The NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Art Gallery has launched a retrospective book, surveying its first six years of publications and exhibition, and including a series of new texts about exhibition-making in the context of a university, and in the UAE.
Titled The NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery: 2014-2020, the book celebrates the academic museum-gallery’s accomplishments during its founding years and looks forward to the years ahead. It also highlights the Gallery’s contributions to the UAE’s rich arts and culture scene to date, including how it has connected with diverse audiences and inspired intellectual and creative discourse through its wide-ranging exhibitions, both in the main gallery, the Project Space, and other projects. The book provides curatorial texts and images from each of the main gallery exhibitions, essays by curators, interviews with artists and members of the community, as well as excerpts from the Art Gallery’s published books to date.
A foreword by H.E. Zaki Nusseibeh, Cultural Advisor to the President of the UAE; Chancellor, UAE University, reflects on the development of art in the societal advancement of the UAE, and speaks to the Art Gallery’s role in developing the nation’s art ecosystem.
NYUAD Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann discusses the importance of university museum galleries as both a place and an idea in the opening essay.
Other essays include Bana Kattan, Associate Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, speaking on The Project Space; Emily Doherty, Award Director, on The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award; and republished works by Alistair Rider, Salwa Mikdadi, and Sam Bardaouil, among others. The book also includes a timeline that contextualizes its annual exhibitions.
Assistant Director of Publications Alaa Edris, said: “It is amazing to see this book coming to life. A resource of scholarly and creative research by a lineup of authors and contributors such as Maya Allison, Sam Bardaouil, Guido Comis, Emily Doherty, Anthony Downey, Till Fellrath, Scott Fitzgerald, Bana Kattan, Salwa Mikdadi, H.E. Zaki Nusseibeh, Alistair Rider, Beatrix Ruf, and Mariët Westermann.”
She concludes: “The content of this book traces the history of The NYUAD Art Gallery through reflecting how one exhibition, event, and publication anticipated the next, and how each manifested the gallery’s larger mission in different ways, connecting with diverse audiences, and activating a variety of intellectual, creative, and political registers.”
In the last six years, The NYUAD Art Gallery has overseen and produced over 100 exhibitions: 11 in the main gallery, the rest in The Project Space and across campus. Each year, a substantial book of new material was published alongside a key exhibition, with research, interviews, and art historical essays. Likewise, with each exhibition, a local artist was commissioned to illustrate the youth guide. Throughout the years, The NYUAD Art Gallery has worked with curators and artists from around the globe and from the region, from Amar Kanwar, Areej Kaoud, Sam Bardaouil, Alessandro Petti, Melissa Rachleff, and others.
The book is available for purchase on Amazon.
In the Spring of 2021 and in response to the pandemic, The NYUAD Art Gallery opened its first-ever virtual exhibition, titled not in, of, along, or relating to a line, which will be on view until July 10, 2021. The exhibition invites a new perspective on virtual and screen-based contemporary art, of particular relevance during COVID-19.