Bringing a decent curator on board proved smart thinking for Green Art Gallery last time round, and Referencing History looks to carry on in that vein. The curator Jane Neal has brought together a hefty 11 artists from all corners of the region and Eastern Europe. We're keen to see what the Turkish artist Hale Tanger has come up with, as her 2011 solo show at GAG (a series of projections on fabric showing music-making, water-bound balloons) was particularly strong.
According to Neal, all of the works explore in some way the process through which history is made. Several of the artists grew up in the former Soviet Union and they are looking at who exactly writes these "official" histories. Keep an eye out for works by the Romanian Marius Bercea - his Impressionistic landscapes, punctured by angular temples of modernity, are a highlight of the show.
- Green Art Gallery, Alserkal Avenue, until May 15
Udo Rutschmann has cut the wandering flight-path of falling leaves into pieces of wood. "It came from a childhood memory of walking through forests in autumn," says the German artist. "But this movement can be found in the deserts of Liwa as well, in the way that sand travels over the dunes." Don't be fooled: these simple forms may appear whimsical but have been plotted via extensive mathematical renderings of the trajectory that matter takes as it's blown in the wind and dissolved in water.
The process is explored in an excellent short film by the curator Marco Sosa, included in the show. Trained as an architect, Rutschmann says that the works are a mingling of scientific study and plain ol' fascination with nature's artistry. "They trace a landscape of valleys and mountains," he says. "You can even see a sort of lifeline within them."
- Mojo Gallery, Alserkal Avenue, until June 7
"No one knew where this tapestry was for 58 years," says Guillaume Cuiry, the director of the recently opened La Galerie Nationale and the proud exhibitor of a long-unseen piece by Mathieu Matégot. "I found it six months ago, just in somebody's apartment - the owner said it had been in the family since it was first made. This piece hasn't been seen in public since 1954 and now it's here in the Middle East."
Matégot is arguably best known for his series of steel and iron furniture made in the aftermath of the Second World War. But tapestry remained his passion, and a rare example of this is currently exhibited alongside the gallery's collection of pieces of 20th-century design.
"He wanted to be in the same line as his friend, the artist Piet Mondrian," Cuiry continues. "Matégot wasn't a painter, but he had imagination. He would wake up and draw shapes seen in his dreams the previous night."
- La Galerie Nationale, Alserkal Avenue, ongoing
Respect to Time
A rash of new galleries opened in March to tag on to the Art Dubai buzz. Rira Art Gallery might have missed that bandwagon, but its founder, Parisa Davarkia, is confident this new space will shake up the roster of Iranian artists that we've all come to know so well.
"I'm showing everyone from the masters to young, unknown artists," she says. "That's why the launch exhibition is called Respect to Time."