Building further on the format of recent years, The Abraaj Group Art Prize now awards the 100,000 USD commission to one artist. Yto Barrada’s newly commissioned work, produced for The Abraaj Group Art Prize, will be part of an exhibition at Art Dubai, March 18–21, 2015. The exhibition will also feature previous works by the three shortlisted artists—Sarnath Banerjee, Setareh Shahbazi and Mounira Al Solh. The guest curator, Omar Kholeif, will be working closely with all the artists and has the responsibility of curating and producing the exhibition as well as an accompanying catalogue.
The Abraaj Group Art Prize affords the winner the opportunity of developing an ambitious project, while the accompanying exhibition remains a platform for recognising particularly notable artists from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA).
The Abraaj Group, a leading private equity manager investing in global growth markets, launched The Abraaj Group Art Prize in 2008 to foster and reward artistic development in the MENASA region. The Abraaj Group Art Collection now includes 26 major works; over the past seven years, The Abraaj Group has lent works to over 30 institutions worldwide and commissioned six publications.
The jury for The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2015 included Antonia Carver, Director, Art Dubai; Dana Farouki, Patron; Salwa Mikdadi, Art Historian and Curator; Jessica Morgan, Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art, Tate; and Nada Raza, The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2014 Guest Curator.
The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2015 Winner: Yto Barrada
Yto Barrada (Moroccan, b.1971, Paris) works in photography, film, sculpture, publication, prints and installations, and engages with the peculiar situation of her hometown Tangier (Morocco). Her work has been exhibited at Tate Modern (London), MoMA (New York), Renaissance Society (Chicago), Witte de With (Rotterdam), Haus der Kunst (Munich), and the 2007 and 2011 Venice Biennale. Barrada is also the founding director of the Cinémathèque de Tanger.
The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2015 Shortlisted Artists:
Sarnath Banerjee (b. 1972, Kolkata), working mainly in drawing and video, text and the medium of graphic novels has been exhibited at Centre Pompidou (Paris), MAXXI-National Museum of XXI Century Art (Rome), Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), The Museum Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (Torino), IFA Gallery (Berlin) and Institute of Contemporary Arts (London), among others.
Setareh Shahbazi (b. 1978, Tehran) has participated in several group shows including When It Starts Dripping from the Ceiling, Kadist (Paris); Jostari dar Salighe va Ehsass, Asar Gallery (Tehran). Her solo exhibitions include shows at Gypsum Gallery (Cairo) and 98weeks Project Space (Beirut), among others. Shahbazi also creates artists’ books including Spectral Days (2011) and her award-winning catalogue Oh, no, no, … – The Crystal Series (2004).
Mounira Al Solh (b. 1978, Beirut)—a Rietveld Akademy and Rijksakademie postgraduate—has participated in group shows at the first Lebanese Pavillion in Venice, Home Works IV and VI, the 11th Istanbul Biennial, Manifesta 8, Tate Modern, SALT Istanbul, the New Museum, the 5th Marrakech Biennial and Art Dubai Projects. She has presented solo shows at Sfeir-Semler Gallery (Beirut); SMBA and rongwrong (Amsterdam); CCA (Glasgow) and Kunsthalle Lissabon, among others.
The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2015 Guest Curator:
Omar Kholeif is currently Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery (London), Senior Visiting Curator at Cornerhouse and HOME (Manchester) as well as Senior Editor of Ibraaz Publishing. Previously he headed up Art and Technology at SPACE (London) and was Curator at FACT, Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (Liverpool). Kholeif has also been Artistic Director at the Arab British Centre (London) and founding director of the UK’s Arab Film Festival.