Abu Dhabi  Photo Augustine Paredes - Seeing Things 7-1668853371065
'Augustine Paredes - Seeing Things' at the show Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Louvre Abu Dhabi museum and Swiss watchmaking brand Richard Mille launched the second edition of the ‘Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here’ exhibition yesterday, November 18, in Abu Dhabi.

On display until February 19, 2023 in the museum’s Forum, the exhibition highlights the theme ‘Icon and Iconic’, exploring how the concept of icon resonates within contemporary art practices and how it informs new artistic perspectives.

Curated by Reem Fadda, director of Abu Dhabi’s Cultural Foundation, Art Here 2022 features the work of 10 artists from across the UAE and wider GCC who have been shortlisted for this year’s The Richard Mille Art Prize: Afra Al Dhaheri, Ayman Zedani, Dana Awartani, Elizabeth Dorazio, Manal Al Dowayan, Rand Abdul Jabbar, Simrin Mehra Agarwal, Shaikha Al Mazrou, Vikram Divecha and Zeinab AlHashemi.

‘Artistic energy’

“We are immensely proud to be inaugurating the second edition of Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here. As the first universal museum in the Arab world, Louvre Abu Dhabi strives to provide a platform for artists to showcase their work and talent, fostering creativity, dialogue and diversity. The level of submissions that we have received from across the GCC are testament to the artistic energy present within the region,” said Manuel Rabaté, director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said:

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“A reflection of Richard Mille’s dedication to furthering the ideals of artistry and innovation, the 2022 edition of The Richard Mille Prize pushes past all precedence to unearth new territories and perspectives in the contemporary art space. The GCC is home to one of the most enriched and nuanced art scenes in the world, and it gives me great pride to be able to witness the finalists’ approach on the notions of ‘icon’ and ‘iconic’ right here in Louvre Abu Dhabi. With Art Here 2022 and the museum’s fifth anniversary, I anticipate welcoming a new chapter for the UAE, the GCC and the wider art community,” said Peter Harrison, CEO at Richard Mille EMEA.

“The artists’ contextualisation and interpretation of the notions of ‘icon’ and ‘iconic’ are incredibly nuanced and we could not be more thrilled to present this exhibition as part of our fifth anniversary celebrations, and as part of our unwavering commitment to creating a platform for regional artists. This exhibition provides an amazing opportunity for artists and audiences alike to discover and explore what icon and iconic mean. Art is a powerful tool that can be used to drive connections across cultures, time and space, and we are honoured to witness how these artists have creatively engaged with the prompt to tell their rich and diverse stories,” said Dr Souraya Noujaim, director of scientific, curatorial and collections management at the museum.

The shortlisted artists were selected by a distinguished five-member jury including Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, chairman of UAE Unlimited, an art collector, and a patron of the Centre Pompidou, the British Museum and Sharjah Art Foundation; Morad Montazami, a curator, art historian, publisher and director of Zamân Books & Curating; Hala Wardé, founding architect of HW Architecture, long-term partner of Jean Nouvel and the lead of the Louvre Abu Dhabi project; Dr Noujaim, and Fadda.

$60,000 prize

The jury will select the winner of The Richard Mille Art Prize from the shortlist, and the announcement will take place at a ceremony in early 2023. The winner will be awarded $60,000 (Dh2.2 million).

Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2022 exhibition comes as part of the museum’s fifth anniversary celebrations and falls within the UAE’s cultural season that includes Abu Dhabi Art, new exhibitions at the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, Dubai Design Week, and Art Dubai. The opening builds on the diverse cultural calendar of the UAE, enables communities to discover the local art scene and showcases the country’s commitment to fostering creativity.