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Louvre Abu Dhabi launches second Richard

Louvre Abu Dhabi launches second Richard Mille Art Prize with $60,000 award

Gulf nationals and residents are invited to propose artworks that engage with the concept of ‘the icon’

Louvre Abu Dhabi has announced the second Richard Mille Art Prize, a $60,000 award launched in collaboration with the Swiss watchmaking brand of the same name.

The award invites GCC nationals and residents to propose new or existing artworks that engage with the concept of “the icon”.

The deadline for submissions is set for July 31. Proposals may be submitted via the Louvre Abu Dhabi website.

Shortlisted works will be displayed as part of the Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here exhibition, which will run from November until February. From these shortlisted artists, the jury will select one recipient for The Richard Mille Art Prize.


The cash prize has also been increased this year from the $50,000 awarded at its inaugural event.

“In an increasingly digitised world, the terms ‘icon’ and ‘iconic’ often connect and separate — an icon is at once an object, an image and a symbol,” a statement from Louvre Abu Dhabi reads. “Its iconic nature is derived from its visual impact on the viewer. For Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2022, artists will be encouraged to re-engage with the icon to revitalise this iconic effect.”

Curated by Reem Fadda, director of Abu Dhabi’s Cultural Foundation, the exhibition will explore how the concept of the icon resonates within contemporary art practices and informs novel perspectives.

Jury members include Fadda, alongside Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa, chairman of UAE Unlimited and patron of the Centre Pompidou, the British Museum and Sharjah Art Foundation; Christine Macel, an art critic and chief curator at the Musee national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou; Hala Warde, founding architect of HW Architecture, long-term partner of Jean Nouvel and the lead of the Louvre Abu Dhabi project; and Souraya Noujaim, director of scientific, curatorial and collections management at Louvre Abu Dhabi.

The award and its corresponding exhibition come as part of the celebrations of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s fifth anniversary, Manuel Rabate, the museum’s director, said.

“This year’s exhibition and prize seek to illuminate the notions of ‘icon’ and ‘iconic’, complementing the museum’s development and success throughout these past five years. As part of a mutual, long-term commitment with Richard Mille, Louvre Abu Dhabi continues its mission of championing contemporary artistic talent within the UAE and the GCC, while connecting the museum to its territory.”

Nasser Alzayani, who won the first Richard Mille Art Prize, with his installation 'Watering the distant, deserting the near'. Photo: Seeing Things

The Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here and Richard Mille Art Prize was launched last year, with Bahraini-American artist Nasser Alzayani being declared the winner in March.

The winning work, Watering the distant, deserting the near (2021), centred on the state of Ain Adhari, a spring in Bahrain that recently dried up.

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