The Abraaj Group Art Prize announced the winning artist for its seventh edition, the guest curator and the three shortlisted artists participating in the accompanying exhibition at Art Dubai 2015 (March 18-21, 2015).

The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2015 Winner:

  • Yto Barrada

Photo above: Yto Barrada © Benoît Peverelli

The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2015 Shortlisted Artists:

  • Sarnath Banerjee

image Sarnath Banerjee, 2014 / Courtesy of the Artist

  • Setareh Shahbazi

image Setareh Shahbazi, 2013 / Courtesy of the Artist

  • Mounira Al Solh

image Mounira Al Solh, 2013 / Courtesy: Jens Schwarz

The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2015 Guest Curator:

  • Omar Kholeif

image Omar Kholeif, 2013 / Courtesy of Omar Kholeif

Building further on the format of recent years, The Abraaj Group Art Prize now awards the $100,000 commission to one artist. Yto Barrada’s newly commissioned work, produced for The Abraaj Group Art Prize, will be part of an exhibition at Art Dubai, March 18-21, 2015. The exhibition will also feature previous works by the three shortlisted artists—Sarnath Banerjee, Setareh Shahbazi and Mounira Al Solh. The exhibition will be curated by Omar Kholeif, who has been selected as The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2015 Guest Curator.

The award affords the winner the opportunity of developing an ambitious project which would not otherwise be possible. The accompanying exhibition is a platform for recognising particularly notable artists in the region and for promoting their work on the international stage that is Art Dubai.

The Guest Curator, Omar Kholeif, will be working closely with the artists, and has the responsibility of curating and producing the exhibition and an accompanying catalogue. Accepting the role of Guest Curator, Omar Kholeif commented: "I am particularly excited by the new format of The Abraaj Group Art Prize. By being able to access existing bodies of work alongside the new commission, there will be potential for a rich storytelling experience and a rigorous curatorial framework."

The Abraaj Group, a leading private equity manager investing in global growth markets, launched The Abraaj Group Art Prize in 2008 to foster and reward artistic development in the region. Marking the announcement, Frederic Sicre, Managing Director at The Abraaj Group said: "The Abraaj Group Art Prize is the flagship of our arts patronage programme and reflects our unwavering commitment to the promotion of the arts. The art scene in the region has been expanding at a remarkable pace, and as the prize turns seven, we are excited about the creative and innovative talent showcased. The Abraaj Group Art Prize has lent artworks to over 30 institutions worldwide, commissioned six publications and this year’s winners will bring the works of art in the Abraaj Group Art Prize Collection to 26."

Savita Apte, Chair of The Abraaj Group Art Prize, added: "The new iteration of The Abraaj Group Art Prize reflects an international acknowledgement of the diverse and mature art ecosystem in the MENASA region. Each year it will focus on a singular winner but also anticipate future winners by showcasing a cast of shortlisted artists. The 2015 winner and shortlisted artists have already participated in various exhibitions to critical acclaim, and are seen as influential on their peers and the art world at large."

The jury for The Abraaj Group Art Prize comprises acclaimed personalities in the field of the visual arts including: Antonia Carver, Director, Art Dubai; Dana Farouki, Patron; Salwa Mikdadi, art historian and curator; Jessica Morgan, Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art, Tate; and Nada Raza, The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2014 Guest Curator.

Previous winners of The Abraaj Group Art Prize have gone on to achieve further accolades, and are recognised as established artists in the international art world. Works from The Abraaj Group Art Prize Collection are increasingly requested for loan by leading institutions and biennials. Works by the 2014 Abraaj Group Art Prize winners—Abbas Akhavan, Kamrooz Aram, Bouchra Khalili, Basim Magdy and Anup Mathew Thomas—have gone on loan to, among others, the Gwangju Biennale 2014, 8th Seoul International Media Art Biennial, Lothringer 13, Munich and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon.

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