Hassan Sharif, who died in September 2016, is broadly credited with bringing international art idioms such as Conceptualism to the United Arab Emirates; he was, by all accounts, the center of the generation of Emirati avant-garde artists of the 1980s and ’90s who broke with traditional art forms. Coming a year after his death, this retrospective is situated somewhere between an homage to the artist and an attempt to come to grips with his vastly productive, unruly practice.
“Hassan Sharif: I Am the Single Work Artist” is curated by the Sharjah Art Foundation’s president and director, Hoor Al Qasimi, and includes about four hundred of his thirty-five hundred works. Organized thematically rather than chronologically, the exhibition shows Sharif working through a consistent set of concerns (repetition, systems, chance, consumer detritus, material transformation) from his performances
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