Hassan Sharif painting among regional artworks gifted to Louvre Abu Dhabi

Courtesy of patron Snow Li, four new additions will be permanently displayed in the Saadiyat Island museum

Louvre Abu Dhabi director Manuel Rabate says the latest pieces underwent a rigorous curatorial process. Khushnum Bhandari / The National
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Four new artworks will exclusively grace Louvre Abu Dhabi, courtesy of patron Snow Li.

As well as being a patron of Louvre Abu Dhabi and Dubai Art Collection, Li has been acquiring pieces since 2005 with a focus on Middle Eastern and Chinese contemporary art and design. The new additions, to be displayed soon, are intended to enrich the museum’s range of cross-cultural artworks.

Late Emirati artist Hassan Sharif's 2009 work, titled Venus and Fish No 6, will be permanently showcased in the museum on Saadiyat Island. The acrylic painting juxtaposes the Goddess Venus, a symbol of love, with a fish to hint at Sharif's exploration of identity and tradition.

Madame Tussaud (Nothing Has Changed. Except The Run of The Rivers, The Shape of Forests, Shores, Deserts, and Glaciers) is one of two pieces by the trio Hesam Rahmanian, Ramin and Rokni Haerizadeh to likewise be gifted by Li. Taking cues from nature, the 2021 artwork provides a commentary on the impermanence of our physical surroundings and is defined by its use of collage with gesso and acrylic ink.

The second piece by the collective is Where One Holds: A Golden Flag in One Hand, Calling: Quick and A Torch in One Hand, Whining: Gone – a work steeped with symbolism in its exploration of identity.

Finally, the 2019 painting Untitled – known for its use of two and three-dimensional forms to create evocative symmetric patterns – by pioneering Emirati artist Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, will be relocated.

Speaking about the decision to gift the significant works, Li said: “Art has the power to go beyond borders, cultures and time. It is a universal language that speaks to our shared humanity. As a patron of Louvre Abu Dhabi, I am honoured to contribute these four artworks to the museum’s collection."

“Each artwork tells a story – a narrative of resilience, evolution and creativity. By sharing these treasures, we bridge the past and the present, inviting visitors to explore the intricate beauty of our collective history.”

Louvre Abu Dhabi director Manuel Rabate says the latest pieces underwent a rigorous curatorial process.

“Snow's donation aids us in accessing collections of the region, fostering a deeper connection with the cultural heritage of our surroundings while simultaneously expanding our esteemed collection,” he said.

“While these artworks are indeed a gift, they are acquired through a meticulous process of accessioning, ensuring their seamless integration into our museum's narrative and universal identity as a global cultural institution.”

Updated: March 19, 2024, 10:09 AM