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The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2014 winners announced
Basim Magdy.
DUBAI.- The Abraaj Group Art Prize, now in its sixth year, announced the five winning artists for its 2014 edition. The Abraaj Group Art Prize is awarded annually to five artists on the basis of proposals for new artworks, which become permanent additions to The Abraaj Group Art Collection following their unveiling at Art Dubai (March 19 - 22, 2014). The Abraaj Group, a leading private equity manager investing in global growth markets, launched The Abraaj Group Art Prize in 2008 to foster and reward artistic development in the region.

The 2014 winners are an internationally-acclaimed and diverse group combining outstanding artistic ability with a desire to engage and champion the arts throughout the region. They have a strong exhibition history regionally and internationally, and have shown works in recent editions of Art Dubai, the Sharjah Biennial and Kochi-Muziris Biennale, among other prestigious, international art events. The prize affords winners the opportunity of developing ambitious projects which without the granted funds would not have been possible. The winning artists announced by The Abraaj Group Art Prize are:

• Abbas Akhavan (Iran)
• Anup Mathew Thomas (India)
• Basim Magdy (Egypt)
• Bouchra Khalili (Morocco)
• Kamrooz Aram (Iran)

The artists will now start working closely with the selected Guest Curator for 2014, Nada Raza (Pakistan). She has the responsibility of supervising the production of the artworks, their display at Art Dubai (from March 19 - 22, 2014), and the publishing of an annual catalogue. Raza’s appointment was announced in May 2013.

The Selection Committee for the prize comprises leading experts in the field of the visual arts including: Antonia Carver, Director, Art Dubai; Dana Farouki, Patron; Salwa Mikdadi, art historian and curator; Jessica Morgan, Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art, Tate; Glenn Lowry, Director, the Museum of Modern Art; and Murtaza Vali, The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2013 Guest Curator.

Marking the announcement, Frederic Sicre, Managing Director at The Abraaj Group said: “Now in its sixth year, The Abraaj Group Art Prize has grown to be a benchmark for creative excellence in contemporary art practice, and embodies The Abraaj Group’s unwavering commitment to nurturing exceptional talent and empowering potential across global growth markets.”

Savita Apte, Chair of The Abraaj Group Art Prize, added: “The Abraaj Group Art Prize has consistently shone a spotlight on diverse creative talent from the MENASA region and propelled its winners to even greater achievements. It will be exciting to see how these five artists work with our guest curator towards the exhibition that will be unveiled at Art Dubai in March 2014.”

Previous winners of The Abraaj Group Art Prize have gone on to achieve further accolades, and are recognised as established artists in the international arts world. New works by winning artists are being acquired by important collections such as MOMA and Tate, and works from The Abraaj Group Art Collection are increasingly requested for loan by leading institutions and biennials. In June this year, a work by 2013 Abraaj Group Art Prize winner Rayyane Tabet is displayed at the 55th Venice Biennale as part of The Future Generation Art Prize. 2010 prize winner Kader Attia recently opened his first institutional solo exhibition in Germany; 2012 winner Wael Shawky participated in Sharjah Biennial 11; and both Attia and Shawky have displayed works at dOCUMENTA (13). 2013 prize winner Iman Issa is participating in group shows including ‘Tea with Nefertiti’ at the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; and the recent Homeworks 6 in Beirut.

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