It’s one of the most prestigious fairs in the world, drawing in art world denizens from across the globe. And now, for the first time, Art Basel Miami Beach will welcome a gallery from Tunisia. This year’s Miami show, which is in its 17th edition, is set to showcase 29 new galleries from December 6 to 9, including Tunisia’s Selma Feriani Gallery.
The Selma Feriani Gallery opened its doors in 2013 in the blue-and-white-washed town of Sidi Bou Said, and was established to represent emerging as well mid-career artists hailing from the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia. Some of the creatives represented by the gallery include Pakistani artist and actor Ali Kazim, Tunisian painter Lina Ben Rejeb, Algerian multi-disciplinary artist Mohamed Namou, and Saudi Arabian creative Maha Malluh, who is set to unveil never-before-seen instillations based on the Gulf country’s deep-rooted culture and history in the newly-renovated Miami Beach Convention Center. Born and based in Saudi Arabia, Malluh’s forthcoming display explores the challenges her nation has faced in coping with the fast-changing landscape through traditional objects stemming from Saudi culture such as vintage audio tapes of religious lectures dating back to the 80s and oil barrels. Malluh has previously showcased her works in a number of exhibitions including at the 2016 edition of the Abu Dhabi Art Fair, where she stuffed 100 black gloves with polyester, desert sand, and prayer rugs.
The first-time exhibitor will join 28 other new leading galleries from the world over, including Lisbon, Buenos Aires, and Hong Kong, as well as other newcomers the Netherlands and Australia. Additionally, a number of leading Arab artists hailing from the region will have their sculptures, paintings, and installations showcased during the four-day art fair. These include Hiwa K, an Iraqi musician and artist and renowned contemporary artist from Egypt, Chant Avedissian. A stone’s throw away from Hôtel Bou Fares, the gallery has previously exhibited at Art Dubai, Art Basel Hong Kong, the Venice Biennale, and 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair in London.