Past Exhibition

Lion Woman Man Water Sand

STARTS: 06/Nov/2017
ENDS: 24/Nov/2017

November 6th, 2017 7:00pm

Etihad Modern Art Gallery will be offering a special treat this November in the midst of the Abu Dhabi Art events, just in time for the opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

A handful of distinguished artists from Los Angeles will bring a cutting-edge group show to Etihad Modern Art Gallery, along with a series of unique projects. Besides the exhibition, visitors will be able to choose from the following fascinating program.

The initiator and curator of the group show, Tom Lieber is an internationally recognised abstract painter, who shares his time between Los Angeles (CA) and Kauai (Hawaii). After graduating from the University of Illinois in 1974, Lieber moved to San Francisco to throw himself into exploring the scene of Bay Area painting. In 1982, he was selected for the Emerging American Artists’ exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum (NY), before joining the John Berggruen Gallery in San Francisco. While Lieber has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, his work is included in prominent collections, such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guggenheim Museum, SFMoMA, The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, and the Tate Modern, London among others.

Sara Marlowe Hall graduated with BA Honours in fine art from Camberwell College of Arts in 2013, with a year studying at the Academy of Visual Arts, Leipzig, Germany. Born in LA, she moved to London to study and now divides her work between the two cities. She has exhibited in LA, Leipzig, and London.

Legendary graffiti artist RISK – born Kelly Graval – started his career as an illegal graffiti artist. He brought the typical New York style to the west coast, combining the look with his idiosyncratic colourful palette, inspired by the Californian surf and skate culture. Having come a long way since his roots as an illegal graffiti artist, RISK has exhibited in a series of galleries and later opened his own exhibition space Buckshot Gallery, with the aim of providing a free and inspiring space for emerging talent.

Lila Roo, a modern-day nomad, has moved 40 times during her life. She incorporates her journey into her oeuvre by working intimately with people and places to create portraits, performance art, and installations that are transformative and empowering. She creates her pieces made from refuse materials, mainly plastic waste, the most ubiquitous resource in the world today. The hand-collected plastic strips are braided into ropes and brought to life as building blocks of installations set in real life communities that she encounters. Roo approaches art as a ritual act, which she uses as a means of engaging people and environments while connecting them through universal visual symbols.

Bruna Stude graduated from the Law University of Split, Croatia, before leaving her home country in 1987 to pursue a life at sea. Besides numerous shows in Kauai (Hawaii), Bruna has exhibited in Santa Monica (CA), Sarasota (FL) and Paris (France). Her works can be found in public and private collections from Hawaii to Paris.

Stude has been photographing the Ocean for over twenty years. While her earlier work depicted sea creatures and an abundance of natural phenomena, her latest images mirror the empty ocean, reflecting the effects of human civilisation She believes that “the awareness of the absence of something affects us more than its presence.” Loosely inspired by Chinese calligraphy, Stude depicts the void left after a once immeasurably richer ocean life.

Barbara Vaughn is a fine-art photographer based in New York City and San Francisco. She is represented by several galleries and has exhibited her work across the U.S. since 2000. Her photographs displayed at Etihad Modern Art Gallery show fleeting reflections on moving water. While the images are un-retouched and representational, they are rendered abstract by the water’s undulation, engaging the imagination of the viewer. The distinctive shapes created by this distortion evoke the works of avant-garde abstract painters such as Kandinsky and Joan Miró. Her earlier portraits of celebrities, businessmen, and artists has been published in Vogue, Vanity Fair, Paris Match, Art in America, Allure, and Time magazines, in addition to several books.

A graduate of the School of the Arts Chicago, Mark Van Wagner has participated in a series of exhibitions from New York through Chicago to Kauai (Hawaii) in prominent galleries, such as Sotheby’s International. Wagner uses natural and pigmented sand to construct his pieces that resemble architectonic elements and signs. They almost appear to be monolithic monitors infused with waves created by the shapes and the movement of sand.

Robert Vargas is a contemporary artist known for his mixed-media portraits, murals, and live events. Vargas is a leading creative force in Downtown LA’s art scene. His best-known works include a City of L.A. commissioned mural “Can’t Stop” or his masterpiece, “Our Lady of DTLA,” a four-storey  mural in the heart of downtown Los Angeles. In the Summer of 2017, he began working on his most significant project: a fourteen-storey mural in L.A. that will rank as the largest mural in the world by a single artist.



Robert Vargas famous mural and portrait painter will honour Etihad Modern Art Gallery by creating a large- scale mural painting in the gallery garden. Visitors to the gallery and Art House Café will be able to follow the live painting performance during daytime from the 5th of November until the opening day.

We are also proud to announce that a limited number of guests will even have the once in a lifetime opportunity to have their portrait drawn by Robert Vargas. Vargas will spend a few days at Etihad Modern Art Gallery, offering his notorious portrait painting skills for the art enthusiasts of Abu Dhabi. To secure your spot on the artist’s schedule and inquire about portrait fees, please contact Jayrille Nicolas (

For those who would like to dig deeper into the art world and hear the insider news about the contemporary L.A. art scene, we are offering a VIP artist talk and guided tour of the exhibition, provided by Tom Lieber, Lila Roo, and Robert Vargas. R.S.V.P. to Jayrille Nicolas (