Arts & Culture

Restaurateur Michael Chow exhibits his paintings at Sotheby’s Dubai

The forthcoming exhibition will feature a series of abstract expressionist paintings and works on paper.

Sotheby’s Dubai will host a solo exhibition of paintings by Michael Chow, the restaurateur to the stars who is also known as ‘M.’ Over his eight decades, M has inspired paintings by the likes of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, David Hockney and Ed Ruscha, and now – after a 50-year break – he has returned to his life’s true passion. 

M opened his first restaurant in Knightsbridge on 14 February 1968. It became an instant magnet for artists and celebrities alike, with iterations of Mr. Chow fine dining restaurants opening in Beverly Hills, New York, Miami and Las Vegas. The high-end dining spots continue to attract generations of devoted clients from the world of art, fashion and music.

Mr Chow Dubai

The octogenarian has participated in so many forms of creativity throughout his life, including architecture, food, film, and poetry. He even designed his restaurants with a unique and modern twist, hanging contemporary artworks by his friends Keith Haring, Jonas Wood and Julian Schnabel on the walls. In the 1980s, Giorgio Armani visited at Mr Chow in New York and was so impressed by M’s architectural designs that he sent Armani tuxedos for all of the waiters. In return, Chow designed Armani’s Rodeo Drive boutique in 1987. 

Mr Chow Dubai

M’s bold approach to painting brings together European and American strands of abstraction with a Chinese conception of space and texture, and an appreciation for the tradition of calligraphy. Having debuted his oeuvre in China, this is the artist’s first exhibition in the Middle East. 

Mr Chow Dubai

The showcase in Dubai comprises two sections. The first floor will present a series of large-scale mixed-media canvases, each created using various precious and household materials, including gold leaf and silver, paint sheets, acrylic, plastic, and other found items. The second floor will present a series of works on paper. The title for this series, “One Breath”, derives as much from its portrayal of the physical world as it does from an inner space – a quantity that is both abstract and spiritual.

Mr Chow Dubai

The exhibition is on public view at Sotheby’s Dubai from 30 May to 1 July. The artist’s first exhibition in the Middle East will be followed by the opening of a Mr Chow restaurant in Riyadh. 

GO: Visit www.sothebys.com/Dubai for more information. 

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