Louvre Abu Dhabi opens tomorrow the inaugural edition of its new annual contemporary art exhibition, Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2021, showcasing artworks by the seven shortlisted artists for the first Richard Mille Art Prize. The exhibition will be on view at Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Forum until 27th March 2022.
The artists Cristiana de Marchi, Latifa Saeed, Mays Albaik, Mohammed Kazem, Nasser Alzayani, Tarek Al-Ghoussein, and Taus Makhacheva were selected by the prize’s jury following an open call for proposals from UAE-based artists. Participants were asked to respond to this year’s theme of ‘Memory, Time and Territory’, addressing questions of memory and belonging, and exploring the geography of identity through the artists’ personal relationships with territories.
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 hand-embroidered canvas with her artwork Mapping Gaps: Beirut, whilst Latifa Saeed uses glass for her artwork The Pathway. Mays Albaik’s Awaiting Weightlessness is an installation of aluminium video sculptures, and Mohammed Kazem will display his photographic series Photographs with Flags. Nasser Alzayani uses sand artefacts, collected recordings and works on paper in his installation Watering the distant, deserting the near, Tarek Al-Ghoussein will present prints from his ongoing Odysseus series, and Taus Makhacheva has employed a mix of video and body-oriented objects for her work Mining Serendipity.
Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said, “We are proud to offer greater visibility to these incredibly talented UAE-based artists for this inaugural edition of the exhibition and prize. Living in the UAE, they were uniquely placed to respond to this year’s theme of ‘Memory, Time and Territory’, especially in a year where the nation reflects on 50 years of progress and development.
“Richard Mille’s timepieces have always sat at the intersection of watchmaking tradition, art, design and architecture,” says Peter Harrison, CEO, Richard Mille Middle East. “The Richard Mille Art Prize celebrates the thriving art culture here in the UAE, and in the region as a whole; establishing a platform dedicated to creativity, dialogue and diversity. The Prize will lay down the foundations for what is certain to be a very exciting chapter in the development of the region’s rich and nuanced art scene.”
“The artists have really shown a deep understanding of the theme and have responded with incisive, nuanced works. This exhibition and art prize are a significant addition to the contemporary art ecosystem of the UAE, and this focus on contemporary artists is an important extension of the universal storytelling our exhibitions and collection convey. We look forward to announcing this year’s winner and next year’s theme,” Dr. Souraya Noujaim said on behalf of the jury panel.
The shortlisted artists were selected by a distinguished four-member jury including H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Chairman of UAE Unlimited and an art collector and patron of the Centre Pompidou, the British Museum and Sharjah Art Foundation; Christine Macel, Chief Curator at the Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou and an art critic; Hala Wardé, founding architect of HW Architecture and long-term partner of Jean Nouvel, who was the lead of the Louvre Abu Dhabi project; and Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management Director.
The winner of The Richard Mille Art Prize will be selected by the prize’s jury from the seven shortlisted artists, to be announced at a ceremony in January 2022. The winner will be awarded US$50,000.
The Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2021 exhibition falls within the UAE’s cultural season that includes Abu Dhabi Art, new exhibitions at the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, Dubai Design Week, Art Dubai, as well as this year’s Expo 2020 Dubai, adding an array of opportunities to discover the local art scene and highlighting the UAE’s dedication to fostering creativity.