No White Walls, Abu Dhabi


The Chocolate Gallery Corridor at the Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi is beautiful. Bathed in light, with the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque as a stunning backdrop, it is hardly surprising that No White Walls host their annual art show there.

“We are passionate about raising awareness of locally-based artists, we believe in independently organising our own exhibitions, and we think walls should have lots of great art on them”




Founders Julia Ibbini and Emily Gordon have been organising independent pop-up art shows in Abu Dhabi since 2008, initially it was simply because there wasn’t enough quality gallery space in the city. They soon realised that pop-up shows were in demand, not only because people desperately wanted to come out to see and buy art, but also because it was imperative for artists to engage directly with collectors.



Now in its third year, No White Walls features work from the founders; Julia and Emily as well as Karine Roche and Yannis Roussakis


All four artists produce very different work, but they complement each other perfectly. Emily Gordon’s bright layers of colourful paint capturing scenes around the Middle East, especially the doors.


I am absolutely in love with Karine Roche’s paintings and there will be one hanging off of one my own walls soon enough. The way that she mixes together the buildings with wild flowers, reminds me of something post apocalyptic, like scenes from I Am Legend or even Wall-e when nature starts claiming back the planet.


Yannis’s is displaying the seven characters from his Kodak Nation collection. These are such fun prints that embrace his love of vintage and analogue photography. It was really tough to get pictures of these guys without a reflection, so I would suggest that you pop on over to his website to see them in their full glory. I have the perfect spot at home for Sultan Ibrahim.


abu-dhabi-no-white-walls-contemporary-art-museumIf the Swarovski crystals in Julia’s work don’t catch your eye then the stunning patterns definitely will.

This is the best contemporary art exhibition I’ve seen in quite a while and you should go and have a look if you’re near Abu Dhabi.


No White Walls is taking place at Fairmont Bab Al Bahr, Abu Dhabi until the end of December 2016. Find out more on their Facebook Page


  • Waz says:

    Love that last shot! Gallery shows are always so fun, especially when you have an opportunity to chat with the artist and ask questions. This looks like a show I would enjoy visiting, but I feel like it might be hard to properly view the art that’s mounted on the glass walls… or maybe it’s just me and I get easily distracted by the background, haha.

  • Hanna says:

    Having Abu Dhabi Great Mosque behind any art work cannot go wrong. Very interesting to read also about the founders. No White Walls is a strong name, almost a statement.

  • Mitzie Mee says:

    The paintings look beautiful, but I have to be honest; I don’t know anything about art, and I usually feel that I don’t have the knowledge nor interest to fully appreciate what I see. I love the pieces in this post, and I think each and every one of them would look great on my wall, should they get tired of the Chocolate Gallery Corridor:)

  • sileas says:

    Contemporary art is not my cup of coffee usually, but this is amazing! The artworks go so well with the beautiful interior and there are definitely some pieces I’d love to display in my own space 🙂

  • Julie says:

    Ooh I love events like these. I aspire to buy more art – are these pieces affordable..?

  • Sofia says:

    I love the colourful paintings! Contemporary art with me is a hit or miss, I guess I’m not “intellectual” enough to always understand them lol. But I would have loved to visit this! xx

  • It’s nice to know that Abu Dhabi is slowly embracing the art culture. Dubai is doing quite good on that I believe specially now. Those are some seriously good paintings! 🙂

  • Angela says:

    Did you mention Swarovski crystals? I couldn’t find one. Haha. But I like the mix of colors of Julia’s paintings. Indeed, great art for walls!

Comments are closed.