Hassan Sharif : spanners, dustpans, spoons & flipflops- the Single Work Artist


Back in  2008 when I was still living in Dubai  my writer/curator friend Jyoti Dhar introduced me to the Flying House .  I met Hassan’s brother Abdul Raheem Sharif who founded the Flying House for contemporary Emirati artists. Back then I remember the Sharif’s doorsteps and sections of ground floors were replaced with transparent boxes encasing colourful daily objects ‘intervened’ in some way.

A huge retrospective for Hassan Sharif at the Sharjah Arts Foundation pays tribute to a pioneering experimental artist showing his diverse practice  in seven different ‘Chapters’ from the 1970’s to his untimely demise in 2016 .

The show is titled I am the Single Work Artist explores time , social action and mathematical systems. He asserts that the artist who engages in repetition comes to create a single work over his/her lifetime. The exhibition has 7 chapters each with its own space. Each space is titled from Sharifs own words , the semi systems ‘My Tiny little Box’ the room ‘I am loyal to colour’ took my breath away . The room ‘Performance is good’ was mostly documented in Arabic but I could certainly get a taste for the fun he had with the mundane, the scrubbing of an outdoor corridor in a London art college in the 1970s . Other Rooms include ‘I’m an object maker’ another titled ‘ Things in my room’ which houses the artists studio.

The exhibition examines from multi angles the achievements of the artist over a lifetime. Where there is a suspended installation of colour prints beneath is the altar of the HP colour jet printer. Also a paper shredding machine is placed in a room of works made from shredded paper. 


Some of the objects made me laugh , such as a brush and dustpan strangled by wire….  hmm I thought to myself , that is how I feel when it comes to domestic cleaning. But it seems the struggle extends to objects such as  hammers ,spanners , crutches and other objects.  Another series included folding and layering of  pages and books made anew.   









And then there was the surprise of a cotton lined underside of a table….. I had to lie flat on the floor to photo this one !








Many thanks to Lisa Ball-Lechgar for recommending I see this exhibition . 

Continues to 3 Feb 2018 

All events  for this exhibition are Free and Open to the Public


Sharjah Art Foundation link