Between the Sky and the Earth: Contemporary Art from the UAE

Dec. 3, 2021 - Mar. 31, 2022


Marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the United Arab Emirates, Between the Sky and the Earth: Contemporary Art from the UAE brings together 12 artists reflecting the diverse contemporary art ecosystem in the UAE today. With roots in the Gulf, the Levant, Southeast Asia, and the United States, the artists — all of whom now call the UAE home — challenge standard narratives about the Emirates through an intergenerational dialogue exploring their social, cultural, and natural landscapes.

Through works focusing on subjects like the environment, consumerism, and the impact of rapid urbanization, the featured artists explore themes of permanence and transience, time and memory. In the process, they offer a sample of the multi-faceted community of practitioners contributing to the UAE’s dynamic cultural output on the occasion of its Golden Jubilee — the community that shares the space Between the Sky and the Earth.

The exhibition is curated by Munira Al Sayeh and has been organized in partnership with The NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, with special thanks to the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Washington, D.C.

We are accepting appointments to visit this exhibition in person starting from December 6.

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Photo: The Day We Met Thomas (Diptych), 2021, Hashel Al Lamki (courtesy of the artist)

Curator’s Tour


Watch a virtual tour of the new exhibition, “Converging Lines: Tracing the Artistic Lineage of the Arab Diaspora in the U.S.” led by curator Maymanah Farhat.

MEI Art Gallery Open for Timed Visits

The MEI Art Gallery accepts in-person appointments to view its current exhibitions. Hours are Monday to Friday, 10am - 5pm, excluding federal holidays. Please note that occupancy is currently limited to no more than eight visitors in the Gallery at a time.

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Creators' Corner


An interview series featuring leading Arab and Arab-American actors, comedians, directors, writers and other ground-breaking creators highlighting their important contributions to the global cultural scene. Produced and hosted by Emmy-nominated journalist and producer Rhana Natour.

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Tribe Photo Magazine


Tribe is a non-profit publication focused on documenting photography, video and new media from the Arab world. As a global platform, its core mission is to create an archive and stimulate dialogue about the artists--emerging and established--who are defining their practice.

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Lebanon Then and Now: Photography from 2006 - 2020

Previous exhibition


Lebanon Then and Now was an immersive 360° exhibit at the MEI Art Gallery featuring the works of 17 of Lebanon’s most exciting art and documentary photographers. Originally planned as a physical exhibit, it was reimagined as a virtual show. The show has now ended, but you can continue to find selected images, webinar recordings, podcasts, and other related materials on the exhibition page.

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Photo: "Nightshift 1-6" by Myriam Boulos, 2015 (courtesy of the artist)

Upcoming Events

No events are currently scheduled for this program. Subscribe to our mailing list to receive notification of events as they are added to the calendar.

Publications and Podcasts

International Arts Advisory Committee


Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi

Saleh Barakat

Touria El Glaoui

Leila Heller

Rose Issa

Adila Laïdi-Hanieh

Salwa Mikdadi

Venetia Porter

 

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National Arts Advisory Committee


Dana Farouki

Anne Keiser

Amy Landau

Betty Sams

 

See Bios