President Donald Trump/Photo by Pixabay
The Saudi Arabian government presented two exhibitions of contemporary art especially for Donald Trump and his wife Melania during their current official state visit. Both exhibitions coincided with the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh where Trump delivered a speech on Saturday (20 May), which focused on fighting terrorism. The General Entertainment Authority, Saudi’s government agency responsible for entertainment and leisure activities, is behind both exhibitions.
The Art Newspaper understands that the first exhibition was supported by officials at the King Abdulaziz Centre in Dhahran, eastern Saudi Arabia, the cultural institution funded by the Aramco oil conglomerate which is scheduled to open later this year.
The show, held in Riyadh’s Royal Protocol Palace (Diwan al-Malaki), includes works by 17 mainly male artists, including Ahmad Angawi, Abdullah Al-Othman, and the high-profile Jeddah-based practitioner Ahmed Mater, known for his controversial photographic series Desert of Pharan (2011-13). Women artists featured include Dana Awartani and Nouf Semari. Some of the works were shown in the US last year as part of the Bridges initiative.