Louvre Abu Dhabi announces three new exhibitions to coincide with UAE's 50th anniversary

The museum has also prepared a special event for National Day

A view of the Palace of Versailles from the Orangerie side attributed to Etienne Allegrain. This 1965 work will be on view as part Louvre Abu Dhabi's coming exhibition on Versailles. Photo: Chateau de Versailles, Dist RMN / Christophe Fouin
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As a new cultural season begins this autumn, Louvre Abu Dhabi is presenting three new international exhibitions and public programming to coincide with the UAE’s 50th anniversary.

The first show is the outcome of the Richard Mille Art Prize, the museum’s first contemporary art prize which launched an open call earlier this year. The inaugural exhibition Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2021 will feature the proposals by the seven artists shortlisted for the prize: Emirati artists Latifa Saeed and Mohammed Kazem; Lebanese-Italian artist and writer Cristiana de Marchi; Palestinian artist Mays Albaik; Bahraini artist Nasser Alzayani; Palestinian-Kuwaiti visual artist Tarek Al-Ghoussein; and Russian visual artist Taus Makhacheva.

Beginning November 18, their proposals will be showcased in the Forum, a space for interaction and exchange. The museum has not yet announced when it will decide on the winner, who will receive a prize of $50,000.

November also marks the museum's anniversary, for which it will unveil 59 new loans and 56 new acquisitions in its galleries. Among the works on view is Ghada Amer’s The Words I Love Most sculpture, which has been repositioned next to the new acquisition, Jacob de Backer’s series of eight allegories. The Flemish painter’s work builds a dialogue with Amer’s as they both explore how word and image can be used to express universal human values.

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first exhibition of 2022 focuses on the story of Versailles, a significant and historical area for France that houses the former royal residences of French nobility. Titled Versailles and the World, the show will open on January 26 and explore Versailles as a symbol of the French royal court’s power and its enduring appeal in today’s world.

Curated by Helene Delalex, curator, furniture and decorative arts, and Bertrand Rondot, chief curator, furniture and decorative arts, at the musee national des chateaux de Versailles et de Trianon, who have partnered with Louvre Abu Dhabi for the show, it will showcase objects from the palace, including Chinese and Japanese lacquerware to wallpapers and porcelain.

In April 2022, the museum will dig into the simple yet powerful medium of paper. Beginning in ancient China and the Islamic world, paper has not only been used as a functional tool, but also a material for artistic production and communication. Organised by the Louvre museum in Paris, the exhibition will look at paper's past and its future in an increasingly digital world.

On view until February is the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s major exhibition Dragon and Phoenix – Centuries of Exchange between Chinese and Islamic Worlds, which brings together 240 artworks from 14 institutions in China and France. The show examines the cultural connections between East Asia and the Islamic world from the 8th to the 18th centuries, featuring paintings, silverware, fabric works, manuscripts and glassware.

The museum has also put together a public programme for December 2, UAE National Day, including an audio-visual presentation set under the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s recognisable dome. The installation will reflect on 50 years of the UAE.

On National Day, the museum will also display artworks from each of the seven emirates, including loans from national museums and institutions from Abu Dhabi, Dubai and others. The family-friendly event, priced at Dh150 for entry, will also feature a roller-skating rink and DJ playing Emirati music.

More information is available at louvreabudhabi.ae

Updated: October 25, 2021, 12:43 PM