Rafa al Nasiri, A Sun Mural, 1972. Oil on canvas, 92.7 x 92.7 cm. Courtesy of Christie’s.

On display until December 8, this exhibition will unveil artworks from His Excellency Dr. Zaki Nusseibeh’s private collection for the first time

Press Release

NYU Abu Dhabi, in partnership with Manarat Al Saadiyat, is pleased to announce Within/Without, a new exhibition featuring 25 artworks that will be unveiled for the first time from His Excellency Dr. Zaki Nusseibeh’s private collection. This exhibition opens to the public tomorrow, Monday, November 26, at Manarat Al Saadiyat’s atrium with a public reception at 6:30pm.

Curated by NYU Abu Dhabi students as part of their Curatorial Practice class taught by Associate Professor Practice of Art History Salwa Mikdadi, the artworks stretch across a wide spectrum of formal innovation, from new forms of figuration to expressionist abstraction. The stylized faces and bodies emphasize the degree to which these artists have broken free from the conventions of figuration.  In an age when people across the globe seem more and more obsessed with appearance, the artworks here remind us that artists from a variety of cultural traditions have for a long time been putting the self into question and challenging us to look at ourselves anew. The exhibition offers a welcome reprieve from the hyper self-focused images we are bombarded with every day.


“NYUAD is grateful to HE Dr. Zaki Nusseibeh for allowing our students to curate an exhibition from his collection, and to the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi for their partnership. The class of nine students conducted the research and curation over three months, dedicating time and effort to all aspects of curation, from research to installation. This partnership between the collector, the art institution, and the University is an example of a successful collaboration that advances the students’ education, prepares them for future careers, and benefits the community.”

Associate Professor Practice of Art History Salwa Mikdadi

Artists from this show include Sabhan Adam, Tayseer Barakat, Safwan Dahoul, Mounir Fatmi, Ismail Fattah, Rokni Haerizadeh, Bashar Al Hroub, Marwan Kassab-Bachi, Mohamed Al Mazrouei, Hussein Al Mohasen, Fateh Moudarres, Muhammad Muhreddin, Rafa Al Nasiri, Ahmad Amin Nazar, Ismail Al Rifai, Marwan Sahmarani, Mona Saudi, Ernesto Shikhani, Andrew Verster, and Fadi Yazigi.

NYU Abu Dhabi student curators include Nadia Al Hashmi (2019, Art Practice), Alia Al Jallaf (2021, Political Science), Valentín Benoit (2019, Economics and Art History), NiccolòAcram Cappelletto (2021, Art History and Political Science), Sarah Daher (2019, Theater and Economics), Sakurako Naka (2019, Literature and Creative Writing), Penelope Peng (2019, Political Science), Giulia Turchetti (2019, Political Science), and Vuk Vukovic (2019, Film Studies and Art History).

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.

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