“But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa” is the third iteration of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s UBS Map Global Art Initiative, which has acquired more than 125 works from 37 artists to date following previous focuses on South and Southeast Asia and Latin America. Curated by Sara Raza, with 17 artists, “But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise” is titled after a line from German cultural critic Walter Benjamin’s seminal 1940 essay, “Theses on the Philosophy of History,” as well as a 2014 mixed-media work by Rokni Haerizadeh in which the artist painted directly onto news images, transforming already dramatic scenes into quasi-mythological ones. Several threads run throughout many of the exhibited works, particularly a shared, critical interest in how modernist architecture and urban planning did, and did not, shape the Middle East and North Africa’s cities and their residents’ lives. Reflecting a region still very much in transformation following colonial rule, many of the artworks’ material forms were precarious and fragile, things on the brink of destruction. In her opening remarks Raza noted that there’s plenty of what she called “conceptual contraband” and “ideas that have been smuggled in,” and that she hoped the works’ permanent residency in the Guggenheim’s collection would be material for future scholars looking at a complicated region. Here is a first look at the artworks as installed at the Guggenheim in New York.