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Guggenheim Museum and Galleria d’Arte Moderna Milano Present Exhibition of Contemporary Art from the Middle East and North Africa, Opening April 2018

But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise marks the eighth and final exhibition of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative


Venue: Galleria d’Arte Moderna Milano (GAM)
Location: Villa Reale, Via Palestro, 16, 20121 Milano MI, Italy
Dates: April 11—June 17, 2018

Galleria d’Arte Moderna Milano (GAM), the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and UBS will present But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africafrom April 11 through June 17, 2018, in Milan. The exhibition marks the final installation of the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, a distinctive, multiyear program that underscores a mutual commitment by the Guggenheim and UBS to support contemporary art and education through a total of eight international exhibitions, more than 125 acquisitions, curatorial scholarship from three global regions, and extensive public programming. But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise was first shown at the Guggenheim Museum in April 2016.

“At a critical time in history, we hope these works will inspire reflection and spark discussion about the world we share,” said Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum. “Together with our colleagues at the Galleria d’Arte Moderna Milano and UBS, we look forward to introducing this collection of artwork from the Middle East and North Africa to audiences in Europe. As this Milan presentation represents the culmination of the MAP series of exhibitions, we also celebrate the artworks collected, relationships fostered, and ideas articulated during the project’s five years that continue to ripple outward thanks to MAP’s unprecedented scope, scale, and ambition. We remain grateful to our visionary collaborator UBS and to our colleagues at partner institutions around the globe, including our friends at GAM.”

“The Middle East and North Africa are at the center of sweeping global change and are currently addressing some of today’s most critical issues,” said Fabio Innocenzi, Country Head Italy, UBS Europe SE. “We are proud to be able to help bring this exhibition to the Galleria d’Arte Moderna Milano so that our clients, employees, and the public can participate in the dynamic creative community of the arts, much as we facilitate our clients’ informed involvement in the complex global economy. This is a further step in the collaboration with GAM, to which UBS in Italy has contributed ongoing support of restorations and exhibitions. But it is also a testament to the ongoing impact of the MAP Global Art Initiative developed by UBS and the Guggenheim.”

“The intersecting themes of the exhibition address the most vital points of contemporary society’s connection with the past and present, and the variety of accompanying programs align with the spirit of openness and dialogue that characterizes the cultural message of Milan’s museums,” said Anna Maria Montaldo, Director, Polo Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Municipality of Milan.

“A focus on contemporary art has been the main feature of several projects developed by GAM in the past few years, creating an interesting comparison between contemporary production and the museum’s collection. Furthermore, these projects have resulted in the involvement of a different and wider range of visitors,” said Paola Zatti, Chief Curator, Galleria d’Arte Moderna.

Organized by Sara Raza, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Middle East and North Africa, in collaboration with Zatti and Omar Cucciniello, Curator, Galleria d’Arte Moderna, But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise features a diverse range of artistic voices and critical concerns from a rapidly evolving region and its international diaspora. Works by thirteen artists explore the intersecting themes of migration, displacement, architecture, geometry, and history through mediums including works on paper, installation, photography, sculpture, and video. The presentation at GAM will include public events and educational programs for visitors, students, and families. The exhibition features the works of the following artists: Lida Abdul, Abbas Akhavan, Kader Attia, Ergin Çavuşoğlu, Ali Cherri, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Rokni Haerizadeh, Susan Hefuna, Iman Issa, Gülsün Karamustafa, Hassan Khan, and Ahmed Mater.

According to Raza, “But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise offers a cross-circulation of ideas rooted in science, mathematics, and philosophy. Many of the artworks featured in this exhibition use geometry as a metaphor to measure both physical and conceptual space, and create a dialogue between shape and form, symbol and abstraction, and past and present. The exhibition also considers architecture as a tool for evoking both colonial history and the implications of globalization and gentrification. This new installation at Galleria d’Arte Moderna Milano converses with the building’s own architectural heritage and raises urgent issues of migration and displacement in areas around the world, including Italy.”

“Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative showcases the new protagonists of contemporary art from within and beyond Europe. This same purpose is shared by the city of Milan, which promotes interculturalism in the arts as well as in the social realm. Milan is an ideal hub for creative thinking and therefore a natural destination for such an innovative project,” said Filippo Del Corno, Deputy Mayor for Culture, Milan.


The Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative builds upon and reflects the Guggenheim’s distinguished history of internationalism and UBS’s commitment to direct engagement with contemporary art and education, ultimately contributing to a richer, more expansive story of the histories of modern and contemporary art. Through in-depth collaboration with artists, curators, and cultural organizations from South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa, MAP has expanded the Guggenheim’s collection with more than 125 new works. Partnerships with cultural organizations such as the Galleria d’Arte Moderna Milano have been at the heart of the project throughout, extending its creative reach and impact both physically and digitally. Together, the Guggenheim and UBS recognize the power of art to connect and inspire communities, spark debate, enrich the present, and help shape the future. This long-term collaboration underscores a mutual commitment to supporting today’s most innovative artists by increasing visibility of their work across the globe. Learn more about the artists, curators, and exhibitions that bring these works to life at


Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The Guggenheim constellation of museums that began in the 1970s when the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, was joined by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, has since expanded to include the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao (opened 1997) and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (currently in development). The Guggenheim Foundation continues to forge international collaborations that celebrate contemporary art, architecture, and design within and beyond the walls of the museum, including the Guggenheim Social Practice initiative, Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, and The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Chinese Art Initiative. More information about the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation can be found at


UBS’s long and substantial record of patronage in contemporary art actively enables clients and audiences to participate in the international conversation about art and the global art market through the firm’s contemporary art platform. In addition to the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative, UBS’s extensive roster of contemporary art initiatives and programs currently includes the UBS Art Collection, one of the world’s largest and most important corporate collections of contemporary art, and the firm’s long-term support for the premier international Art Basel shows in Basel, Miami Beach, and Hong Kong, for which UBS serves as Global Lead Partner. These activities are complemented by a number of regional partnerships with fine art institutions including the Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland, Galleria d’Arte Moderna Milano, Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Denmark, and the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. UBS provides its clients with insight into the art market and strategic guidance on managing art collections and legacy planning through the UBS Art Competence Center. The Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report is also published annually. The UBS Arts Forum convenes and connects exceptional people in the art world, providing thought leadership at the cutting edge of contemporary art. For more information about UBS’s commitment to contemporary art, visit


The Galleria d’Arte Moderna Milano is a civic museum dedicated to the nineteenth-century collections of the city of Milan. Founded in 1903 in the Castello Sforzesco, the museum moved to the Villa Reale in 1921, which was built for Ludovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso by Leopold Pollack between 1790 and 1796.

GAM’s permanent collection contains approximately four thousand objects, beginning with Neoclassical works, continuing through several nineteenth-century movements––including examples of Romanticism, Scapigliatura, and Realism––and ending with Divisionist and the Symbolist paintings from the first years of the twentieth century. The museum’s second floor features two notable collections of twentieth-century art: the Grassi Collection (donated by Carlo and Nedda Grassi in 1958) and the Vismara Collection (donated by Giuseppe Vismara in 1975).

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