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17/02/2020

Abraaj Group Art Prize Collection Acquired by Art Jameel



Art Dubai is delighted to announce that as of February 2020, the works commissioned through the ten years of the Abraaj Group Art Prize have been permanently acquired by Art Jameel and will be managed as part of the organisation’s collection, in part based at the Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai.



Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Flying Carpets, 2011, Photograph by Tom Brown


The format of the Prize developed between 2008-2018, however the latest iterations comprised of the awarding body inviting artists from across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia to submit detailed proposals for unrealised projects; a highly respected jury made up of museum directors, curators and critics awarded an artist with a major commission; the final installation was revealed, alongside existing works by shortlisted artists, in an exhibition at Art Dubai put together by an internationally-renowned curator.

Art Jameel has acquired the full collection of works — perhaps a unique documentary of artistic evolution in the region, with its unprecedented emphasis on curatorial integrity and astute production.



The first work to be exhibited within the Art Jameel Collection will be Taysir Batniji’s To My Brother, comprised of 60 hand-carvings on paper, as part of a series of Artist’s Rooms at Jameel Arts Centre, opening in May 2020.

With today’s announcement, Art Jameel confirmed that it will henceforth be administering the collection in its entirety and will oversee all future loans, exhibiting and conservation, in accordance with international museum standards.



Abraaj Group Art Prize, 695 Abraaj 2016, Rana Begum, 2017, Courtesy of Photo Solutions


The collection includes significant pieces created by some of the most exciting contemporary artists from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. The Abraaj Group Art Prize collection encompasses 29 winning commissions by 31 artists. These include:

  • 2009: Rhyme and Reason by Nazgol Ansarinia; Strange Space by Kutlug Ataman; Walk on the Sky. Pisces by Zoulikha Bouabdellah
  • 2010: The Myths & Legends Room: the Mural by Hala Elkoussy; History of a Myth: The Small Dome of the Rock by Kader Attia; Feast of the Damned by Marwan Sahmarani
  • 2011: Flying Carpets by Nadia Kaabi-Linke; Shadow Sites II by Jananne Al-Ani; New Dream Machine Project by Shezad Dawood; Gon by Timo Nasseri; Woman in Black by Hamra Abbas
  • 2012: China by Raed Yassin; A Letter Can Always Reach its Destination by Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige; To My Brother by Taysir Batniji; A Glimpse of Clean History by Wael Shawky; The Seven Seas by Risham Syed
  • 2013: A Small History of Tall Men by Vartan Avakian; Common Elements by Iman Issa; The Miraculous Lives of This and That by Huma Mulji; Background by Hrair Sarkissian; FIRE/CAST/DRAW by Rayyane Tabet
  • 2014: Study for a Hanging Garden by Abbas Akhavan; Ancient Through Modern: A Collection of Uncertain Objects, Part 1 by Kamrooz Aram; Garden Conversation by Bouchra Khalili; The Dent by Basim Magdy; Nurses by Anup Mathew Thomas
  • 2015: Faux départ (False Start) by Yto Barrada
  • 2016: Only The Beloved Keeps Our Secrets by Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme
  • 2017: 695 Abraaj 2016 by Rana Begum