We invite you to: CURATORS TALK, a new series presented by The NYUAD Art Gallery, in which curators discuss their distinct approaches to curatorial practice.

For our first gathering, curator Suheyla Takesh will speak about her work on the Barjeel Art Foundation collection. Takesh was recently a fellow at al Mawrid Arab Center for the Study of Art. This talk is presented in collaboration with al Mawrid.

In this talk, curator Suheyla Takesh presents the Barjeel Art Collection in Sharjah as a case study to investigate the phases of a collection’s evolution. What factors influenced its transformation? What is the role of private art collections in the UAE’s wider cultural ecosystems?

Barjeel’s curator Suheyla Takesh will take the audience behind the scenes of running the Barjeel Art Foundation, revealing its evolving acquisition strategies over the past decade and discussing the less visible work of preserving an art collection. This discussion will raise questions around the ethics and responsibilities of a collecting institution and its potential influence on the region’s art historical narratives by uncovering forgotten art and by the circulation of its collection and its accompanying publications.

About the speaker

Suheyla Takesh is the curator at Barjeel Art Foundation in Sharjah where she works on research, exhibitions, and oversees its publications. Takesh holds a master’s degree from MIT’s Department of History, Theory, and Criticism of Architecture and Art. She is the co-curator of Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s at the Grey Art Gallery, NYU, and the co-editor of its accompanying volume of essays. Her writing has been published in peer-reviewed journals, including Rutgers Art Review, Thresholds, and Journal of Contemporary Iraq & the Arab World. During her fellowship at al Mawrid, Takesh will use al Mawrid’s archives to expand her research on East-East cultural relations in the mid-to-late twentieth century Arab art. Her other research interests include critical interrogations around collection building and the use of geometry in the work of modernist Arab artists.

About al Mawrid

al Mawrid Arab Center for the Study of Art is a research center and archive dedicated to the interdisciplinary study of the visual arts of the Arab world. Through a range of activities that include fellowships, research projects, conferences and colloquia, as well as the construction of a unique digital archive, al Mawrid aims to be a major resource for scholars, independent researchers, and for educational and art institutions.