From March 12 until April 26, the Ayyam Art Center will showcase the second edition of ‘The Samawi Collection II’, a museum-quality exhibition featuring over sixty works of art from the private collections of Khaled and Hisham Samawi. For its inaugural exhibition in 2011, "Selections from the Samawi Collection" displayed fifty carefully selected paintings from Arab artists traversing the region and spanning generations providing an opportunity for visitors to view the history and evolution of contemporary Arab art.  


‘The Samawi Collection II’ aims to provide a more comprehensive look into the realms of contemporary photography and conceptual art by expanding the scope to include emerging and established artists from the immediate region as well as France, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Korea, and the United States. 


Photographic works by Lara Attalah, Newsha Tavakolian, Rania Matar, Richard Mosse, Sadegh Tirafkan, Meera Huraiz, Halim Al Karim, Shirin Neshat, Manal Al Dowayan, Nassouh Zaghlouleh, and Philipe Dudouit, among others, explore a variety of issues such as gender inequality and suppression in society, the negative affects of war, the transmission and loss of culture, and the overwhelming influence of the media. These works, alongside three cutting-edge highlight installations by Ammar Al Beik, Chul-hyun Ahn and Sadik Alfraji, as well as other installations by James Clar, Seon Ghi Bahk, Matthew Carver, Tammam Azzam, Qaswra Hafez and Raneem Farsi, Amal Kenawy, Huguette Caland, Lonneke Gordijn and Ralph Nauta, and video art by Sama Alshaibi and Brad Downey present a vividly modern commentary of the various sociopolitical concerns contemporary artists are portraying in their works throughout the world today. Bridging continents, national borders and divergent cultural identities, the exhibition presents a platform for the viewer to engage with each artwork’s powerful and globally relevant statement of our integrated society.


Including over 3,000 works by modern and contemporary artists in a variety of mediums, The Samawi Collection traverses several schools and periods of Middle Eastern and international art. The collection spans a range of genres, from politically minded canvases to painting and sculpture that remain at the cutting-edge of global art with technologically driven approaches. Rotating selections of this collection will be on display at the Ayyam Art Center as part of a new cultural initiative that seeks to bring museum-grade exhibitions of private and public art holdings to regional audiences.