The Abraaj Group Art Prize was founded in 2008 and is now in its ninth edition. The aim of the prize is to empower potential and give often under-represented contemporary artists the resources to further develop their talent.
Following the application and jury process, four artists are shortlisted for the prize and one (of the four) artists awarded the $100,000 commission. The three shortlisted artists receive a cash prize and are represented in a group exhibition at Art Dubai (March 16-19,2016) through previous works, which will be carefully selected by the guest curator in liaison with the artist.
The Abraaj Group Art Prize jury 2016-17 is comprised of Defne Ayas, Director and Curator of Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art; Antonia Carver, Director, Art Dubai; Nav Haq, Curator, MuHKA - Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp (who, as the Guest Curator of the 2016 prize, will sit on the jury for one year); Fayeeza Naqvi, Founding Trustee, Aman Foundation; Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-director of exhibitions and programmes and director of international projects at Serpentine Galleries; Sandhini Poddar, Art historian and Adjunct Curator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and Frederic Sicre, Managing Director, The Abraaj Group. Curator-patron Dana Farouki is the Chair of the jury.
The prize reflects Abraaj’s own investment philosophy, which is to take viable businesses with great potential, and create regional and global champions.
To date, the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 works were presented at Art Dubai and artworks then gone on loan to exhibitions at Biennale de Montreal, Montreal; Boshossian Foundation, Brussels; Villa Arson, Nice; Wien Kunsthalle, Vienna; Singapore Art Museum, Singapore; Hangzhou Triennial of Fiber Art, Hangzhou; Tensta Konstall, Stockholm; Kochi Muziris Biennial, Kochi; Parasol Unit, London; Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah; among other venues.
2014 artists Abbas Akhavan (Tehran), Kamrooz Aram (Shiraz), Bouchra Khalili (Casablanca), Basim Magdy (Cairo) and Anup Mathew Thomas (Kochi) with Guest Curator Nada Raza (Karachi).
2013 artists Vartan Avakian (Lebanon), Iman Issa (Egypt), Huma Mulji (Pakistan), Hrair Sarkissian (Syria) and Rayyane Tabet (Lebanon) with Guest Curator Murtaza Vali.
2012 artists Taysir Batniji (Palestine), Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige (Lebanon), Wael Shawky (Egypt), Risham Syed (Pakistan), Raed Yassin (Lebanon) with Guest Curator Nat Muller.
2011 artists Hamra Abbas (Pakistan), Jananne Al-Ani (Iraq), Shezad Dawood (Pakistan/India), Nadia Kaabi-Linke (Tunisia) and Timo Nasseri (Iran) with Guest Curator Sharmini Pereira (Sri Lanka).
2010 artist Kader Attia (Algeria) with curator Laurie Ann Farrell (USA), artist Hala Elkoussy (Egypt) with curator Jelle Bouwhuis (Netherlands) and artist Marwan Sahmarani (Lebanon) with curator Mahita El Bacha Urieta (UK).
2009 artist Kutlug Ataman (Turkey), with curator Cristiana Perrella (Italy), artist Zoulikha Bouabdellah (Algeria), with curator Carol Solomon (US) and artist Nazgol Ansarinia (Iran), with curator Leyla Fakhr (Iran).
About The Abraaj Group
The Abraaj Group is a leading private equity investor, purpose-built for operating in the growth markets of Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, South East Asia, Turkey and Central Asia. Founded in 2002 by Arif Naqvi, the group has raised over US$ 8 billion and distributed c. US$ 3.5 billion to investors. Employing over 300 people, the group has 33 offices spread across 7 regional hubs in Bogota, Dubai, Istanbul, London, Mumbai, Nairobi and Singapore.
Abraaj Group currently manages approximately US$ 7.5 billion across 25 sector and country-specific Funds across 3 primary strategies: (i) Private Equity (majority and significant minority investments greater than US$ 50 million); (ii) Small and Mid-Cap (SMC) PE investing (targeting influential minority investments of less than US$ 50 million); and (iii) PE Real Estate (primarily yield-generating real estate investments).
Funds managed by the group have holdings in over 150 partner companies that collectively employ in excess of 100,000 people and create sustainable value in sectors including manufacturing, education, retail, aviation, oil and gas, financial payments infrastructure, healthcare and agribusiness. The group’s current partner companies include industry leaders such as Network International, the largest independent payment solutions provider in the Middle East and Africa, Al Borg Laboratories, the Middle East’s largest privately owned medical testing laboratory, Brookside Dairy, the largest dairy in East Africa, and Iasacorp, a long established family run women’s retail business in Peru.
In 2012, The Abraaj Group was ranked the largest private equity firm in emerging markets globally by Private Equity International. The group is committed to the highest environmental, stakeholder engagement and corporate governance standards and is a signatory of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment and the United Nations Global Compact.
Through its Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement Track, the company values social investing, thought leadership and value creation as key catalysts for sustainable development and inclusive growth across communities.
Abraaj Capital Limited, a member of the Abraaj Group, is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority.
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