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Winners of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize to Unveil their Artworks at Art Dubai 2010
Abraaj Capital Art Prize 2010 Winners.

DUBAI.- The anticipated artworks of the 2010 Abraaj Capital Art Prize winners will be unveiled at Art Dubai on Tuesday 16th March. Since being awarded the prize in September, the artists – Kader Attia, Marwan Sahmarani and Hala Elkoussy – and their curators have worked tirelessly in secret to turn their ambitious proposals into reality.

These works-of-art represent a new stage of evolution for these artists and the MENASA region where they are from.(Middle East, North Africa and South Asia). In each of their works, the three artists and their respective curators – Jelle Bouwhuis, Laurie Ann Farrel and Mahita El Bacha Urieta – examine a particular theme that is specific to their experience living in the MENASA region but that also has universal application.

The Abraaj Capital Art Prize, which is globally unique in that its awards are giving on the basis of proposals rather than completed works, is now in its second year.It has quickly gained widespread recognition given its purpose and focus on the MENASA region.

Frederic Sicre, Executive Director of Abraaj Capital and a member of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize Selection Committee said: “Each year we look forward with anticipation to the time when the winners of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize unveil their vision to us. It is truly exciting. The prize is part of our commitment to being a patron of the arts in the MENASA region by empowering potential, and giving its talented artists the opportunity to break new ground, and showcase the rich artistic and cultural heritage of this extraordinarily diverse part of the world.”

Hala Elkoussy’s Myths and Legends Room: The Mural comments on Egypt’s political history and its connection with modern society. Kader Attia’s (Algeria) History of a Myth: The Small Dome of the Rock plays a visual game with the viewer, evoking the shape of this historic monument. Marwan Sahmarani’s (Lebanon) The Feast of the Damned is influenced by compositions from the Renaissance such as the Sistine Chapel, but inserts an Arab context through his narrative and subject matter.

Please visit for further information, or join our facebook ( and twitter ( groups to get regular updates during the final weeks before the unveiling.

Brief biographies of the 2010 winners:

Kader Attia (b. 1970) grew up between France and Algeria. He had his first exhibition in 1996 in the Democratic Republic of Congo and has since grown to become one of the most critically recognized artists practicing in North Africa, with regular shows in museums, biennials, art fairs and commercial galleries around the world.

Hala Elkoussy (b. 1974) studied Image and Communication at Goldsmiths, London from 2001 – 2 and was resident at the Rijksakademie Van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam from 2005 – 6. In 2005 she exhibited at the Istanbul Biennial and Townhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art, Cairo; in 2006 at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam; in the travelling exhibition Snap Judgements from 2006 – 8; Goteborg Konsthall, Sweden in 2009 (solo) and the Sharjah Biennial in 2009.

Marwan Sahmarani (b. 1970) lives in Beirut. His practice often makes historical references to art history and socio-political issues that are still very present in the Middle East. He has exhibited widely in Europe and the US.

2010 Abraaj Capital Art Prize | Art Dubai | Kader Attia | Marwan Sahmarani | Hala Elkoussy |

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