x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 21 August 2017

NYUAD Art Gallery announces its forthcoming exhibitions

The Saadiyat Island gallery will be mounting new shows about artist run galleries in mid-century New York and a landmark, mid-career retrospective of the campaigning architectural duo from the Palestine-based Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency, Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti.

Alex Katz Ada Ada, 1959 Oil on canvas, 49 x 50 in. Grey Art Gallery, New York University Art Collection. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Golden, 1963.13.
Alex Katz Ada Ada, 1959 Oil on canvas, 49 x 50 in. Grey Art Gallery, New York University Art Collection. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Golden, 1963.13.

The New York University Abu Dhabi Art Gallery has announced its autumn 2017 and spring 2018 exhibitions under the rubric from New York to Palestine.

Opening on October 4, Inventing Downtown New York: Artist-Run Galleries, 1952–1965 will bring a major collection of historical artworks organized by the Grey Art Gallery, New York University’s fine art museum to Abu Dhabi for an investigation of the New York art scene between the peak of Abstract Expressionism in the early 1950s and the rise of Pop Art and Minimalism in the early 1960s.

Curated by Melissa Rachleff, a clinical associate professor in the Department of Art and Art Professions at NYU’s Steinhardt School, Inventing Downtown is the first major museum exhibition to survey these formative years in the history of North American Modernism from the perspective of fourteen key artist-run galleries. Featuring over 200 paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings, photographs, and films, the show will include work by established figures such as Yayoi Kusama, Claes Oldenburg, Alex Katz and Yoko Ono.

John Cohen Red Grooms transporting artwork to Reuben Gallery, New York, 1960
John Cohen Red Grooms transporting artwork to Reuben Gallery, New York, 1960

Maya Allison, Founding Director and Chief Curator of the NYUAD Art Gallery draws links between Inventing Downtown and the NYUAD gallery's latest UAE-focused show, But We Cannot See Them: Tracing a UAE Art Community, 1988-2008, which also explored the idea and impact of artistic communities.

“Where But We Cannot See Them examines a home-grown UAE avant-garde community of artists, Inventing Downtown explores a similar impulse by artists to band together to enable artistic innovation and community, but in the very different circumstances of the New York art scene of the 1950s and 60s," she said in a statement. "It continues our reflections on the vision for the UAE, and Saadiyat, as a center of cultural and knowledge production.”

Opening on February 24, Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Pettia has been guest-curated by NYUAD Associate Professor and art historian Salwa Mikdadi and co-curated by Bana Kattan, NYUAD Art Gallery Curator, who co-curated the 2016 show Invisible Threads: Technology and its Discontents.

The project of the concrete tent in Dheisheh refugee camp deals with this paradox of a permanent temporality that petrify a mobile tent into a concrete house. The result is an hybrid between a tent and a concrete house, temporality and permanency, soft and hard, movement and stillness.
The project of the concrete tent in Dheisheh refugee camp deals with this paradox of a permanent temporality that petrify a mobile tent into a concrete house. The result is an hybrid between a tent and a concrete house, temporality and permanency, soft and hard, movement and stillness.

The show will be a mid-career retrospective of the award-winning artist duo Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti. Co-directors of the Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency (DAAR), an architectural office and artistic residency program based in Beit Sahour, Palestine whose projects have been shown at the Venice and Istanbul Biennales, as well as at museums including the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Petti and Hilal’s work explores how our experience of structures and spaces is shaped by our understanding of permanence and impermanence and uses installations that bridge the worlds of architecture and art to examine the social, economic and political consequence of exile and displacement. Visitors can expect large-scale installations outdoors on the NYU Abu Dhabi campus, as well as works that will be displayed in the NYUAD Art Gallery itself. 

“Our spring 2018 exhibition connects our physical world (geographically and architecturally) to both historical and current events, as Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal’s works embrace such topics as modern geopolitics and the plight of refugees. It is a great honor to be co-curating this with Salwa Mikdadi," said Bana Kattan, Curator of the NYUAD Art Gallery.

For more details of both exhibitions visit, www.nyuad-artgallery.org