Louvre Abu Dhabi with the UAE flag flying proudly beside it.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
Louvre Abu Dhabi and Swiss watchmaking brand Richard Mille have revealed the names of seven shortlisted artists for The Richard Mille Art Prize.
They are: Cristiana de Marchi, Latifa Saeed, Mays Albaik, Mohammed Kazem, Nasser Alzayani, Tarek Al-Ghoussein and Taus Makhacheva. They will showcase their artworks in the inaugural edition of Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2021 exhibition (Nov. 18 - Mar. 27, 2022). The winner will be announced during an award ceremony to be held in the months following the opening and will receive a $50,000 cash prize.
The shortlisted artists were selected by a four-member jury, including Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Chairman of UAE Unlimited, 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, art critic; Hala Wardé, founding architect of HW Architecture and long-term partner of Jean Nouvel, the lead of the Louvre Abu Dhabi project and Dr Souraya Noujaim, Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management Director.
The new annual Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here exhibition and The Richard Mille Art Prize aim to highlight contemporary art and artists in the UAE, the region and beyond. The first edition is concurrent with the UAE’s 50th National Day Golden Jubilee and sought proposals from artists based in the UAE.
“We were thrilled to have received a large number of proposals from artists across the UAE for this first edition of Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2021 exhibition and The Richard Mille Art Prize,” said Dr Noujaim.
“The calibre and creativity of these submissions are reflective of the UAE’s thriving art scene. We are also excited to be supporting our community of talented artists, who are deeply engaged with the time and place in which they are working.”
Bios of the selectees: Cristiana de Marchi (born 1968) is an Italian/Lebanese visual artist and writer. She holds an MFA in Archaeology from the University of Turin, Italy, and is currently a PhD candidate in the Artistic Research Programme at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna.
Her work has been presented internationally and has been featured in Art Asia Pacific, Art Forum, Contemporary Practices, Artribune, Canvas, The Art Newspaper and Harper’s Bazaar Art Arabia, besides extensive mentions in the Arabic press. She graduated from the Salama bint Hamdan Emerging Artists Fellowship.
Latifa Saeed (born 1985) is a visual artist from the United Arab Emirates, working mainly in installations and sculptures. She holds a Bachelor’s in Arts and Sciences from Zayed University. In 2019, she was a fellow of the Sheikha Salama Emerging Artist Fellowship and in 2021, a grantee of the Misk Art Grant, an initiative of the Misk Art Institute in Riyadh.
Mays Albaik (born 1991) is an interdisciplinary visual artist from Palestine working in performance, video and installations. She holds an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Bachelor of Architecture from the American University of Sharjah.
She was a fellow of the Salama Emerging Artist Fellowship and had her first solo show, A Terranean Love Note, at Tashkeel Art Center in Dubai in 2021.
She has participated in several exhibitions, including Qala 0.8900, Darat Al Funun, Jordan, 2019; BWWB, Helix Art Gallery, Brooklyn and Sawt 2a, Grey Noise, Dubai, 2018; Mind the Gap, Tashkeel, Dubai, 2018 and Change Coordinates + Someone Else, 1971 Design Space, Sharjah, 2016-17.
Mohammed Kazem (born 1969) is a visual artist from the United Arab Emirates, working in video, photography, and performance. He is a member of the Emirates Fine Arts Society and one of the “Five” - an informal group of Emirati artists – which includes Hassan Sharif, Abdullah Al Saadi, Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim and Hussain Sharif – who were at the vanguard of conceptual and interdisciplinary art practice in the Emirates. In 2013, he represented the UAE at the 55th Venice Biennale.
Nasser Alzayani is a visual artist from Bahrain, born in 1991. He holds an MFA in Glass from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Bachelor’s in Architecture from the American University of Sharjah.
He has been showcased in a number of group exhibitions, including Kissing Through A Curtain, MASS MoCA, North Adams, 2020; The Youth Takeover, Jameel Art Centre, Dubai, 2020; Glass Triennial, Sol Koffler Gallery, Providence, 2019; Bayn, Warehouse421, Abu Dhabi, 2017 and Watering the Distant, Deserting the Near, Al Riwaq, Bahrain, 2016.
He was a recipient of the Cultural Foundation Art Residency in Abu Dhabi in 2021.
Tarek Al-Ghoussein is a Palestinian/Kuwaiti visual artist, born in 1962. He currently is a professor and Director of the Master of Fine Arts degree programme at New York University Abu Dhabi.
He has had numerous solo shows and has exhibited in a number of group shows, including Theatre of Operations, MoMA PS1, New York, 2019; Creative Act: Performance, Process, Presence, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi, 2017 and Lost in Landscape, Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto, Italy, 2014.
In 2013, he represented Kuwait at the 55th Venice Biennale. His works are collected by museums worldwide such as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Freer Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian, Washington D.C.; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; British Museum, London; the Royal Museum of Photography, Copenhagen; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; the Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; the Sharjah Biennial Collection, the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation, Barjeel Art Foundation and Art Jameel, UAE.
Taus Makhacheva is a visual artist from Russia, born in 1983. She holds an MA in Fine Art from the Royal College of Art, London and a BA in Fine Art (Studio practice and contemporary critical studies) from Goldsmiths College, University of London, London.
She is known predominantly for her performance and video works that critically examine what happens when different cultures and traditions come in contact with one another.
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