Dubai, UAE, 17 March 2015: The inauguration of the highly anticipated seventh Abraaj Group Art Prize exhibition features Moroccan Yto Barrada’s newly commissioned work entitled Faux Départ (False Start). The artwork has been developed in close collaboration with guest curator Omar Kholeif since June 2014.
In Faux Départ, Barrada questions the authenticity of history and museology through the study of paleontology in Morocco. The exhibition will also feature previous works by the three Abraaj Group Art Prize shortlisted artists: Temporary Autonomous Zones 2012 by Sarnath Banerjee, Spectral Days 2013 by Setareh Shahbazi and Mute Tongue 2010 by Mounira Al Solh.
Now in its seventh edition, The Abraaj Group Art Prize is globally unique in awarding talented artists on the basis of proposals rather than completed works. Every year, The Abraaj Group Art Prize winners have gone on to achieve greater accolades. Past winners have been exhibited at Venice Biennale, Dokumenta, Sharjah Biennial, Gwanju Biennial and Kochi Muziris Biennial to name a few. In addition, the works have been loaned to a number of museums including the Centre Pompidou, Paris, Maxxi, Rome, Museum of Art and Design, New York.
The Abraaj Group is a leading investor operating in global growth markets. Frederic Sicre, Managing Director at The Abraaj Group said: “Empowering potential across growth markets to build sustainable businesses and communities is at the core of what we do. The Abraaj Group Art Prize empowers emerging artists in the region with a platform to showcase their works to the international art community, shining a spotlight on exceptional artistic talent and fostering the growth of cultural entrepreneurs. As the Abraaj Group Art Prize turns seven, we are delighted to welcome Yto Barrada into our network of winners. She joins a community of 26 artists who are global ambassadors for art from the region and who continue to act as role models for a younger generation of artists”.
Savita Apte, Chair of The Abraaj Group Art Prize, added: “Each year the winning artists have pushed the boundaries of their chosen medium, producing work that is universally accessible even whilst they highlight the particulars which inform and inspire their art making”.
Guest Curator Omar Kholeif commented: “Each year, the works of the Abraaj Group Art Prize have been diverse, creatively reflecting the dynamic ecosystem of the region. I was privileged to curate The Abraaj Group Art Prize this year as working with one body of work focuses on a richness that is rarely explored. It has been fascinating working with Yto, as we explored a representation of the historical events forming the cultural-rich Morocco which we view today.”
The Selection Committee for The Abraaj Group Art Prize comprises leading experts in the field of visual arts including: Antonia Carver, Director, Art Dubai; Dana Farouki, Patron; Salwa Mikdadi, art historian and curator; Jessica Morgan, Director, Dia Art Foundation; Fayeeza Naqvi, Patron; Nada Raza, Assistant Curator, Tate Modern and Julia Peyton-Jones, Co-Director, The Serpentine Gallery.