The Gulf Today

Acclaimed artists get down to shaping creative ideas into art’s hall of fame



DUBAI: Five acclaimed artists from Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine and Pakistan have been selected for the Abraaj Capital Art Prize for 2012.

Taysir Batniji (Palestine), Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige (Lebanon), Wael Shawky (Egypt), Risham Syed (Pakistan) and Raed Yassin (Lebanon) have been selected for the much-coveted award, now in its fourth year.

The five artists, who were selected from a record number of submissions, which crossed the 300 mark, have begun working on the artworks they proposed, which will be unveiled during Art Dubai in March 2012. The artworks have become permanent additions to the Abraaj Capital art collection.

The 2012 winners combine outstanding artistic ability with a desire to engage and champion the cause of art throughout the region. All the winners have a strong exhibition record, both regionally and internationally, and are actively involved in inspiring the next generation of artists from the region to achieve success.

Following a successful precedent established in 2010, the five artists will work with one guest curator, who for the first time has been selected through an open submission process. Nat Muller (Netherlands) was chosen by the selection committee as guest curator for 2012 and is working closely with the artists in supervising the production of the artworks, their display at Art Dubai, and the publishing of an annual catalogue which will be designed by renowned designer Huda Abi Fares, director of the Khatt Foundation, The Netherlands.

Marking the announcement, Frederic Sicre, Partner at Abraaj Capital and Head of the Abraaj Strategic Stakeholder Engagement Track (ASSET) said that the prize has become a powerful tool to empower individual potential and nurture exceptional artistic talent.

Speaking about the winners, chair of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize Savita Apte said that the outstanding group of winners this year come from incredibly diverse backgrounds and are actively engaged in developing dynamic cultural experiences within the arts sector in their respective home countries.

“It will be exciting to see how these five artists will work with our guest curator for the collaboration that will be unveiled at Art Dubai in March 2012,” she said.

The Abraaj Capital Art Prize is awarded on the basis of a proposal for art projects submitted earlier.