New York University Abu Dhabi’s new gallery set to open this weekend

Mohmammed Ahmed Ibrahim’s Stones Wrapped with Copper Wire, 2007 for New York University Abu Dhabi Art Gallery (Courtesy: Mohmammed Ahmed Ibrahim and Cuadro Gallery)
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The new 7000 square feet gallery space within the New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) campus will be inaugurated with an exhibition of seminal works this weekend.

The show - On Site - addresses the fusion and friction between natural landscape and built environments. Among the pieces is Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim's Stones Wrapped with Copper Wire, an installation of large smooth rocks, which Ibrahim found in the mountains of Khorfakkan.

With each one, he selected it, took it to his studio and wrapped it in copper wire before setting it back to their original place where he left it for several seasons. The long and laborious process it took to bring about this large installation clearly shows his artistic dedication but its simplicity in terms of medium makes a quiet yet bold statement about the effect of manmade materials on the natural world.

Also in the show will be Rashid Rana’s replica of a gallery room in the Tate Modern museum in London. Rana is one of the leading Pakistani artists of his generation and had a solo booth in Art Dubai this year. In this piece, he transposes imagery of one room in the London institution into another, fabricated room.

Tarek Al Ghoussein’s photographic works from Saadiyat Island bring a locational relevance to the show. Al Ghoussein is a professor of visual art at NYUAD and his art deals with how his identity is formed. In his deliberately bleak images we see him but we don’t see his face and so he opens a conversation about identity and invites the viewer to question along with him, where we belong.

A public reception for the show will be held on Saturday and the exhibition will run until early next year. The second exhibition will open in March, premiering new work by the art collective Slavs & Tatars, alongside the launch of their book of commissioned essays, Mirrors for Princes, published by the NYUAD Art Gallery with JRP Press and edited by Anthony Downey of Ibraaz.