15 Works We Want from Intersect 21

 Rania Matar, Lea, Beirut, Lebanon, 2019. Courtesy Galerie Tanit 

By PAUL LASTER, February 2021 

A virtual exhibition presenting art, design and photography from 21 galleries in Southern California, the Middle East and North Africa, Intersect 21, which runs through February 22, offers a unique opportunity for cultural exchange from the opposite sides of the world.

Linked by warm weather climates and the creative thought that comes out of those inspiring realms, the works on view in this online fair are smart, colorful and speak to issues related to their distinct domains. Making a curated selection of works that we would like to add to our imaginary collection, we chose fifteen must-have pieces in a variety of media and genres.

  Aya Haidar, You’re Edible Without Salt, from the Tolteesh series, 2019. Courtesy Athr Gallery

Lebanese-born, American photographer Rania Matar explores issues of personal and collective identity through images of female adolescence and womanhood at Galerie Tanit, while Leila Heller Gallery offers a photo of Elizabeth Taylor dressed as an odalisque by Iranian photographer Firooz Zahedi, who first befriended the actress when she traveled to Tehran in 1976. 

Palestinian artist Khaled Hourani captures the first exhibition of Pablo Picasso in Palestine in his painting at Zawyeh Gallery and Lebanese painter Tagreed Darghouth employs expressive brushwork in paintings of Palestinian trees at Saleh Barakat Gallery. Meanwhile, Afghani self-taught sculptor Alikhan Abdollahi creates creatures fashioned from cardboard, paper, paint and glue that are half-human, part-myth at The Gallery of Everything.

Khaled Hourani, Picasso in Palestine #2, 2019. Courtesy Zawyeh Gallery

Le Lab presents a collection of pastel-hued furniture created by Lebanese interior architect and product designer Richard Yasmine, whereas Edward Cella Art + Architecture bedazzles viewers with Californian artist Kendell Carter’s sculpture of a pair of 14k gold-plated shoes.

Expanding our knowledge of contemporary art, photography and design, the exhibitors at Intersect 21 highlight surprises rather than focusing on the familiar. WM 

Lita Albuquerque, Stellar Axis: South Pole Activation, 2014. Courtesy Peter Blake Gallery

Alia Ali, Infinity, 2017. Courtesy Galerie SINIYA28

Alikhan Abdollahi, Untitled, 2010. Courtesy The Gallery of Everything

 Firooz Zahedi, Elizabeth Taylor Dressed as an Odalisque II, 2011. Courtesy Leila Heller Gallery

 Anthony James, Hexagram Portal, 2020. Courtesy Melissa Morgan Fine Art

Richard Yasmine, Beirut Collection, 2018. Courtesy Le LAB

Bryony Dunne, Salama Eid, Wadi Sharegg, 2013. Courtesy TINTERA

 Dimitris Ntokos, E, 2019. Courtesy Al-Tiba9

Kendell Carter, I Am Effigy for a New Normalcy, Mr. Hippy and Mr. Hood, 2018. Courtesy Edward Cella Art + Architecture

Tagreed Darghouth, From the series The Tree Within, A Palestinian Olive Tree, 2018. Courtesy Saleh Barakat Gallery

Nargess Hashemi, MAKRAMA, 2019. Courtesy Khak Gallery

Saoud Abdallah, Untitled, 2020. Courtesy Wadi Finan Art Gallery 


Paul Laster

Paul Laster is a writer, editor, curator, artist and lecturer. He’s a contributing editor at ArtAsiaPacific and Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art and writer for Time Out New York, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Galerie Magazine, Sculpture, Art & Object, Cultured, Architectural Digest, Garage, Surface, Ocula, Observer, ArtPulse, Conceptual Fine Arts and Glasstire. He was the founding editor of Artkrush, started The Daily Beast’s art section, and was art editor of Russell Simmons’ OneWorld Magazine, as well as a curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, now MoMA PS1.



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