Louvre Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi-1658060771257
The Louvre Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: In the lead-up to Louvre Abu Dhabi’s fifth anniversary this November, visitors can look forward to three major exhibitions that will open at the museum as part of its 2022-2023 cultural season, including the region’s most comprehensice exhibition on Impressionism.

In a statement, the museum said the three exhibitions includes Impressionism: Pathways to Modernity, the region’s most comprehensive Impressionist exhibition, which will open in October 2022. The museum will also exhibit the works of artists shortlisted for the Richard Mille Art Prize from November onwards, and in January 2023, it will feature the Bollywood Superstars exhibition.

The new season will therefore explore the many geographic paths and singular voices that have created significant artistic and cultural connections across the globe. Louvre Abu Dhabi will also offer a range of programming and events highlighting global exchange and connectivity with the UAE.

“As we mark our fifth anniversary this November, Louvre Abu Dhabi continues to offer something for everyone with this upcoming season, from exhibitions and new artworks to special events and programming. We remain deeply rooted in our community, committed to our mission of telling stories of cultural connections to the world through our upcoming exhibitions,” said Manuel Rabaté, museum director.

“The strength of our collection and display of artworks at Louvre Abu Dhabi comes from our unique semi-permanent model and the storytelling potential it presents. There is always an ever-evolving narrative on global connectivity and the many shared threads. Since the inception of Louvre Abu Dhabi, our mission has been to celebrate stories of cultural connections, to help visitors find commonalities through art, across cultures, geographies, and time. We would not be able to achieve this without expanding the narrative through the collection and the partners — from the heart of this region, to Paris, and around the world — continually helping us foster moments of discovery for our visitors as we celebrate our anniversary,” added Dr. Souraya Noujaim, scientific, curatorial and collections management director at the museum.

Impressionist exhibition

The first international Impressionist exhibition in the region, Impressionism: Pathways to Modernity will run from October 12, 2022 to February 5, 2023. It will examines this key artistic movement which began in Paris in the 1860s, and completely revolutionised the way of seeing and painting the world. The exhibition is curated by Sylvie Patry, chief curator and deputy director for collections and curatorial affairs at Musée d’Orsay, and Stéphane Guégan, scientific advisor to the president of Musée d’Orsay et Musée de l’Orangerie. Organised in partnership with Musée d’Orsay and France Muséums, and gathering about 100 Impressionist masterpieces, the exhibition explores the period spanning from the mid-1850s to the end of the 19th century, while emphasising artists’ reactions to social and economic upheavals and the emergence of a new world.

Coinciding with the museum’s fifth anniversary, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Swiss watchmaking brand Richard Mille are holding the second edition of Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2022 exhibition and the Richard Mille Art Prize. These works will be on display from November 2022 to February 2023. This year, Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2022 is welcoming entries from contemporary artists based in the UAE and across the GCC, both citizens and residents. The selected artists’ work will be showcased at the museum’s Forum, a space of interaction and exchange dedicated to contemporary art.

Curated by Reem Fadda, director of the Cultural Foundation, Art Here 2022’s overarching theme is the notion of Icon/Iconic, with entries asked to examine how the concept of the icon resonates within contemporary art practices and informs new artistic perspectives. In an increasingly digitised world, the terms icon and iconic often connect and separate; an icon is at once an object, an image, and a symbol. For Art Here 2022, artists are encouraged to re-engage with the icon to revitalise this iconic effect.

The shortlisted artists will be chosen by an international jury, and one winner selected for the $60,000 (Dh220,381) Richard Mille Art Prize. This collaboration continues to create a meaningful platform for artists in the region, and serves as an expansion of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s display of and engagement with contemporary art. Proposals for the open call may be submitted until 31 July 2022 via Louvre Abu Dhabi’s website.

Organised in partnership with Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac and France Muséums, Bollywood Superstars will open on January 25, 2023, and run until June 4, 2023. It will present the richness of the Indian subcontinent’s art and civilisation through its long tradition of image making, and the diversity of the Indian filmmaking industry. Today, India is the world’s leading film producer, with more than 1,500 films a year in about 20 languages exported throughout Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The exhibition explores the history of Indian cinema from its beginnings in the late 19th century up to the present. Bollywood Superstars is co-curated by Julien Rousseau, curator of the Asian Collection at Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac with Hélène Kessous, anthropologist and specialist of South Asian cinema.

Events and programming

Louvre Abu Dhabi will also host month-long five-year anniversary festivities through an extensive cultural programming calendar. The anniversary season will complement ongoing programmes, with particular focus on the latest exhibitions and new loans and acquisitions, and feature curated talks, concerts, performances, film screenings, workshops and more. Highlights include a contemporary dance performance inspired by the Impressionism: Pathways to Modernity exhibition, and an immersive theatre experience based on the Bollywood Superstars exhibition.