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Hassan Sharif, Dictionary, 2015, dictionary pages, glue, cotton ropes, 12' 7 1/2“ x 5' 7” x 2' 1 1/2".

Hassan Sharif

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Hassan Sharif, Dictionary, 2015, dictionary pages, glue, cotton ropes, 12' 7 1/2“ x 5' 7” x 2' 1 1/2".

Displayed at the top of the stairs leading down to the gallery’s main exhibition space for Hassan Sharif’s “Reading Is Making: Books and Boxes” were copies of three political cartoons that the artist drew in the 1970s. The images speak of the tide of consumerism that began sweeping Sharif’s native United Arab Emirates in the ’60s. In one, a hand reaches up from under a pile of electronic appliances. I'M DROWNING, DROWNING, DROWNING!!! his speech bubble calls out in Arabic. In another, a mustachioed man is pictured on the toilet, surrounded by a discarded mess of books, wearing a Rube Goldberg–type contraption as a crown. DEVICE TO ENLIGHT ((EN)) THE MIND, the caption reads.

Works from “Books and Boxes,” the series Sharif started in 1982 and continued until his death last year, formed the core of this exhibition.These pieces show how Sharif’s youthful cynicism had evolved into an

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