The Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation has issued a new book titled Hassan Sharif: Milestones, Experiences and Testimonials by author and journalist Rasha Al Maleh, who specializes in the field of plastic and contemporary art in the region. The book documents the journey and artistic experience of the pioneer of conceptual art in the UAE, late artist Hassan Sharif (1951-2016).
The book is the 28th publication within the “Notable Figures from the UAE” book series, launched by the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation in 2012, which aims at documenting and shedding light on the lives and works of icons in the field of literature, art and thought who have left an indelible mark on public life and on the cultural and artistic scenes.
The new book includes seven chapters, through which the author takes the reader on a journey into the world of conceptual art and its trends. This enables the reader to better grasp the method of artist Hassan Sharif “The Maker of Things Between Alphabet and Actions” in Chapter one; going on to shed light on the artist’s visual language in chapter two before moving on to contemporary art – including conceptualism, performance art and repetition among others- while reviewing the experience of Sharif and its gradual evolvement into a unique and idiosyncratic style of his own, which led him to dub himself “The Single Work Artist” and made him well-known in the international art scene.
In chapter 5 “Sharif in the International Press”, the reader gets a glimpse of Sharif’s worlds of art and thought and his vast repertoire of knowledge and culture through a collection of excerpts from the what was written about his exhibitions in the international press since the beginning of the millennium; and through media coverage of his participation in the Sharjah Art Biennial or in other art events in the West. Moreover, chapter six highlights a number of interviews, academic lectures and documentaries related to the late artist.
The final chapter sheds light on Sharif’s life through a number of testimonials by critics, novelists and artists who were contemporaries of the late artist, some of whom were friends of his and some who closely followed his artistic experience as a human being, artist and academic teacher.
The book includes 200 medium-cut pages with a supplement that includes general photos featuring the late Sharif with some of his friends or with his paintings.
It is worth mentioning that writer Rasha Al Maleh is an author, journalist and translator who authored a collection of short stories under the title of Saqee’ Fil Atraf (Cold Limbs) as well as s novel titled, Awraq Al Ayyam (Papers of Days). She worked at the cultural section in Al Bayan Daily newspaper and widely contributed to the newspaper’s “Bayan Al Kotob” supplement and “Masarat” supplement, as well as enriching the cultural arena with tens of interviews and articles especially in the field of plastic art.