The Block Museum’s latest exhibit, ‘Taking Shape,’ brings creators from the Arab world to the forefront
North by Northwestern, October 4, 2022

By Sara Ibrahim

The Block Museum’s fall exhibition, “Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s – 1980s,” opened on Thursday, Sept. 22 after being postponed for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Taking Shape” redefines the history of 20th century modernism by highlighting the works of artists from the region who have historically been written out of dominant narratives of art history.

The exhibit showcases nearly 90 abstract works from North Africa, West Asia and the Arab diaspora, drawn from the Barjeel Art Foundation based in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Over 120 people packed into the museum’s auditorium on Wednesday, Sept. 28 for the exhibit’s debut conversation. The night opened with remarks from the director of the Block Museum, the museum’s academic curator and the Barjeel Art Foundation’s founder.

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