Contemporary art has the power to change, not only the aesthetic value of our walls, but people’s lives too. Works of contemporary artists mostly revolve around commentary and reflection of ideas and concerns on modern society, cultural and political developments and social awareness that often encourage a discussion or debate.
The ability and passion to create a scene that is culturally rich and intellectually engaged has fueled this duo to make another step to success with their new regional space.
Zidoun-Bossuyt, a new stand-alone art gallery, has unveiled in Dubai last March. The gallery was the expansion of the leading contemporary art gallery in Luxembourg founded in 2013 by Nordine Zidoun, a French art gallerist and Audrey Bossuyt, a former Belgian art advisor.
Right place at the right time
Sharing an undeniable passion for art, the two met in 2013 in Zidoun’s Luxembourg gallery which paved the way for them to work on a few projects together. Seeing that their collaboration has a potential to bud, they decided to join forces to create a new gallery for emerging Afro-American artists especially those relatively unknown yet to the scene. In 2015, the gallery was moved to 6 rue Saint-Ulric in the historical Grund area of Luxembourg which has allowed an expanded exhibition program and additional representation of artists. The space enabled them to showcase large-scale artworks too.
When Audrey Bossuyt was asked how they were able to come up with an idea of coming together to create this now known Z&B Gallery: “We were just in the right place at the right time. I met Nordine in Luxembourg and we talked about art,” she said. Bossuyt has developed her skills in art during her 5-year experience at the Xavier Hufkens Gallery in Brussels through independent consultancy in art collection management.
Expansion to Dubai
With Dubai becoming a hub for artistic production, it is not a surprise that a lot of gallerists and art collectors have taken quite an interest in the city. It has proven its significance on the contemporary art scene, emerging with a wide global reach and increased growth supported by the international market.
Having participated in the Middle East’s leading International art fair, Art Dubai, for 5 years, they have observed that their Emirati clients have shown keen interest to discuss and understand contemporary art. They wanted to bridge the gap to create a stronger connection to their clientele. With that, the idea of expanding to the city of gold and opportunities was born.
During the gallery’s inauguration, Z&B co-founder, Nordine Zidoun, was asked why they have chosen Dubai for their expansion and the country’s significance on the world of contemporary art: “Dubai has a huge potential and the future of the marketplace is here,” he explained.
Nine years into it, their expansion in Dubai marks the success of their first contemporary art space in Luxembourg with Paris as their next destination for their third regional space. This will further highlight their strong international positioning in the art world considering that the country’s culture is broadly celebrated and the diversity is prevalent.
Z&B, being known for introducing some of the most influential Afro-American artists, has mainly focused on Afro-American art which is very evident in the gallery’s inaugural exhibition showcasing works across a variety of media and styles. The exhibition has highlighted their lifestyle and racial recognition along with works on abstract expressionism and figurative symbolism. When asked about their inaugural show’s theme, Bossuyt said, “Identity. We want to show them who we are and what we do. The Afro-Americans have long been seen in the shadows and we are here to change that”.
As a reflection of the gallery’s diverse program, the inaugural exhibition includes works by several outstanding artists. Among them are Noel Anderson, a New York based artist famous for his tapestries and mediation of socially constructed images; John Madu, a Nigerian multi-disciplinary artist known for his figurative symbolic style of paintings of identity complex and social behavior; Tomokazu Matsuyama, a New York based artist celebrated for his strategic adoption of Eastern and Western motifs as a response to the impact of globalization and cultural identity and Summer Wheat, a New York based artist known for her innovative process to paint vibrant and narrative scenes that explore femininity and reference traditions ranging from Native American to Egyptian to Greco-Roman.
Exhibited along with them are artists Louis Granet (France), Martine Feipel and Jean Bechameil (Luxembourg), Yashua Klos (USA), Yoyo Lander, Mustafa Maluka (South Africa), Jayson Scott Musson (USA), Eniwaye Oluwaseyi, Jeff Sonhouse (USA), Awodiya Toluwani and Thomas Zitzwitz (Germany).
The new expansion of their gallery in Dubai is a proof of how their particular strengths in different areas complement each other. Their success shows that being in the right place at the right time with the right people will give you the opportunity to birth new ideas that would later catapult you on top. Their passion for art has given a transformative experience not just to their viewers but to artists as well.