The Rhythm of Patterns

The Rhythm of Patterns

Date: Wednesday 24 Mar, 2021 - Thursday 24 Jun, 2021
Time: 08:00 a.m. - 03:00 p.m.
Venue: Embassy of Mexico in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Curated By: Dr. Nina Heydemann

This exhibition unites four very diverse artists from different backgrounds. Dr Najjat Makki from the United Arab Emirates, María José R. Escolar from Spain, Mexican artist José Toledo and American artist of Mexican and Honduran descent Brian Gonzales. All of these artists have in common that they have a strong preference for painting (or printmaking, respectively), yet their works are very different from each other.

To unite these diverse practices, research into Mexico’s history revealed a helpful aide that became the main concept of this exhibition. Talavera Tiles date back to the 16th century and have a rich history of blending, absorbing und modifying styles and designs from Spain, Mexico and Islamic art – bearing this in mind, it could have not been more fitting to integrate the diverse work of the aforementioned artists within a selection of black and white printed tiles, thus uniting them through the rhythm of patterns, rather than through their artistic differences.

Commonly used therefore on walls, façades, and on floors, the effect of multiple Talavera Tiles brings together composite structures of patterns. Multiplicity and repetition is at the heart of these tiles, because only in their united form do they achieve their overall effect.

In this exhibition, selections of square sections of original artworks by the four artists were printed on tiles. Carried out by artist and printmaker Brian Gonzales, Printmaking Lecturer at the University of Sharjah, 500 tiles were printed in this manner, intermixing with black and white Talavera Tile patterns. The exhibition combines therefore floor-based works as well as wall hanging works, reflecting the original works of art as well as their modifications into Talavera Tiles.

This exhibition is hosted at the Embassy of Mexico in Abu Dhabi by HE Francisca Méndez Escobar, Ambassador of Mexico to the UAE, and has been created in collaboration with the University of Sharjah and Maraya Art Centre.

To visit, please book an appointment with Ms. Nawal Boulos, Cultural Affairs Manager: or call (971) 2 511 99 02 and (971) 50 170 46 86.


The Artists:


María José is a Spanish artist. She has a Degree in Fine Arts, University of Salamanca, Spain. María José began her career in 1989 and has featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions in different countries. She is the Artistic Director and Founding Member of The Art Circle, Abu Dhabi.

Her works are present in private collections as well as in foundations such as Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), or in public institutions such as INJUVE in Spain.

In May 2021, she will present the Project “The Trip”, at Jameel Art Center in Dubai.



Dr. Najat Makki is a Founding Member of the Emirates Fine Arts Society.

In 2001, she received her PhD degree in the Philosophy of Fine Arts, from Helwan University in Cairo, Egypt.

In 2007, she received the Emirates Appreciation Award for Arts, Science and Literature.

In 1993, she was awarded the Jury Prize of the First Edition of the Sharjah International Biennial.

She was awarded the silver medal of the Syrian International Love Award, in Damascus, 1999.



From Mexico City, Civil Engineer, Master in Project Management.

In 1993, Jose Toledo joined the Delhi College of Art in India. In 1995, he joined Steven Taipale's Studio in Stockholm. Subsequently, he collaborated with the studio of Nuria Balcelli & Augusti Roca's studio. In 2005, he joined the studio of John Boyle, Jerusalem.

Since 2008 Jose Toledo lives in the United Arab Emirates, where he has participated in different exhibitions and workshops, among them with Imran Quresh, winner of the Sharjah Biennial in 2011.



Brian Gonzales was born in Santa Monica, California to parents of Mexican and Honduran heritage and received his BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina and his MFA (Master of Fine Arts) from the Herron School of Art and Design in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Brian Gonzales currently lives in Sharjah and teaches drawing and printmaking at the University of Sharjah, College of Fine Arts & Design. In addition to being an artist and printmaker he is also an avid collector of fine art prints and printed ephemera.