Visual Arts

Ayyam Gallery plays matchmaker for energetic art and hyper horology

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A view of the exhibition.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

The contemporary pop up exhibition featuring Sharjah-based Mouteea Murad’s works in Roger Dubuis’s new flagship store in The Dubai Mall (till Jan. 2021-end), is the result of a collaboration between Ayyam Gallery, Dubai, and Roger Dubuis. “We have organised Murad’s geometric abstraction, strong lines and vibrant colours to echo Roger Dubuis’s designs”, says the gallery.

Dubuis is a Swiss watch manufacturer of luxury watches based in Geneva, Switzerland. Roger Dubuis watches include the Excalibur and Velvet collections, along with motorsports watches in collaboration with Lamborghini and Pirelli. The Roger Dubuis boutique is located on the ground floor of The Dubai Mall, a short walk from the Grand Atrium.


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Artist Murad seeks to unify spirituality and formalism, continuously drawing inspiration from the geometric forms and motifs of Islamic art.

Serial innovator Dubuis is known for pushing the boundaries of watchmaking. He has extended the boldness of its flagship boutique in The Dubai Mall that perfectly reflect elements of the luxury watchmaker’s avant-garde spirit, disruptive attitude and expressive singularity.

“Roger Dubuis is constantly looking to push the boundaries of watchmaking and to bring art into the world of Haute Horlogerie”, said Edouard Achkan, Brand Director Middle East, India and Africa.

“As an indisputable choice for an exclusive tribe of rebellious hedonists who want to enjoy life to the fullest, we want our clients to know that Roger Dubuis will offer them unforgettable and larger than life experiences.

“We’re delighted to be partnering with Ayyam Gallery to showcase this exceptional artist and offer our clients access to his extraordinary works. Extravagance is what you can expect — hold your breath and be prepared for the unexpected”.

Maya Samawi, Director at Ayyam Gallery, said: “The boldness of Roger Dubuis, in consistently redefining technical possibility, both in its watchmaking and in its boutique design, offers the perfect backdrop for Mouteea’s work which differs from that of his contemporaries; in his compositions, the artist builds on the breakthroughs of previous movements, experimenting with automatic brushwork, the illusionistic perspective of Op art, the symmetry of geometric abstraction, and the collapsing planes of Suprematism”.

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Inviting clients on a spectacular journey through its 200m² interior, the boutique includes a fractal wall with a jagged depth and gravity window, showcasing a watch that appears to be floating on air.

Matching Dubuis’ savoir-faire, all areas in the store — including the private lounge and experiential gallery showcasing the artworks — are characterised by the duality and disruptive nature that is an integral part of the brand’s DNA.

Impertinent, excessive, incisive and uncompromising – this is Dubuis. The Roger Dubuis brand has been all about mindset since 1995. Solidly sustained by integrated Swiss Manufacture, its innovative spirit and a flagrant disregard for convention and irrepressible daring, are the cornerstones of its bold attitude.

Striking a balance between meticulous watchmaking expertise and avant-garde design, it’s watches made their mark and turned the company into a renowned specialist in architectural skeletonised movements. The lifeblood of its non-conformist and unmistakably contemporary timepieces, is headlined by the iconic Excalibur collection. The Velvet collection, with a flair for details, reveals itself as a veritable 3D sculpture. For those who dare (“Dare to be rare”, says the company), the sensation of vertigo is inevitable.

Inspired by other cutting-edge industries and out-of-the-box designs, boundary-pushing technical sophistication combines here with a love of extravagance.

Murad began his career as a painter, working on monochromatic, expressionist compositions, which depict the anguish of modern man. In 2007, his work took on a renewed look that redirected his painting style, exploring relativity, spatiality, and the visual dynamic of geometric forms.

His work differs greatly from those of his contemporaries; it presents pure abstraction and harmonious colour. Highly influenced by artists such as Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky, in his most recent series, his relationship with mathematics plays an integral role, with the Fibonacci numbers and sequence at its centre.

His forms and lines are largely defined by algebraic functions and their geometric application within a work. Murad continues to draw inspiration from Islamic art, while employing forms and lines largely defined by algebraic functions, allowing his work to see a unification of spirituality and formalism.

He lives and works in Sharjah. He received a Bachelor of Art from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Damascus, in 2001. Selected solo exhibitions include Ayyam Gallery Al Quoz, Dubai (2018, 2016); Ayyam Gallery Beirut (2018, 2011); Ayyam Gallery DIFC, Dubai (2017, 2011); and Ayyam Gallery Damascus (2010).

His work can be found in private and public collections internationally, including the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts.

Founded in 2006, Ayyam Gallery is a leading arts organisation that manages the careers of diverse established and emerging Middle Eastern artists. A blue-chip art space in Dubai, a series of collaborative projects in the United States, Europe, Africa and Asia, and a multinational non-profit arts programme, have furthered its mandate of expanding the parameters of international art.

It has a multilingual publishing division and a custodianship programme that manages the estates of pioneering artists. Ayyam Gallery has also contributed to recent efforts that document underrepresented facets of global art history.

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