ABU DHABI: Louvre Abu Dhabi’s new cultural season will be anchored by three international exhibitions, the launch of a new annual exhibition and art prize, and a popular ongoing exhibition at the Children’s Museum, accompanied by a public programme.
In celebration of the UAE’s 50th National Day and the museum’s own fourth anniversary on November 11, Louvre Abu Dhabi will offer a range of programming and events celebrating global exchange and connectivity with the UAE.
Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said, "As the UAE welcomes the world over the coming months, Louvre Abu Dhabi will truly offer something for everyone in this upcoming season of exhibitions, events and programming. New international exhibitions, new acquisitions and masterpieces on loan will join a display of works from each of the seven emirates. In this extraordinary Jubilee year, we remain resilient and deeply rooted in our community, committed to our mission of telling stories of cultural connections throughout this season, beginning with Dragon & Phoenix."
A new exhibition, held in partnership with the Musée national des arts asiatiques – Guimet and curated by Sophie Makariou, will look at artistic and cultural exchanges between China and the Islamic world. Running from 6th October 2021 – 12th February 2022, Dragon and Phoenix – Centuries of Exchange between Chinese and Islamic Worlds explores this history of mutual exchange and fascination, unfolding over five chapters and featuring immersive scenography chronicling the 8th – 18th centuries.
Complementing the exhibition will be a selection of hand-picked weekend family film screenings and kayak cinema shows in November and December. In addition, Dragon Boats will join the popular, ongoing yoga and kayaking activities at the museum.
Through a joint collaboration with Swiss watchmakers Richard Mille, Louvre Abu Dhabi has established an annual exhibition and art prize for contemporary artists. The inaugural exhibition Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2021 will feature all shortlisted, UAE-based artists’ proposals from November 18 to March 27, 2022 in the Forum, a space of interaction and exchange dedicated to contemporary art.
From these shortlisted artists, one will be selected as the winner of the Richard Mille Art Prize and awarded $50,000.
The first international exhibition of 2022, Versailles and the World (26 January – 4 June 2022), will be held in partnership with musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon and tells the story of Versailles as a central diplomatic instrument that solidified the prowess of the French royal court and served as the stage for its fascination with various civilisations in a rapidly globalising world.
This exhibition is curated by Hélène Delalex, Curator, Furniture and Decorative Arts, and Bertrand Rondot, Chief Curator, Furniture and Decorative Arts, at the musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon.
Delving into one medium that is crucial to artistic production, documentation, and communication, Stories of Paper (April – July 2022) will trace the origins of paper in all its forms, from ancient China and the Islamic world, to contemporary global societies. Organised with Musée du Louvre, this exhibition is curated by Xavier Salmon, Director of the Drawings and Prints department at Musée du Louvre and Victor Hundsbuckler, curator at the same department.
The Emotions! The New Art Adventure exhibition also continues in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Children’s Museum. Children and families navigate three floors of interactive activities, artworks, and games to explore four key emotions: joy, sadness, fear, and anger. Access to the museum and the exhibition is free to all children under 18.
Coinciding with the museum’s anniversary, 59 new loans and 56 new acquisitions will go on view in Louvre Abu Dhabi’s galleries. Works on loan come from lending institutions within the France Muséums network, along with regional and local partners.
In celebration of the UAE’s 50th National Day, Louvre Abu Dhabi will display artworks from each of the seven emirates – including loans from national museums and institutions such as the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi and Dubai Municipality.
Returning visitors to the museum will be greeted by an entirely new pairing of works upon entry – the bronze sculpture The Words I Love Most by Egyptian artist Ghada Amer (2012) on loan from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi in dialogue with the new acquisition Series of eight allegories attributed to Jacob de Backer (Antwerp, active between 1571 and 1585).
Both works explore the infinite possibilities of word and image in expressing complex human and societal values, such as love, charity and hope. These are universal, moral guideposts which, although represented differently, continue to connect civilisations across time and geographies.
As part of its Research Programme, Louvre Abu Dhabi is presenting a talk series in collaboration with Cartier at the Women’s Pavilion at EXPO 2020 Dubai, using artworks from the museum’s collection to initiate discussions on landmark moments in women’s history.
To celebrate the nation’s Jubilee, December will see the museum’s iconic dome transformed into an audio-visual installation reflecting 50 years of the UAE, including a roller-skating rink for an event in collaboration with Madrollers, open to children in the afternoon and to young people in the evening.
Enjoy Drawing at the Museum each week, exploring an artwork, developing sketching skills and learning about different aspects of drawing. Learn about form and perspective from ancient ceramics and reliefs, marvel at the intricacy of the human form, analyse light and shade, and observe the dome and architecture. Participants end each two-hour visit by participating in a group discussion to critically reflect, share insights and discuss ideas.
The museum’s #MakeandPlay initiative will continue in the form of videos online and drop-in sessions at the museum. Make and Play drop-in activities are linked to the museum artworks, allowing participants to create an original flipbook, a helmet, a mask, a costume, or a paper horse, in four activity stations.
LATES are starting again from November 3, with the Wednesday Dome edition allowing visitors to enjoy complimentary access under the dome from 6.30 pm – 9 pm. Take in the extraordinary architecture of the ‘museum city’ as the sun sets over the sea. The evenings will be themed, offering programming such as poetry and film screenings, with special dining options.