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Art appreciation tends to be a snobbish affair. Despite the best efforts of the pop art movement to deflate the pretentions it found in the contemporary art of last century – and the occasional inroads so-called outsider artists make into the art market – differences in practice and preference tend to foster elitism. "Al-Musawwirun: Artists before Art," the exhibition now up at the Rose and Shaheen Saleeby Museum, (formerly AUB Art Gallery), harkens back to a different era. Donated by several private collectors, the show's eclectic and carefully curated selection of 66 works range from Christian iconography to classical Islamic art and folk art to Orientalist tableaux, photos and cinematic documents.The show also includes an intricate collection of drawings from Syrian artist Khaldoun Sheishakly's series "Vendors of the Past" (1990).To create the series, Sheishakly apparently spent most of his life laboriously documenting 500 Damascene professions.
Love and war collide on canvas
Art experiments, successes and failures
Rethinking what we say through a lens
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