Talking Art with the Louvre Abu Dhabi – event alert

Louvre Abu Dhabi’s third Talking Art Series explores the universal museum’s permanent collection between East and West.

The third Louvre Abu Dhabi Talking Art Series, launched on 22 October 2013, explores the museum’s permanent collection through talks, panels and workshops covering themes of universality and the relationship between the arts of East and West.

Louvre Abu Dhabi, design by Jean Nouvel. © Tourism Development and Investment Company

Louvre Abu Dhabi, design by Jean Nouvel. © Tourism Development and Investment Company

Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by internationally renowned architect Jean Nouvel and slated to open in 2015, will stage the third Talking Art Series from 22 October 2013 until May 2014. The programme is held at Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island Cultural District in Abu Dhabi, and organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, in collaboration with Agence France-Muséums and École du Louvre.

The third series of talks, panels and workshops focuses on the museum’s permanent collection through a multitude of topics, including cultural traditions, the shift of photography to an art form, artistic dialogues beyond the East and West, famous collections, and calligraphy and architecture in Islamic art. As stated in the press release, the programme will reveal more about both the museum’s permanent collection and the individual works used illustrate the experts’ insights on themes of cultural and artistic exchange.

View of the previous Louvre Abu Dhabi Talking Art Series. Image courtesy Louvre Abu Dhabi.

View of the previous Louvre Abu Dhabi Talking Art Series. Image courtesy Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Participating speakers in the third Talking Art Series programme include world-renowned experts such as:

  • Waciny Laredj, award winning author
  • Jean-Luc Martinez, President and Director of the Louvre
  • Sylvie Ramond, an Art Historian and Director of the Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon
  • Naman Ahuja, Associate Professor of Art and Architecture of Ancient India at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
Archaic Sphinx, Shelly limestone, Greece or Greater Greece, 6th century BCE, 57 x62 cm. Image courtesy Louvre Abu Dhabi. © Louvre Abu Dhabi

Archaic Sphinx, Shelly limestone, Greece or Greater Greece, 6th century BCE, 57 x 62cm. Image courtesy Louvre Abu Dhabi. © Louvre Abu Dhabi

A universal museum in dialogue with the world

The Talking Art Series emphasises the importance of bridging the gap between western and eastern cultures in a geographical context such as the Middle East, historically a place where commercial exchanges and cultural influences converged. The programme will see the specialist speakers present a variety of issues, supported and illustrated with examples of artworks from the museum’s permanent collection. A discussion on the Humanist concept of universality through museums will present a sixteenth century shell limestone Greek sphinx while a panel on calligraphy and architecture in Islamic art will feature ancient fragments of an epigraphic frieze from the Muslim Indian Sultanates of the twelfth century.

A painting by Laurent de La Hyre, a prestigious commission of Cardinal Richelieu to decorate the Guard Room of the Palais-Royal in Paris, will support a talk centred around collectors, private and public collections and museums. Picasso’s collage Portrait of a lady will illustrate the presentation on collage and “ready made” art in modern times by the director of the Centre Pompidou-Metz in France. Other themes discussed in the programme will include the status and the shift of photography between documentation and art, and the artistic dialogue between and beyond East and West which will feature a rare mother-of-pearl vessel.

Mother-of-pearl ewer, gilt copper mounting, encrusted with turquoises and garnets, Mother-of-pearl: Gujarat, (India), Early 16th century, Mounting: Naples, circa 1640. Image courtesy Louvre Abu Dhabi. © Louvre Abu Dhabi

Mother-of-pearl ewer, gilt copper mounting, encrusted with turquoises and garnets, Mother-of-pearl: Gujarat, (India), Early 16th century, Mounting: Naples, circa 1640. Image courtesy Louvre Abu Dhabi. © Louvre Abu Dhabi

The birth of a museum

From 22 April to 20 July 2013, the Louvre Abu Dhabi held “Birth of a Museum”, the first major showcase of its permanent collection in the Saadiyat Cultural District. The exhibition was greeted as a success, displaying 130 works of art from ancient to contemporary eras from all over the world. As Hissa Al Dhaheri, Louvre Abu Dhabi Programme Manager, TCA Abu Dhabi, noted in the press release, the success of the exhibition marked the ongoing progress made by the Louvre Abu Dhabi, and the Talking Art Series stands as a complementary effort to bring to life the stories of such exhibited artworks and of the museum’s universal narrative.

It’s important that Abu Dhabi’s growing collection for Louvre Abu Dhabi is showcased in a variety of ways and the community have a chance to enjoy it prior to the museum’s opening. Most recently the Birth of a Museum exhibition and its public programme of workshops and performances showcased 130 works from the Louvre Abu Dhabi collection, which was successful, and a testimony to our progress. Now the third Louvre Abu Dhabi Talking Art Series provides another opportunity to really investigate a variety of works and to bring to life their stories.

saadiyat_05

The diorama of the Saadiyat Cultural District in Abu Dhabi.

Middle East: the new art giant

Abu Dhabi will not only see the opening of the Louvre in 2015, but also the Guggenheim in 2017, designed by another famous architect, Frank Gehry. The rich Middle Eastern region is rife with new museums with mammoth collections, new art fairs and biennales, from biggest art spender Qatar’s plethora of museums, the Dubai Art Fair, the Dubai Museum of Contemporary Art, Abu Dhabi museum projects to the Sharjah Biennale.

 C. A. Xuan Mai Ardia

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Related topics: talks and lectures, museums, events in the Middle East, event alerts

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