.

Sama was featured in solo and group exhibitions around the world and took part in various international Biennale.  

Her work is in the permanent collections of several museums, institutions and private collections worldwide.

She is currently a Professor of Photography, Video and Imaging at University of Arizona.


Rania Matar is a Lebanese‐born American woman and mother. Her cultural background, cross‐cultural experience, and personal narrative inform her photography. She has dedicated her work to exploring issues of personal and collective identity, through photographs of female adolescence and womanhood ‐ both in the United States where she lives and the Middle East where she is from, in an effort to focus on notions of identity and individuality all within the context of the underlying universality of these experiences.

Matar's work has been widely published and exhibited in museums worldwide.

She has published three books: L’Enfant‐Femme, 2016; A Girl and Her Room, 2012; Ordinary Lives, 2009.

Her work is in the permanent collections of several museums, institutions and private collections worldwide.

She is currently associate professor of photography at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and regularly offers workshops, talks, class visits and lectures at museums, galleries, schools and colleges in the US and abroad.


Maya Samawi, based in Dubai, has graduated with a BS in architectural studies alongside a double minor in Art History and Business Administration.

She is currently the director at Ayyam Gallery, Dubai

Arab Women
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21 May 2020

9:00 P.M.

Abu Dhabi time



@HOME with

Prof. Salwa Mikdadi

"Arab women pioneers in art"

Moderated by Amneh Ghanim

Prof. Salwa Mikdadi will lead a discussion on Arab Modern and Contemporary Women Pioneers in the Arts highlighting their innovative contributions to the field and how they continue to inspire artists today.


Inji Efflatoun (1924-1989), Al Anbar, (Prison Cell), Private Collection


Salwa Mikdadi is Associate Professor Practice of Art History at NYU Abu Dhabi. Prior to joining NYUAD, Mikdadi was a lecturer in Art History at Paris‐Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, and held leading positions at Art and Culture institutions in the Arab World including Executive Director of the Art and Culture Program at the Emirates Foundation and Head of the Professional Development at Department of Culture and Tourism (Abu Dhabi 2009‐ 2013). In the US, Mikdadi was the founding director of the Cultural & Visual Arts Resource/ICWA (1988‐2006). She curated several exhibitions in the US and Arab countries, including the ground‐breaking Forces of Change (1994) and the first Palestinian Exhibition at the 53rd Venice Biennial (2009). Mikdadi contributed the text on the first upload of images of Arab art on the Internet. She is the author and co‐editor of several essays and publications. Mikdadi is a founding board member of the Association of Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab world, Iran and Turkey.

Salou Rouda Choucair (2016-2017), Interform, 1960. Courtesy: Barjeel Art Foundation


Amneh Ghanim is an economics graduate who is currently working on her masters dissertation in social and cultural anthropology for University College London (UCL). Her dissertation topic is on “The ideology of Contemporary Art Collectors and their Influences on Museums and Artistic Creation.” She is also a graduate of the Sotheby’s Art Business programme and has worked as a programme coordinator for the Louvre Abu Dhabi project from 2013 to 2017.

Manal al Dowayah b. 1973, Sidelines, 2016. Source

Al Ula Artist
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10 May 2020

9:00 P.M.

Abu Dhabi time



@HOME with

Manal Al Dowayan, Muhannad Shono, 

Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim,

Nadim Karam, and Sherin Guirguis

Moderated by Nadine Khalil

"Al Ula, the hidden gem continues ...

Desert X Al Ula artists in conversation"

Desert X Al Ula is the first site‐responsive exhibition of its kind in Saudi Arabia. An exploration of desert culture, the exhibition is a cross‐cultural dialogue between artists from Saudi Arabia and its surrounding region and artists from previous iterations of Desert X in California, taking its cues from the extraordinary landscape and historical significance of Al Ula.

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Manal Al Dowayan is Saudi multidisciplinary artist. Long invested in interrogating the gender‐biased customs that impact the condition of women in Saudi Arabia. She is a sensitive yet critical witness to the cultural metamorphosis engulfing the Kingdom. 

Al Dowayan’s practice navigates a territory where the personal and the political overlap. Her works spring from lived experiences—these intimate encounters with social injustice, the pangs of memory and forgetting.

Muhannad Shono is a Saudi multidisciplinary artist. His curious practice is in a constant state of interrogation of what lies beneath the surface of our existence, exploring questions on the evolutionary line of the human species. 

An avid storyteller, through his work he raises numerous interpretations touching religious and cultural myths intending in pushing the viewer to understand how the past can dictate human narratives we abide by.

Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim is an Emirati conceptual artist and one of the pioneer "five" conceptual artists from the United Arab. 

His practice has been inspired by a lifelong relationship with the environment of Khorfakkan, his place of birth, with the Gulf of Oman on one side and the Hajar Mountains on the other. His deep connection to his local environment repeats itself throughout his studio practice, whether through his installations, drawings or objects.

Nadim Karam is a multidisciplinary Lebanese artist and architect. With a background that fuses Oriental and Japanese theories of space, he tackles the universality of the human condition, working towards the reconfiguration of environments.

His research focuses on the conviction that cities need to dream, and it is the role of artists to provoke this dream. He has been commissioned to create large‐scale urban art installations for cities across the globe.

Sherin Guirguis is an Egyptian artist. Her work engages both formal and social concerns by juxtaposing the reductive Western language of minimalist aesthetics with that of Eastern ornamentation. 

The work attempts to problematize the history of decoration and ornamentation and its relationship with social structures, cultural identity and Women’s agency.

Jean François Charnier
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22 April 2020

4:00 P.M.

Abu Dhabi Time



@HOME with

Jean François Charnier

"Al Ula, the hidden gem"

Moderated by Celine Hullo-Pouyat

Jean François will be presenting Al Ula, the first Saudi Arabia site to earn UNESCO recognition with its spectacular archaeological treasures, and the ambitious project

of the 6 museums.

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Jean François Charnier is a national general heritage and art curator.  He graduated in Art History and Archaeology from the Ecole du Louvre and in anthropology from Université Paris X-Nanterre. His first position was in the field of preventive archaeology and heritage coordination. He then became director of the agriculture and environment department in the project for the Museum of Civilizations of Europe and the Mediterranean (MUCEM). In 2008 he joined Agence France-Muséums to coordinate the expertise of French national museums including the Louvre, Pompidou Centre, Orsay  etc. for the creation of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. He was appointed Scientific Director of Agence France-Muséums in 2013: he created the contents of the museum and led the teams responsible for the museography, art acquisitions, programming and publications of the Louvre Abu Dhabi which opened in November 2017. He joined Afalula Agency in August 2018.


Celine Hullo-Pouyat holds a PhD in Art History from Paris-Sorbonne University. She was Senior Project Manager for the Louvre Abu Dhabi for 8 years. Prior to the Louvre Abu Dhabi, she was the director of Studies for the Art History department at Paris-Sorbonne Abu Dhabi University where she taught in the Master’s Programme. Her research field covers history of cultural heritage, museums, world heritage concepts and architectural conservation. She has 4 children.

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09 April 2020

11:00 A.M.



@HOME with

Alia and Zeinab

Moderated by Amneh Ghanim, Alia Zahl Lootah and Zeinab Al Hashemi talk

about their experiences as artists in the UAE and the dilemma they face today.

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Alia Zahl Lootah, born and based in Dubai, works predominantly with painting, her research investigates the relationship between photography and painting, focusing on the transformation of images from one medium to another. Her work questions concepts of truth, perceptions, dreams, and memories.

Zeinab Alhashemi, born and based in Dubai, is a conceptual artist and designer specializing in site-specific installation, and spatial art.

Her practice focuses often in response to her immediate surroundings. Her research revolves around the past and history of her environment, documenting the process of change through her perception and the state from “What is" to “What could be”, only this time it’s not the history it holds, but also the story she tells.

Amneh Ghanim is an Economics graduate who is currently working on her masters dissertation in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University College London (UCL). She is also a graduate of the Sotheby’s Art Business programme and has worked as a programme coordinator for  the Louvre Abu Dhabi project from 2013 to 2017.

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