x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Winners of the Abraaj art prize announced

Artists from Iran, India, Egypt and Morocco have won the Abraaj Group Art Prize.

Nada Raza, the curator of the Abraaj Group Art Prize. Courtesy Siddharth Siva / AGAP
Nada Raza, the curator of the Abraaj Group Art Prize. Courtesy Siddharth Siva / AGAP

The winners of the annual Abraaj Group Art Prize (AGAP) were announced yesterday. The artists, who all have a strong exhibition history regionally and internationally, will get the opportunity to develop their projects that will be unveiled at Art Dubai in March next year.

Abbas Akhavan from Iran, Anup Mathew Thomas from India, Basim Magdy from Egypt, Bouchra Khalili from Morocco and another Iranian, Kamrooz Aram, will receive US$100,000 (Dh367,000) each to fund the development of their ideas. The artists will work under the guidance of Nada Raza, the guest curator for the sixth edition of the AGAP. Although Raza will not reveal her curatorial process until she has worked with the artists, the results have impressed visitors year after year and this one is bound to be no different.

Savita Apte, the chair of AGAP, says: “The Abraaj Group Art Prize has consistently shone a spotlight on diverse creative talent from the MENASA region and propelled its winners to even greater achievements. It will be exciting to see how these five artists work with our guest curator towards the exhibition that will be unveiled at Art Dubai in March 2014.”

The prize, formerly known as the Abraaj Capital Art Prize, was founded in 2008 as an attempt to showcase artistic talent from the region.

Frederic Sicre, the managing director of the Abraaj Group, says that it has “grown to be a benchmark for creative excellence in contemporary art practice”.

Previous winners have gone on to greater success.

This month, a work by the 2013 winner Rayyane Tabet was displayed at the 55th Venice Biennale as part of the Future Generation Art Prize. Kader Attia, a winner in 2010, recently opened his first institutional solo exhibition in Germany, and Wael Shawky, who won last year, participated in Sharjah Biennial 11.

Both artists have had works displayed at dOCUMENTA (13). One of the 2013 winners, Iman Issa, is participating in group shows including Tea with Nefertiti at the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, and the recent Homeworks 6 in Beirut.


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