Nasser Alzayani is winner of first edition of Richard Mille Art Prize - GulfToday

Nasser Alzayani is winner of first edition of Richard Mille Art Prize

Nasser art 1

Nasser Alzayani is the winner of 2021 Richard Mille Art Prize at Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

Louvre Abu Dhabi and Swiss watchmaking brand Richard Mille have chosen Nasser Alzayani as the winner of the first edition of the Richard Mille Art Prize. Alzayani was one of seven artists shortlisted for the award in October 2021 and showcased in the exhibition Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2021.

A Bahraini-American artist (b.1991, Manama, Bahrain) living and working in Abu Dhabi, Nasser’s practice expresses a research-driven documentation of time and place through text and image, as well as found and cast objects. He incorporates themes of factual and fictional archaeology, and his most recent work explores alternative narratives of collective experience.

Alzayani was selected by a four-member jury, including Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Chairman of UAE Unlimited, an avid 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 art critic; Hala Warde, founding architect of HW Architecture and long-term partner of Jean Nouvel, and the lead of the Louvre Abu Dhabi project; and Dr Souraya Noujaim, Louvre Abu Dhabi’s Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management Director.


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“We are delighted to announce Nasser Alzayani as the winner of the first edition of The Richard Mille Art Prize. The collaboration between Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here and The Richard Mille Art Prize represents a further extension of the role of the museum as a space of interaction and exchange for contemporary art through our ongoing interactions and links with regional contemporary artists,” said Dr Noujaim. Alzayani said: “I am so thankful to have won the 2021 Richard Mille Art Prize. When I think back to when my project started, before it even made it to be part of this exhibition, it all really feels like it has come full circle.

“I would like to thank Richard Mille and Louvre Abu Dhabi for giving me the opportunity to be part of this exhibition; I am so proud to have been able to show this work. “This experience has given me a lot more than art; it has given me the chance to build a community of peers I look up to and lifelong friends. “I am very grateful for the support that this initiative has provided, and I am excited to see what the future holds for me and the other artists who will be given this opportunity.” Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here is an annual exhibition and art prize which serves as a platform to showcase contemporary artists from the region working in a variety of media. Each year, the exhibition will see several artists selected through an open call for proposals, each exhibiting one artwork in the Forum, a space of interaction and exchange within Louvre Abu Dhabi, dedicated to contemporary art.

Nasser art 2  Nasser Alzayani incorporates themes of factual and fictional archaeology.

The theme for the 2022 Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here annual exhibition and the open call for submissions for the second edition of the Richard Mille Art Prize will be announced soon. Artworks from all Richard Mille Art Prize shortlisted artists are currently on display at the Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2021 exhibition (till March 27).

Alzayani is a recipient of the Fundacion Casa Wabi x ArtReview Residency (2017), the Villa Lena Foundation Residency (2018), and the Cultural Foundation Art Residency in Abu Dhabi (2021). He has an MFA in Glass from the Rhode Island School of Design (2019) and a BArch from American University of Sharjah (2015). Richard Mille, a brand founded in 2001, comprises of more than eighty models, combining design, art, sculpture, and architecture. The assimilation of watchmaking to artistic endeavour is perhaps reflected in the company’s close connections with the arts.

The brand’s partnerships in support of contemporary art and artists include sponsorship of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris; collaborations with choreographer Benjamin Millepied; composer Thomas Roussel; street artist Kongo; and the acquisition of Editions Cercle d’Art, a publishing house created with the support of Pablo Picasso in the 1950s. Created by an agreement between the governments of Abu Dhabi and France, Louvre Abu Dhabi was designed by Jean Nouvel and opened on Saadiyat Island in 2017.

The museum is inspired by traditional Islamic architecture and its monumental dome creates a rain of light effect. It celebrates the universal creativity of mankind and invites audiences to see humanity in a new light by focusing on building understanding across cultures through stories of human creativity that transcend civilisations, geographies, and times. The museum’s growing collection spans thousands of years of human history, including prehistoric tools, artefacts, religious texts, iconic paintings and contemporary artworks.

The permanent collection is supplemented by rotating loans from 13 French partner institutions, regional and international museums. A testing ground for new ideas in a globalised world, it strives to champion new generations of cultural leaders. It hosts international exhibitions, global programming and has a well-loved Children’s Museum. DCT Abu Dhabi’s vision is defined by the emirate’s people, heritage and landscape and drives the sustainable growth of Abu Dhabi’s culture and tourism sectors.

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