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One of the best of a new wave of Middle-Eastern artists is finding that success can mean uncomfortable compromises

By Ben Lewis   January 2011

Middle-East conceptualism: Notebook volume 38 by Walid Raad

Much like the rest of the world economy, the focus of the art world has shifted east over the past few years, to China and the Middle East. Here, we are told, lies not only the world’s greatest concentration of new wealth, but also its most exciting new art.

The contemporary art scene in China is now well known— but the Middle East is a newcomer. The quality of its art ranges between two extremes. At one end is a predictable pop art that adapts the formulas of the west onto local…

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