Photo by RKluijver

Hewar Art Gallery installation view. Photo by RK.

The Hewar Art Gallery is a private gallery owned by the art collector Shadda al Tassan. She is the daughter of a person with very close royal connections, and has an important collection of art, focused on modern and contemporary Arab art. Only a few pieces of her collection are at the gallery.

The gallery, established in 2006, is located in a spacious apartment on the 52nd floor of the Kingdom Tower, the principal landmark of the city. It is rather difficult to enter the elevator leading to it, so make sure that you are being expected and have the phone number of the gallery at hand when you arrive. The gallery consists of a reception area where one can buy catalogues of past exhibitions, a café/meeting corner, a workshop, the private office of the owner and three-four gallery spaces.

The exhibitions are made by several curators, including the well-known Qatari artist Youssef Ahmad – who seems to have a predilection for the modern period and ‘Hurufiyya’, calligraphy-based art – and a Filipino consultant, Romy Marciano. It seems however that the management and direction of the gallery are currently in flux (as of early 2012). The website is not up to date. It is unclear how the gallery will evolve at this point, although it is said the owner would like to eventually establish a private museum with her collection.

Given the difficulty of access, the gallery is mostly visited during openings and the occasional event organized there (workshop, presentation, lecture). Besides collectors from Saudi high society and diplomats, the gallery also attracts students and young amateurs. Hewar has also contributed to project Saudi art abroad, by supporting for example the exhibition ‘Nabatt: A Sense of Being’ in the Saudi Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo in 2010. The owner would like to expand the gallery’s activities in this sense.

Written by: RobertK Last modified: 21st Nov 2012