Since its founding in 2006, Ayyam Gallery has become one of the Middle East’s leading art spaces. With a selection of cutting-edge painting, sculpture and photography by some of the Arab world’s most exciting talent, the gallery has sought to promote the region’s dynamic cultural scene both at home and abroad. Its continued commitment to the expansion and progression of local art has led to a number of landmark initiatives including blockbuster exhibitions, original publications, regional auctions and special events.
Ayyam Gallery’s founding location in Damascus has revitalized contemporary Syrian art by providing artists and collectors with a blue-chip art space that is thoroughly involved with national developments while remaining abreast of international trends. Through its worldwide efforts, the gallery has single-handedly raised awareness of Syrian art, establishing a significant presence in the global art market while garnering outstanding recognition for its artists. The 5,000 square foot Damascus space has also functioned as a sort of regional art meeting place, as it has brought a number of artists from outside Syria to engage with Damascene viewers.
The 2009 opening of Ayyam Gallery’s Solidere outpost in the cultural center of Beirut quickly made waves amidst the reemergence of Lebanon’s art market. Seeking to honor the country’s longstanding tradition of art collecting and connoisseurship, Ayyam Gallery launched the Beirut Sale, a local auction of Arab art that was the first of its kind in the country. Organized as a groundbreaking event through which Arab art could be appreciated and valued, the gallery worked closely with a number of Beirut art spaces as it sought to include an authoritative survey of Middle Eastern art with a special focus on Lebanese pioneers and trendsetters. The hosting of solo exhibitions for regional giants such as Safwan Dahoul and Samia Halaby have also demonstrated the many ways in which Ayyam Gallery seeks to stimulate and support Beirut’s diverse artistic landscape through the introduction of leading artists that local audiences might not otherwise have immediate access to.
In Dubai the gallery’s DIFC space hosts a regular rotation of solo exhibitions for some of the Arab world’s biggest names. With a solid mix of emerging and established artists, Ayyam Gallery has brought painting and sculpture back to the forefront of the Gulf art scene by supporting both burgeoning movements and influential figures. The Ayyam Art Center in the city’s Al Quoz district is devoted to a variety of events, including museum-grade exhibitions of prominent art collections. The non-profit exhibition space also features presentations of new media and conceptual work, as part of a program that seeks to highlight and support every facet of regional art.
Other initiatives such as “Shabab Ayyam Project,” provide a research-based environment for talented young artists by seeking to foster and support their creativity as they begin their professional careers. Ayyam Auctions, which organizes biannual public sales of Middle Eastern art, has opened the market to budding art patrons while contributing to the further establishment of regional art on global scale. Alongside its highly anticipated exhibitions and events, Ayyam Publications has published dozens of artist’s catalogs and monographs. Understanding the importance of documenting this exciting time in regional art, the imprint seeks to contribute to its art historical discourse with multi-lingual texts that provide unique insight into the rapid developments that are occurring and some of the individuals who are behind them.
As the Ayyam brand grows, it will continue to find new and innovative ways to further its original mission—to insure that the Arab world’s finest artists receive the international recognition they deserve.