One of a handful of pioneers who shaped the UAE’s early commercial art scene, Isabelle van den Eynde opened her first gallery, B21, in 2006 in Dubai’s Al Quoz industrial district. At a time when contemporary art galleries were just beginning to stake their place in the local cultural landscape, she exhibited challenging artists whose names still figure on her roster today—Rokni and Ramin Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian, Mohammed Kazem, and the late Hassan Sharif, considered a trailblazer of contemporary art in the UAE.
In 2010, van den Eynde founded her eponymous space in Alserkal Avenue. As the gallery grew, what the roster gained in artists, the program garnered in daring. Alongside her long-time co-conspirators came new artists from the Middle East and North Africa and beyond.
In addition to a robust exhibition program and art fair participation, the gallery’s reach extends beyond physical spaces into publishing ventures, online activities and international projects with curators and collectors.