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Canvas features Green Art Gallery

Poetry in Wood, Chaouki Choukini

Installation view at Green Art Gallery, Dubai, 2016

Green Art is the sort of gallery that gets into Frieze and Art Basel. Institutions and biennials look to it as a benchmark of contemporary art practice. Regularly commissioning curated exhibitions, publishing monographs and truly nurturing those of their artists who are not (yet) the biggest names on the market, these are serious practitioners who are ideas-led and project-focused. Yasmin Atassi, still in her early 30's, is an astute and passionate gallery director, asking precisely the right questions in our troubled climate – how to remain relevant, and how to evolve a programme that tackles the big issues of our times and yet still connects to our past?

The past is a particularly commanding force. Its roots extend back thirty years to the Atassi home city of Homs in Syria, then a very different place from the war-ravaged wasteland of today. It is a personal history for Atassi herself. She remembers pretending to sell books as a child in Ornina, the first creative venture of her late mother Mayla and sister Mouna, and which would become Atassi Gallery. Today Atassi also acts as an independent adviser for the nomadic Atassi Foundation. She is glad that grants for residencies with the Delfina Foundation in London are planned: “It is critical that artists from Syria get exposed to something else”.

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