NYU Abu Dhabi’s 2023 Master of Fine Arts Graduate Show Now Open at 421

SYNTHESIS showcases works by graduate students completing the two-year Master of Fine Arts in Art and Media (MFA) at NYUAD

NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) has announced the opening of SYNTHESIS, an exhibition showcasing the research and experimentation of the University’s inaugural Master of Fine Arts (MFA) cohort, who visualize questions and ideas in expansive ways, and provide valuable insights into our contemporary global condition. 

Running until August 25 at 421, this exhibition features 43 works by the graduate students and artists Mahra AlFalahi, Liane Al Ghusain, Majd Alloush, Fabiola Chiminazzo, and Elizabeth Dorazio. SYNTHESIS marks the second year of collaboration between 421 and NYUAD.


“The two-year Master of Fine Arts in Art and Media at NYUAD is the only program of its kind in the region, providing our graduate students the opportunity to share their work at one of the UAE’s leading art institutions, 421. We are very proud of how far our artists have come, and look forward to welcoming the wider community throughout the exhibition’s period.”

MFA Program Director and Visiting Assistant Professor of Art and Art History at NYUAD Tina Sherwell

“We are excited to host New York University Abu Dhabi’s SYNTHESIS: 2023 MFA Graduate Show. This exhibition marks the second year of our collaboration with New York University Abu Dhabi’s Master of Fine Arts in Art and Media program. Our partnership feels like the perfect match: two programs with a mission to support the production of emergent contemporary practices from the region coming together so seamlessly.” 

Head of 421 Said Faisal Al Hassan

In her work, Cosmic Forest, Dorazio deploys drawing to highlight a natural world that is random, unpredictable, and in constant movement. In I Would Tread Lightly, Al Ghusain presents art pieces related to being a Palestinian in diaspora, including geometric embroidery, serial sculptures, non-narrative videos, and performances. Alloush in his project, Mapscapes, examines the intersection of art and technology; he explores the transformation of pixels into tangible objects with the aim of documenting the often-overlooked urban and absurd landscapes that exist all around us. Working with textiles, AlFalahi’s Folded Stories project explores the effects of memories within storytelling and socialization, drawing from her own childhood. Chiminazzo’s Encounter Museum investigates society’s excess imagery using archival images from photos, books, prints and museum catalogues.

NYUAD’s MFA is a two-year degree in the visual arts. It is designed as a full-time, interdisciplinary studio art program that sits at the crossroads of practice and theory, tradition and change in the arts. The program immerses students in contemporary research and art practices while training them to become deep thinkers and artistic innovators. Courses emphasize artistic experimentation within a context of theoretical, cultural, and historical study. Its multidisciplinary coursework bridges disciplinary skills and diverse bodies of knowledge.