Abu Dhabi Art Takes Artists to Palazzo Franchetti for the First Time

Abu Dhabi Art, held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, will present works from the 2021 edition of the “Beyond: Emerging Artists” programme to coincide with the Biennale Arte 2022. For its first iteration in Italy, “Beyond: Emerging Artists” will showcase commissioned artists Christopher Joshua Benton, Maitha Abdalla and Hashel Al Lamki.

The “Beyond: Emerging Artists” initiative invites local and international curators to work with UAE-based emerging artists of their choosing in a year-round programme, enabling and supporting the artists to hone their skills and develop their professional practice. Participating artists are provided with a budget and curatorial support to create ambitious new works that are exhibited through Abu Dhabi Art.

Combining film, installation, and sculpture, Benton’s “The World Was My Garden” works with the palm tree as a metaphor for migration, labour economies and the history of slavery in the Gulf. The exhibition’s centerpiece is My Plant Immigrants, an almost three-metre-tall date palm tree suspended in the air.

Abdalla’s “Too Close to the Sun” spans video performance, sculpture, and works on canvas and photography. The exhibition explores what the artist perceives as the wild nature of women that social forces have often attempted to tame, intertwining themes including the wildness of human nature, the archetype of the feminine psyche, and the untamable character of wild animals.

Neptune, a multidisciplinary work featuring sculptures and works on canvas by Al Lamki, traverses natural, built and imagined realms to foreground the scarcity of the Earth’s resources and how these events impact the human psyche. In his exhibition, the artist explores liberation from worldly duties and confines through the adoption of a lifestyle grounded in nomadism.

“Beyond: Emerging Artists” will be on show at Venice’s Palazzo Franchetti from April 20 to May 22 2022 followed by the return of Abu Dhabi Art to Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, UAE from November 16 to 20 2022.

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