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Sun Is Coming Up

12 January – 15 July 2022

Custot Gallery Dubai is delighted to present a group exhibition of paintings, sculptures, and photography by the international contemporary artists Etel Adnan, Tony Cragg, Marc Quinn, Pablo Reinoso, Arnaud Rivieren, Tomás Saraceno, Sophia Vari, Bernar Venet and Fabienne Verdier.

Sun Is Coming Up retraces the anthropological circadian rhythm of night and day through colours and textures. The visitors will experience a hastened twenty-four-hour cycle, brought together by the natural display of the works in the gallery space.


Highlights of the show include a major ceramic from Lebanese-American artist Etel Adnan titled Staring at the Sun (2021). This work represents one of the foundational figures of Adnan’s life work: the sun. Fascinated with the very vivid sun of Beirut since her childhood, this exemplifies the strong bond between the artist and the nature around her. Basking in vibrant hues, signature natural elements such as mountains, oceans and skies can be found in the reminiscence of this landscape. In addition, two palette knife paintings, completed in single sessions, from her series Satellites (2020) will be exhibited.


A major painting by French artist Fabienne Verdier, titled Ascèse (2015) is exhibited. For the artist, as well as in traditional Chinese calligraphy, the circle is the most elementary of forms and is used to symbolize the center of the cosmos. Verdier stands in the middle of the canvas with a giant brush of her own invention, which is suspended from her studio ceiling while using her body as a compass. And, in a single continuous rotation, sets the mark of the circle around herself into the space of her canvas.


A monumental six-meter-high tree sculpture by Belgian sculptor Arnaud Rivieren is looking over the show. The Dubai-based artist focuses on repurposing scavenged material found in steelyards of the UAE, breathing new life into them through a lengthy transformation process, reforming them into an imposing stainless-steel Oak (2020).

Continuing, a work by British artist Marc Quinn, one of the most prominent figures of the Young British Artists group, is displayed. The Eye of History (Atlantic Perspective) Points of Continent (2012) depicts an iris at close range, in a photorealist way. A commentary on the paranoid world we live in and on the notion of 24-hour news, syncopating with the concept of our eroding and changing geographical world.

Simple Talk (Right) (2017) by French-Argentinian sculptor Pablo Reinoso, part of the series entitled Spaghetti Bench is showcased. The artist used anonymously designed public benches as a starting point for his reflections. Reinoso explores the bench as an object that frees itself from its function and pursues its fate, branching out into something greater than its original utilitarian form.

Also on view, two works from French conceptual artist Bernar Venet from his signature series Arcs and Angles (2016), based on intensive mathematical studies of chance and chaos. These works feature different combinations of mathematical shapes, resting on one another in a precarious equilibrium, giving a sense of gradual movement to the geometrical figures.

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