London, Saatchi Gallery

Ever controversial, Charles Saatchi remains one of the world’s most provocative and audacious gallerists. Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East, the second show from the gallery’s new Chelsea headquarters, doesn’t fail to provoke discourse and even outrage from the Middle East’s most ardent religious fundamentalists.

Despite a rich and long-standing visual tradition, the Middle East’s bourgeoning contemporary art scene has been overshadowed by political conflict. This is finally changing, thanks to an increased awareness of modern Middle Eastern art, partly through the promotion of Abu Dhabi which boasts one of the densest concentrations of cultural resources in the world.

For some of the 19 chosen artists (mainly in their twenties and thirties) hailing from Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Syria and Algeria, this exhibition marks their UK debut, while within the second Gallery Room space, London/New York auction house Phillips de Pury presents important works from the region’s forefathers of contemporary art, such as Louay Kayali of Syria and Ismail Fattah of Iraq. Kader Attia’s eerie Ghost (2007) and Halim Al-Karim’s haunting triptychs attest to Saatchi’s talent to inspire and challenge contemporary art on a global scale.

January 30 through May 6, 2009
Duke of York's HQ
King's Road
London, SW3 4SQ
T. +44 (0)20 7811 3070