The Abraaj Group Art Prize celebrates the potential of artists across MENASA and has been a cornerstone of Abraaj’s arts patronage program.

The Abraaj Group Art Prize enables talented artists in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region to develop their practice by realizing a unique project. The prize reflects Abraaj’s own investment philosophy, which is to take viable businesses with great potential, and create regional and global champions.

The Abraaj Group Art Prize Collection now includes 29 major works. Over the past eight years, Abraaj has lent works to over 30 institutions worldwide and commissioned seven publications on the prize. The Abraaj Group Art Prize is unveiled during Art Dubai, the world’s most globalized art fair of which we are the lead partner.

2017 marks the 9th edition of the Prize. This year, the jury received a record number of applications from 61 countries; more than double the number received in 2015.

AGAP  APPLICATIONS 2018 1 01

Recipients

Recipients

Rana Begum – Winning Artist

Rana Begum – Winning Artist

Born in Bangladesh in 1977, Rana Begum now lives and works in London. In 1999, she graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art and Design and, in 2002, gained an MFA in Painting from Slade School of Fine Art.
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Sarah AbuAbdallah – Shortlisted Artist

Sarah AbuAbdallah – Shortlisted Artist

Sarah AbuAbdallah lives and works in Qatif, Saudi Arabia. She is currently an artist and puzzle maker, working with video, installation, poetry and images.
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Doa Aly – Shortlisted Artist

Doa Aly – Shortlisted Artist

Doa Aly was born in Cairo, Egypt in 1976. She attended the Faculty of Fine Arts in Cairo, earning a BFA in painting in 2001. Her work spans across video, drawing and performance.
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Raha Raissnia – Shortlisted Artist

Raha Raissnia – Shortlisted Artist

Raha Raissnia received her BFA from the School of the Art institute of Chicago and her MFA from Pratt Institute. In 2016, Raissnia’s work was the subject of a solo presentation at the Museum of Modern Art.
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Omar Berrada – Curator

Omar Berrada – Curator

Omar Berrada is a writer, translator and curator, and the director of Dar al-Ma’mûn, a library and artists residency in Marrakech.
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Recipients

Basel Abbas And Ruanne Abou-Rahme – Winning Artists

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme – Winning Artists

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme work focuses on the intersection of culture and politics. Only The Beloved Keeps Our Secrets contemplates the position of the body within fluctuations of presence.
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Basir Mahmood – Shortlisted Artist

Basir Mahmood – Shortlisted Artist

Using video, film or photograph, Basir Mahmood weaves various threads of thoughts, findings and insights into poetic sequences and various forms of narratives.
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Mahmoud Khaled – Shortlisted Artist

Mahmoud Khaled – Shortlisted Artist

Mahmoud Khaled's work - spanning video, photography, sculpture, installation, sound and text - explores what is real and what is hidden, disguised or staged.
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Dina Danish – Shortlisted Artist

Dina Danish – Shortlisted Artist

Triggered by the need for understanding, Dina Danish’s subjects include linguistic structures, pinball machines and tongue-twisters.
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Nav Haq – Curator

Nav Haq – Curator

Nav Haq is Curator at MuHKA – Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp. He was previously Exhibitions Curator at Arnolfini, Bristol, and Curator at Gasworks, London.
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Recipients

Yto Barrada – Winning Artist

Yto Barrada – Winning Artist

Faux départ, produced by Yto Barrada, is a digital video that explores the definitions of authenticity. False teeth. Faux pas. Faux filet. Faux amis. False advertising. Faux guide. False prophet. F is for fake. False start…
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Mounira Al Solh – Shortlisted Artist

Mounira Al Solh – Shortlisted Artist

In The Mute Tongue, Al Sohl stages in silent vignettes 19 Arabic proverbs and sayings used in daily life.
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Sanarth Banerjee – Shortlisted Artist

Sanarth Banerjee – Shortlisted Artist

Sanarth Banerjee constructs a narrative - using text and image - as a language, to reflect an examination of a place or an event.
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Setareh Shahbazi – Shortlisted Artist

Setareh Shahbazi – Shortlisted Artist

Spectral Days, produced by Setareh Shahbazi, features a collection of childhood photographs cut and morphed into a visual psychedelic trip through moments.
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Omar Kholeif – Curator

Omar Kholeif – Curator

Omar Kholeif is a writer, curator and editor. He is currently Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, Senior Visiting Curator at Cornerhouse and HOME, Manchester as well as Senior Editor of Ibraaz Publishing.
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Recipients

Basim Magdy

Basim Magdy

Using video, paints, slide projection and installation, Magdy examines science, war and progress. The Dent weaves together loosely linked events and irrational occurrences to reflect upon collective failure and hopefulness.
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Bouchra Khalili

Bouchra Khalili

Khalili’s work is primarily in film to investigate identity and immigration movements. Garden Conversation restages a mythical encounter between two renegade heroes, seeking their wisdom for our time.
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Kamrooz Aram

Kamrooz Aram

Ancient Through Modern is a wall installation consisting of painting, ceramics and collage arranged to echo the displays in popular museums such as the Louvre in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
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Abbas Akhavan

Abbas Akhavan

Study for a Hanging Garden is an act of commemoration, and also an attempt to archive plants belonging to regions around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, the title hinting at the legendary gardens of Babylon.
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Anup Mathew Thomas

Anup Mathew Thomas

Nurses, the single largest group of professional female migrants from Kerala, is a group of portraits capturing women of Keralan origin employed in hospitals and care facilities around the world.
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Nada Raza

Nada Raza

Nada Raza is from Karachi, currently based at Tate Modern in London where she is Assistant Curator focusing on South Asia.
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Recipients

Hrair Sarkissian

Hrair Sarkissian

Background marks the eclipse of a tradition of studio portraiture and development of photography in the Middle East by documenting one of its central artefacts: the studio backdrop.
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Huma Mulji

Huma Mulji

Twenty-first century Wunderkammer, or cabinet of Curiosities employs the whimsical and wondrous logic of acquisition, organization and display of these unruly antecedents of the modern museum.
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Iman Issa

Iman Issa

Iman Issa works through a process of careful refinement, whereby specific information is pared down to its essence and then re-imagined through a personal and subjective lens.
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Vartan Avakian

Vartan Avakian

Commemorating the forgotten leaders of failed coups d’état, Avakian is a multidisciplinary artist, working with installation, video and photography.
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Rayyane Tabet

Rayyane Tabet

Consisting of thousands of unique lead pieces, each cast by the artist by pouring a few grams of lead shot, melted in a stovetop coffee pot into a water-filled coffee cup.
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Murtaza Vali, Curator

Murtaza Vali, Curator

Murtaza Vali is a critic, curator, editor and Visiting Instructor at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, USA.
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Recipients

Risham Syed

Risham Syed

In "Seven Quilts", Syed connects the intricacies of contemporary geo-politics with the 19th and early 20th Century cotton trade of the British Empire, with fabric sourced from travels to Turkey, Bangladesh, UAE, Sri Lanka, UK, India and Pakistan.
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Raed Yassin

Raed Yassin

In an unorthodox and innovative way of attempting to represent important historical events of Lebanese contemporary history, Beirut-based Yassin shows seven Chinese porcelain vases depicting the key battles of the Lebanese civil war.
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Wael Shawky

Wael Shawky

Shawky is fascinated by the processes of transition and how an understanding of local systems translates into global relations.The crusades are a prime historical example of a time in transition, of ideological and global expansion.
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Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige

Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige

Hadjithomas & Joreige have articulated an imaginary embodiment of emails that clutter our inboxes on a daily basis through video installation.
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Taysir Batniji

Taysir Batniji

This fragile and poetic work is a dedication to the artist’s late brother and ties into how personal experiences ultimately become part of a collective political narrative.
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Nat Muller – Curator

Nat Muller – Curator

Nat Muller is an independent curator and critic based in Rotterdam. She is a regular contributor to Springerin and MetropolisM.
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Recipients

Nadia Kaabi-Linke

Nadia Kaabi-Linke

Kaabi-Linke's installations, objects and pictorial works are embedded in urban contexts, intertwined with memory and geographically and politically constructed identities.
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Shezad Dawood

Shezad Dawood

Shezad Dawood has a research based practice that employs many art forms. The inspiration behind his project Dream Project begins with the prototype by painter Brion Gysin.
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Timo Nasseri

Timo Nasseri

Like much of Nasseri’s work, this sculpture gives expression to the quantitative logic of systems that exist across cultures and history, and the inherent, yet uncanny, beauty that results from their intersection.
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Jananne Al-Ani

Jananne Al-Ani

Shadow Sites II is a film that takes the form of an aerial journey. Al-Ani works with photography, film and video and is interested in the power of testimony and the documentary tradition.
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Hamra Abbas

Hamra Abbas

Installed within a darkened chamber, this artwork depicts the iconic image of a fictional super-heroine. The illustrations are reminiscent of Mughal miniature painting.
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Sharmini Pereira

Sharmini Pereira

Sharmini Pereira is the director and founder of Raking Leaves, a not-for-profit independent publisher of artists' book projects and special editions, now regularly funded by the Arts Council England.
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Recipients

Hala Elkoussy With Curator Jelle Bouwhuis

Hala Elkoussy with Curator Jelle Bouwhuis

Myths and Legends Room is a mural of 48-framed photographs commemorating works of propaganda art, referencing wall paintings and dioramas that celebrate the history of modern Egypt.
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Kader Attia With Curator Laurie Ann Farrell

Kader Attia with Curator Laurie Ann Farrell

The multi-media installation consists of a miniature sculpture comprised of two silver nuts of different sizes holding in place a brass bolt. Once projected, the very small assemblage evokes an architectural representation of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
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Marwan Sahmarani With Curator Mahita El Bacha Urieta

Marwan Sahmarani with Curator Mahita El Bacha Urieta

Sahmarani has created a three-dimensional space in which the themes of martyrdom and expiation are dealt with in a way that resembles the millennia-old techniques of fresco painting in combination with contemporary media.
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Recipients

Kutluğ Ataman With Curator Cristiana Perrella

Kutluğ Ataman with Curator Cristiana Perrella

The acclaimed filmmaker and artist is filmed while crossing a sulphurous desert land with bare feet and blind-folded eyes, inspired by folk tales typical of Mesopotamia.
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Zoulikha Bouabdellah With Curator Carol Solomon

Zoulikha Bouabdellah with Curator Carol Solomon

A re-creation of the celestial canopy in the month of March, Algiers native Bouabdellah’s mixed media installation invites the viewer to walk on the sky, featuring the polygonal star of Islamic art.
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Nazgol Ansarinia With Curator Leyla Fakhr

Nazgol Ansarinia with Curator Leyla Fakhr

In this handwoven carpet, the traditional motifs of the Persian carpet are replaced with everyday scenes of contemporary life in urban Iran, drawing parallels with the structure of life in her native Tehran.
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Jury

Dana Farouki

Dana Farouki

Dana Farouki is a Palestinian-American independent curator and collector of international contemporary art, based between Dubai and New York.
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Fayeeza Naqvi

Fayeeza Naqvi

Fayeeza Naqvi is the Chairman of the Aman Foundation with a focus on health care and education.
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Rashid Rana

Rashid Rana

Rashid Rana is a visual artist of high esteem from Pakistan. His work has been featured in many exhibitions globally.
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Stuart Comer

Stuart Comer

Stuart Comer is the Chief Curator of the Department of Media and Performance Art at The Museum of Modern Art.
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Myrna Ayad

Myrna Ayad

Myrna Ayad is an independent arts writer, editor and consultant who has been based in the UAE for over thirty years.
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Zeina Arida

Zeina Arida

Zeina Arida’s career in the Lebanese cultural sector spans over twenty years. She is the Director of the Nicolas Ibrahim Sursock Museum.
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Frederic Sicre

Frederic Sicre

Frederic Sicre is Managing Director at Abraaj and leads global stakeholder engagement. He is currently focused on healthcare delivery systems in Africa and South Asia.
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Seepage/ritual – An Interview With Abraaj Group Art Prize Curator Omar Berrada

Seepage/ritual – An interview with Abraaj Group Art Prize Curator Omar Berrada

Curator Omar Berrada talks about his journey and the unique process of working with the artists to develop their concept, publication and final artwork for the 2017 exhibition.
No. 695 Abraaj: An Interview With 2017 Winning Artist Rana Begum

No. 695 Abraaj: An interview with 2017 winning artist Rana Begum

Rana Begum was interviewed in her studio in Haringey, London, as she was finishing the new artwork for the Abraaj Group Art Prize unveiled on 14 March 2017, at Art Dubai.
AGAP Winners Exhibit At The Guggenheim Museum, New York

AGAP Winners Exhibit at the Guggenheim Museum, New York

Nadia Kaabi-Linke’s ‘Flying Carpets’ installation, commissioned for 2011 Abraaj Group Art Prize, is to become part of the Guggenheim New York permanent collection. Other featured AGAP winners include Kader Attia, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Iman Issa and Abbas Akhavan.
Financial Times: Abraaj Prize Winners Who Are Paired In Art And Life

Financial Times: Abraaj Prize Winners Who Are Paired in Art and Life

An interview with the Abraaj Group Art Prize 2016 winners Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme on their Palestinian roots and collaborative methods in art and life. “It’s a much-needed boost of material support,” says Abou-Rahme of the prize.