The superb new exhibition at NYU Abu Dhabi

Local artists are bringing their amazing imaginary landscapes to the gallery

The superb new exhibition at NYU Abu Dhabi
The superb new exhibition at NYU Abu Dhabi Image #2

September is a very good time for all the art lovers in Abu Dhabi.

Not only is the Louvre launching its new season, Changing Societies, but the brilliant NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery is also opening a new exhibition.

Speculative Landscapes is a collection that lets you totally escape from reality, as each piece depicts an imaginary world.

These worlds have been created by four UAE-based artists: Areej Kaoud, Ayman Zedani, Jumairy, and Raja’a Khalid.

Inspired by the landscape of the UAE, the works of art consider what will happen to our world in the future and also how organisms create, survive, and inhabit our natural and artificial environments.

On display from September 16 to December 7, the four featured artists are well established within the Middle East, and they are now starting to be recognised internationally too. But while the installations are totally works of imagination, they are very much inspired by observations of everyday life in the real world.

For instance, in Khalid’s interactive performance work, she invites viewers to consider personal well-being as a commodifiable trend, while Zedani and Jumairy present alternate worlds where the landscape around us creates biological and artificial intelligence.

Maya Allison, curator at NYU Abu Dhabi and executive director of NYUAD Art says:  “For me, these artists capture something unique in their perspective, both in how they respond to our surroundings, and how they connect to the unusual art scene here. There has been a fast rise of contemporary art in the UAE that matches the increasingly cosmopolitan nature of the country since its founding in 1971.

“Now, a host of organisations support the emerging artists, but other ‘emerged’ artists occupy a midpoint as they branch out into international museum shows and prestigious residencies.

“This exhibition offers a rare lens onto one specific recurring theme that we continue to notice in this emergent scene, a theme that these particular artists express through their particular speculative, conceptual practice.”

We can’t wait to see if these worlds are even better than the capital.
Sep 16-Dec 7. NYU Abu Dhabi, Saadiyat Island,

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