Opening Conversation: Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World
NU Block Museum Blog, November 7, 2022

The Block’s Fall 2022 exhibition, Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s explores the wide range of nonfigurative art practices that flourished in the Arab world over the course of four decades. Looking critically at narratives of mid-20th-century abstraction, the exhibition rethinks art-historical canons and expands conversations around global modernisms.

The exhibition keynote conversation on September 28, 2022 featured recorded remarks from Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, founder of theBarjeel Art Foundation, and Suheyla Takesh, curator of Taking Shape, and a conversation among Northwestern scholars exploring the exhibition’s core questions and resonances in our context. Panelists included Rebecca C. Johnson (Northwestern Director of the Middle East and North African Studies Program, Associate Professor of English), Caroline Kent (Visual Artist, Northwestern Assistant Professor of Art, Theory, and Practice), Michael Rakowitz (Visual Artist, Northwestern Alice Welsh Skilling Professor of Art, Theory, and Practice), and Sarah Dwider (Block Museum 2021–22 Graduate Fellow and Northwestern PhD Student, Department of Art History). The conversation was moderated by Hannah Feldman (Northwestern Associate Professor of Art History).

Read more and watch here