Issue 15-4

July - August 2019


Artist vs. Nations – Saudi artists are on the verge of another cultural renaissance, forefronted by the inauguration last year of the Ministry of Culture headed by HRH Prince Badr Bin Farhan Al-Saud. In this issue, we look at how art can serve as a mirror to a country’s transformation, a living archive. Prince Sultan Bin Fahad’s latest exhibition, The Red Palace, is an iconic example and in our cover story, Canvas Editor-in-Chief Ali Y. Khadra spends time with Prince Sultan who shines a light on national development, waste and humanity, raising the question of how artists can represent nations through their art practices. No analysis about national representations in contemporary art would be complete without the Venice Biennale where we highlight our favourites from both the region and beyond in terms of national iconography and identity politics. We also go to the Havana Biennial and to a groundbreaking NYC show, The Game: All Things Trump which suggests that the rise of Trump’s America was a long time coming. At a time of resurgent nationalism, there’s plenty to whet your appetite here, beginning, as always, with the vantage point of the younger countries in the Arabian Peninsula.


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