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View of “Robert Breer: Time Flies,” 2016–17. Floor, from left: Column, 1967; Porcupine, 1967; Rug, 1968.

Robert Breer

Sharjah Art Foundation

View of “Robert Breer: Time Flies,” 2016–17. Floor, from left: Column, 1967; Porcupine, 1967; Rug, 1968.

THE FLYING SAUCER, a whimsical UFO-shaped glass and concrete structure built in the late 1970s, is one of Sharjah’s stranger architectural icons. Recently restored and repurposed by the Sharjah Art Foundation as an exhibition venue, the structure’s unsettling temporality, at once futuristic and strangely anachronistic, made it a particularly apt venue for “Time Flies,” a retrospective of the work of Robert Breer. The influence of the American artist and experimental filmmaker is widely acknowledged, but his heterogeneous oeuvre—which includes pioneering experiments in many new media of the day and ranges from paintings, drawings, and abstract films to kinetic sculptures—has resisted assimilation into conventional histories of postwar art.

Scattered throughout the galleries, a selection of Breer’s paintings from 1949 to 1956 were among the earliest works in the show.

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