NYU students in New York and NYUAD students in Abu Dhabi are linked by many things — a world-class education, the experience of a multicultural environment, and the opportunity to live in a bustling city, to name just a few — but one commonality in particular might be surprising: the presence of a top-notch modern art exhibit.
Students in New York enjoy the luxury of hopping on the subway and spending many an afternoon strolling through the world-famous Museum of Modern Art. And, until January 24, 2011, NYUAD students can hail a cab on Electra Street and take the 15-minute ride out to the RSTW show at Arts Abu Dhabi Gallery at Manarat al Saadiyat, one of the first permanent spaces on Saadiyat Island, the future home of NYUAD's campus, the Guggenheim, and the Louvre Abu Dhabi.
Here, the Tourism Development and Investment Company presents an exhibit from the private collection of art dealer Larry Gagosian featuring works by some of the foremost post-war American artists — Rauschenberg, Ruscha, Serra, Twombly, Warhol, and Wool (hence the name of the exhibit, RSTW). The opening of RSTW aims to not only help establish Abu Dhabi as a cultural powerhouse, but also challenge preconceptions by showing the works of artists who redefined contemporary aesthetics, much like the emirate is doing as it continues to grow. The exhibit displays such seminal pieces as Warhol's famous 'Death and Disaster' series and Serra's minimalist sculptures.
Many NYUAD students have already visited the exhibit, either on their own or as part of an NYUAD student program. Carmen Germaine (NYUAD '14) signed up to go as a group activity and shared her thoughts. "I was really impressed by the entire exhibit," she said, noting how fantastic it was to have access to such a wonderful facility and how it was interesting to compare her artistic tastes with the others who attended.
Also featured within Manarat al Saadiyat is the 'Saadiyat Story' exhibit, which provides an interactive exploration into the development of Saadiyat Island with detailed models, time-lapse photography, and even a short film. Several other galleries are projected to open in the facility by the year's end.