Louvre Abu Dhabi has announced its first major prize for contemporary art, in collaboration with the Swiss watchmakers Richard Mille.
The Richard Mille Art Prize will give $50,000 to one artist, selected from an open call. A shortlist of around four to six artists will also receive an exhibition – titled Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2021 – in the Forum, a dedicated contemporary art area at the museum.
The award will be launched in November, in time for the UAE's 50th anniversary celebrations, and the show will run through March 2022.
“We already know that world-class artists live among us. This new prize and accompanying exhibition will serve to spotlight the best of current UAE artistic talent in a year where our nation is both celebrating 50 years of achievement and looking forward to the next 50,” said Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, which oversees Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Any artist working in the UAE is eligible for the award, which will be made via an open call and jury selection. The first year's theme, Memory, Time and Territory, asks artists to consider the enormous changes that the country has gone through since its founding, as well as personal stories and recollections, and ideas of the future. Applications are open until Tuesday, August 31.
The commitment between Louvre Abu Dhabi and Richard Mille is confirmed for the next decade. Richard Mille has collaborated previously with the UAE, a key market for its products. In 2009, it launched a limited-edition watch to celebrate Abu Dhabi's first Grand Prix, on the Yas Island circuit, which now retails on the secondary market for $100,000 (about Dh370,000) to $150,000.