Seven UAE-based artists shortlisted for $ 50,000 prize at new Louvre Abu Dhabi art exhibition

Inside the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The museum has hosted more than 1,000 school trips, 5,000 guided tours, workshops and masterclasses, and scheduled 115 special events.
Image Credit: Provided

Abu Dhabi: Works by seven artists are on display for the inaugural edition of the new annual contemporary art exhibition at Louvre Abu Dhabi. The winner of the Richard Mille Art Prize will be announced at a ceremony in January 2022. The winner will receive $ 50,000 (183,900 Dh).

The Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2021 opened on Thursday, with artists Cristiana de Marchi, Latifa Saeed, Mays Albaik, Mohammed Kazem, Nasser Alzayani, Tarek Al-Ghoussein and Taus Makhacheva shortlisted for the Richard Mille Art Prize.

The artists were selected by the award jury, following an open call for proposals from UAE-based artists. The participants were invited to respond to this year’s theme “Memory, time and territory”, by addressing questions of memory and belonging and by exploring the geography of identity through the personal relationships of artists with territories.

Hand-embroidered canvas

Each of the seven artists responded to the theme with their own unique interpretation, bringing each of their visions to life through different mediums. Cristiana de Marchi will present a hand-embroidered canvas with her artwork Mapping Gaps: Beirut, while Latifa Saeed uses glass for her artwork “The Pathway”. Mays Albaik’s “Awaiting Weightlessness” is an installation of aluminum video sculptures, and Mohammed Kazem will present his photographic series “Photographs with Flags”. Nasser Alzayani uses sand artefacts, collected recordings and works on paper in his installation “Water the distant, desert the near”. Tarek Al-Ghoussein will present prints from his ongoing series “Odysseus”, and Taus Makhacheva has used a mixture of video and bodily objects for his work “Mining Serendipity”.

“Memory, time and territory”

“We are proud to provide greater visibility to these incredibly talented artists based in the United Arab Emirates for this inaugural edition of the exhibition and award. Living in the United Arab Emirates, they were uniquely positioned to respond to this year’s theme ‘Memory, Time and Territory’, especially in a year when the nation reflects on 50 years of progress and development, ”said Manuel Rabate, director of Louvre Abu Dhabi.

“Richard Mille’s timepieces have always been at the crossroads of watchmaking tradition, art, design and architecture. The Richard Mille Artistic Prize [therefore] celebrates the flourishing arts culture here in the UAE and across the region; set up a platform dedicated to creativity, dialogue and diversity. The award will lay the groundwork for what is sure to be an exciting chapter in the development of the region’s rich and nuanced art scene, ”said Peter Harrison, Managing Director of Richard Mille Middle East.

Extension of universal storytelling

“The artists really showed a deep understanding of the theme and responded with incisive and nuanced works. This exhibition and art award is a significant addition to the UAE’s contemporary art ecosystem, and this focus on contemporary artists is an important extension of the universal storytelling that our exhibitions and collection convey. We look forward to announcing this year’s winner and next year’s theme, ”said Dr Souraya Noujaim, Director of Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management at Louvre Abu Dhabi, on behalf of the jury.

The jury includes three other distinguished members in addition to Dr Noujaim. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, president of UAE Unlimited and art collector and patron of the Center Pompidou, the British Museum and the Sharjah Art Foundation, is on the panel as well as Christine Macel, art critic and curator in head of the Museum. national d’art moderne and Center Pompidou. The panel also includes Hala Warde, founding architect of HW Architecture and longtime partner of Jean Nouvel, who was the leader of the Louvre Abu Dhabi project.

A range of opportunities

The Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2021 exhibition is part of the UAE’s cultural season which includes Abu Dhabi Art, new exhibitions at NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, Dubai Design Week, Art Dubai, as well as Expo 2020 Dubai this year, adding an array of opportunities to experience the local art scene and highlight the UAE’s dedication to fostering creativity.

James C. Tibbs