Artworks from the private collections of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and prominent collectors in the UAE will go on view this year as part of the Dubai Collection initiative.
Dubai Collection was launched in October 2020 and is run by Dubai Culture to “collect, promote and exhibit artworks that have a connection with Dubai”. The overall aim is to make art collecting more visible and promote a collector base in the UAE, where most galleries still rely on the overseas market for their sales.
Dubai Culture said 87 artworks have been chosen to be part of the collection alongside those owned by Sheikh Mohammed and Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid, chairwoman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and chairwoman of the Dubai Collection Steering Committee, which oversees the initiative.
The first exhibition of the works will open at the Etihad Museum in 2021, though no exact date has been given. The artworks will also be accessible via a dedicated digital museum that will also be launched later this year.
Included in the scheme are works by leading modern Arab artists Baya Mahieddine, known simply as Baya, for whom Sharjah Art Museum has dedicated a solo exhibition, Chafic Abboud from Lebanon, and Adam Henein from Egypt.
Sheikh Mohammed's collection includes a work by Baya, as well as works by Emirati artist Abdul Qader Al Rais and Syrian artist Fateh Moudarres. Sheikha Latifa's collection, meanwhile, has works by Shaikha Al Mazrou, who is from the UAE, and Yagiz Ozgen from Turkey.
In addition, a total of 19 works from the corporate collection of ARM Holding have been added, with listed creations by Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, Lamya Gargash, Moath Alofi and Rathin Barman.
Chaired by Muna Faisal Al Gurg, director of the Museums Department at Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Dubai Collection’s independent Curatorial Committee is responsible for the overall creative direction of the collection. The members will meet every three months to review new artworks submitted by prominent patrons in the region.
The committee comprises a panel of leading international arts professionals and curators including: Catherine David, a historian and deputy director of the National Museum of Modern Art at the Centre Pompidou; Antonia Carver, director of Art Jameel; Venetia Porter, Islamic and Contemporary Middle East Art at the British Museum; as well as Munira Al Sayegh, Dr Nada Shabout and Maryam Al Dabbagh.