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Announced in 2008, the Abraaj Capital Art Prize has completed three editions to date, with the fourth completed set of artworks due to be unveiled in March 2012.
The prize is unique for the following reaons:
- It is the only art prize specifically for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region.
- It is the only art prize that rewards proposals rather than completed works of art. The winning artists then go on to create the artworks.
- It is aimed at curators and artists working together and not a single artist.
The aim of the prize is to empower potential and give often under-represented, contemporary artists from the vibrant MENASA region the resources to further develop their talent. The artists work with an internationally renowned curator. This collaboration allows them to tap the latest trends, while the prize gives them a global platform on which to showcase their works and their region. The prize reflects Abraaj Capital’s own investment philosophy, which is to take viable businesses with great potential, and create regional and global champions.
Following their unveiling at Art Dubai each March, the works go on to form part of the Abraaj Capital Collection and are exhibited in a variety of locations. To date, artworks have been shown in the UAE at Art Dubai, the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Maraya Arts Centre, Sharjah; in the US at the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, in London at City Hall and currently in Italy as part of an official collateral exhibition of the 54th Venice Biennale The Future of a Promise.
Winning artists and curators have gone on to be leading players in the emerging MENASA art scene.
2012 artists Taysir Batniji (Palestine), Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige (Lebanon), Wael Shawky (Egypt), Risham Syed (Pakistan), Raed Yassin (Lebanon) with Guest Curator Nat Muller (The Netherlands).
2011 artists Hamra Abbas (Pakistan), Jananne Al-Ani (Iraq), Shezad Dawood (Pakistan/India), Nadia Kaabi-Linke (Tunisia) and Timo Nasseri (Iran) with Guest Curator Sharmini Pereira (Sri Lanka).
2010 artist Kader Attia (Algeria) with curator Laurie Ann Farrell (USA), artist Hala Elkoussy (Egypt) with curator Jelle Bouwhuis (Netherlands) and artist Marwan Sahmarani (Lebanon) with curator Mahita El Bacha Urieta (UK).
2009 artist Kutluğ Ataman (Turkey), with curator Cristiana Perrella (Italy), artist Zoulikha Bouabdellah (Algeria), with curator Carol Solomon (US) and artist Nazgol Ansarinia (Iran), with curator Leyla Fakhr (Iran).
The Selection Process
- Applications from artists and curators for the 2013 edition will be accepted online from 30 November - 30 April 2012
- Applicants should have their proposals approved by an official nominator, listed on the website
- The Selection Committee then reviews the applications and decides on the winners collectively. Once chosen, the winners have at least six months to create their works, which are then unveiled in March at Art Dubai, the Middle East’s largest art fair.
- Only artists originating from the MENASA region can apply. There is no age limit, and any type or variety of media can be used. The work needs to be rooted in regional culture and appeal to an international audience.
The Chair of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize is Savita Apte, an art historian specializing in Modern & Contemporary South Asian Art. Other members of the selection committee include leading art critics, museum directors, collectors and curators including Antonia Carver, Director, Art Dubai; Dana Farouki; Salwa Mikdadi, Executive Director, Arts & Culture Program, the Emirates Foundation; Jessica Morgan, Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art, Tate, London and Glenn Lowry, Director, the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Sharmini Pereira, Guest Curator from ACAP 2011 was also invited onto the committee.
Abraaj Capital Art Prize 2013
Call for applications
Deadline for curators:
29 Feb. 2012
Deadline for artists:
31 March 2012