Art in the (de facto) capital

Owned and operated by the inimitable Ziad Anani, Zawyeh is indeed off in a far corner of Ramallah, but is well worth the visit.

One of three commercial galleries in the city, the Gallery is posh; all shiny glass and spotless walls. Great light for viewing the latest canvasses on display.

They also do all sorts of fancy things like have booths at Art Dubai, and ambitions to get Palestinian works placed in London’s Frieze — the biggest of the big time shows.

When I went to visit it was Gaza artist Ibrahim al Mozain whose striking works gave life to the space upstairs (take a look at the exhibit review!). But, a few questions to the gallery owner and I got a sneak peak at the veritable archive the place has stashed on its top floor.

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The son of the foundational Palestinian artist Nabil Anani, Ziad represents his father as well as a few of the other big names from the 60s and 70s when Palestinian art was the art of resistance. Nabil’s landscapes are today on many a book cover, and quite recognizable to the untrained art-appreciator who has been around Palestine any length of time.

Beyond Nabil’s canvases, however, the up-up-stairs of the Gallery collects works from the ten other shows a year put on in the space. Much of the time the gallery reduces its fees for artists in exchange for a canvas or few, and these enter the vaults of the converted house.

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Though sworn to public secrecy about some of the gems that live in the attic, a walk round the space is surely worth your while, if at least to take in all of the styles and mediums of contemporary Palestinian art.

And since Zawyeh is hard to find, here is a handy map so you can find your way from the city center.

Its at least a 30 minute walk, so, maybe have the gallery number on hand in case you get lost, (in particular given this is an approximation of where the gallery is, not necessarily an exact geotag…)

 

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