Contemporary Arab Art


9780863566882 August 2019 Paperback 160pp 200+ colour artworks

About the Book

Arabicity reflects on four decades of the aesthetic, conceptual and socio-political concerns of contemporary Arab artists. Whether through video art, painting, photography or installation, these artists challenge the confines of their identity, resisting stereotyping and reshaping the parameters of their cultural traditions. In their diverse media and subject matter, their works reflect the pulse of the region. In chaos, they discover what endures.

Featuring over 200 artworks by fifty Arab artists, Arabicity also includes contributions from the historian Georges Corm, the curator Michket Krifa and the poet and artist Etel Adnan.

About the Contributors

Juliet Cestar is a photographer and art historian specialising in contemporary art from the Middle East. She has collaborated on several publications and exhibitions with Rose Issa, including Arabicity: Contemporary Arab Art and Signs of our Times: From Calligraphy to Calligraffiti.

Rose Issa is a curator and writer who has championed visual art and film from the Arab world and Iran for nearly 30 years. Her gallery, Rose Issa Projects, showcases the best in upcoming and established artists from the Arab world and Iran.

→ Author Website


‘Rose Issa is a pioneer who has supported artists from the Middle East for decades. Arabicity brings together an integral collection of artists from across the Arab world who reflect the layered cultural context, diversity of discipline and rich historical background within which they work.’
Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries

‘Impressive … articulated as much by intellectual discipline as gut passion.’
Morning Star

‘Vivid and provocative’
The National

‘Arabicity encapsulates diverse artistic expressions … Timely’
New Arab

‘Includes some of the most exciting and influential work produced in the Arab region in the last four decades.’

‘Arabicity shows how contemporary Arab artists are not only reflecting on questions of history, identity and individual life choices, but are also reinterpreting art’s role.’
Gulf Today

‘Provocative and reflective … [a] wonderful collection which serves as an excellent introduction to the world of modern Arab art. A worthwhile addition to anyone’s collection of contemporary visual arts.’