DUBAI: The Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF) has brought back its ‘Portrait of a Nation’ exhibition series after the first iteration captured the UAE’s imagination.
Currently on display at Manarat Al-Saadiyat until April 16, the three-month exhibition is an exploration of the transformation of the UAE’s visual arts scene over the past 50 years, spotlighting the people, the history and the stories that helped shape the country. creative landscape.
Organized in conjunction with the 19th edition of the Abu Dhabi Festival, the event is held under the theme “Crafting the Emirates State of Mind: Creation, Innovation and Joy”.
“Portrait of a Nation” was curated by Maya El-Khalil and Roxane Zand, and the exhibition features works by artists, curators and gallerists who were born in the United Arab Emirates or who call the country home, including the late artist Christo and his partner Jeanne-Claude.
The duo’s relationship with Abu Dhabi dates back to 1979, when they first visited the emirate. They have returned several times since, creating a lifelong friendship with the people of Abu Dhabi.
In light of this, ‘Portrait of a Nation’ honors deceased artists through a tribute that “highlights Christo’s pivotal role in nurturing young artists and his dedication to supporting creative talent in the United Arab Emirates. united and around the world,” Huda Ibrahim Alkhamis, founder of ADMAF and artistic director of the Abu Dhabi Festival, said in a statement.
“The development of ‘Portrait of a Nation II: Beyond Narratives’ has been, from the beginning, a process of approaches – people, stories and histories,” El-Khalil said in a press release.
“We present ways of reaching out to culture as space and not as time, recognizing that art is shaped by and through encounters that can lie dormant and then return, that relationships accumulate meaning in and with places of their genesis and that people assimilate the ideas of their world in their activities.This brings out the portrait of a multivalent and polyphonic community forged by camaraderie and exchange.
More than 100 works of art – including 15 special commissions – are on display, telling the story of the country’s artistic growth over the past five decades.
Additionally, the exhibition features loans from renowned art institutions including the Barjeel Art Foundation, Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah Museum, Art Jameel and NYU Abu Dhabi, among others.
Guests can also enjoy a number of productions, talks and workshops that also take place during the event.
Other highlights include the screening of Emirati director and artist Nujoom AlGhanem, who presents her short film “Passage”, commissioned by the UAE National Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale, which was shot in the UAE and Italy. .
The Abu Dhabi Festival is also showcasing its latest album production in an installation as part of the ‘Composers’ Platform’ at the Abu Dhabi Festival.
Art lovers can enjoy new music, including new productions by Saudi-American pop singer Tamtam, and Ihab Darwish, Omar Rahbany and Cairo Jazz Station, who released their debut albums at the event.
For more information, visit abudhabifestival.ae.