Dar Al Funoon

The Dar Al Funoon gallery during a change of exhibition. Photo by RK

Dar Al Funoon was established by Lucia Topalian in 1994. Located in a pretty historic building around a courtyard in the old town, the gallery is one of the better known in Kuwait. Essentially dedicated to modern and contemporary Middle Eastern art, the gallery hosts many shows each year, including big names such as Dia Azzawi, Parviz Tanavoli, Ali Omar Ermes, Nja Mahdaoui, Fadi Yazigi and others. As do other galleries in Kuwait, it occasionally participates in fundraising for charities


Boushahri Gallery

The library of the Boushahri Gallery. Photo by RK.

The Boushahri gallery is located in Salmiyya, close to the Arabian Gulf road. Established in 1982 by Jawad Boushahri (himself an artist), the art gallery and library are part of the Boushahry Group, a business conglomerate engaged in a large scale of services, ranging from importing photographer’s products and pharmaceuticals to shipping. Ably managed by curator Yahya Swailem (read an interview with him here), the gallery has hosted group shows by Iranian and Sudanese artists as well as Kuwaiti women, and attracted important artists such as Adam Henein. As wished for by the gallery’s founder, the gallery has an educational function, with an expanding art library and outreach to young Kuwaiti artists. The gallery has no website, refer to Art Kuwait for its program.


Ghadir Gallery

Thuraya al Baqsami and one of her paintings (2011)

The Ghadir Gallery is run by Thuraya al Baqsami, one of Kuwait’s most accomplished artists. With about 60 solo exhibitions, and having shown her work worldwide over the past decades, Thuraya is one of the repositories of Kuwait’s artistic memory. A visit to the gallery is especially interesting as it gives a chance to speak to her – besides visiting the exhibition. Of late the gallery seems to have stopped hosting exhibitions – or it is difficult to find out any information about them.

The National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters organized a giant retrospective of her work in 2011, with more than 200 works and a catalogue.

Thuraya al Baqsami has two daughers who are both among Kuwait’s leading artists: Monira Al Qadiri, who studied in Japan and now lives in Kuwait, and Fatima Al Qadiri, based in New York.


Tilal Gallery

Tilal Gallery: the moment before the storm. Photo from their website

Tilal Gallery opened in 2010 in a mall in an industrial area. The manager of the gallery is Salwa al Qadi. The gallery hosts many exhibitions – many of them barely last ten days – of varying quality, mostly showing regional artists. The website is very complete, with many artist biographies, images of their work and of the opening events.


Al M Gallery

Shurooq Amin: It’s A Man’s World in Al M, March 2012.

Al M Gallery opened in April 2011 in Salhia mall, but it was shut down, apparently temporarily, less than a year later due to the controversial exhibition by Kuwaiti artist (and mover & shaker of the art world) Shurooq Amin, called “It’s a Man’s World”. Read about the interesting controversy surrounding the shutting down of the exhibition by the police here and see the controversial artworks on the artist’s website here.

Al M remained closed for nearly a year, but has resumed an interesting program of exhibitions since early 2013 in a new location, called ‘Al Mashreq’ in the Avenues Mall.


Fa Gallery

Fa Gallery from the exterior. Photo from ladieswhodolunchinkuwait.com

Fa appears to stand for Fashion and Art, the two passions of the founders Mohamed Abdul-Aziz Al Otaibi and Ebrahim Al-Qassab, a successful Kuwaiti businessman and a philanthropist. While the fashion & lifestyle section of the gallery focuses on South American designers, the gallery section purportedly explores the new Arab identity. The Fa Gallery is located in a nice building along the Gulf Road (corniche). It opened in 2010. See the report of an enthusiastic blogger here.

Written by: RobertK Last modified: 26th Dec 2013
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