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Louvre Abu Dhabi Launches $50,000 Prize to Spotlight Emerging Artists

The Louvre Abu Dhabi, in partnership with the watch brand Richard Mille, is launching a new annual exhibition to spotlight the work of emerging artists who will also receive $50,000.

The new exhibition series, titled “Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here,” will be conducted via an open-call process for contemporary artists working in any media to submit proposals to show work in the museum’s Forum space. An international jury will then choose four to six artists to show in the exhibitions, and from those proposals, one winner will be chosen to receive the Richard Mille Art Prize. The first winner will be announced in November after an inaugural edition to be titled “Memory, Time and Territory.” The open call asks artists “to reflect on the country’s legacy as a territory where questions of past, present, and future combine and overlap,” according to a press release. The first exhibition in the series will be open only to artists based in the United Arab Emirates and Emirati artists living abroad. (Future editions will be open to artists from all over.) Proposals will be accepted until August 31.

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The Louvre Abu Dhabi’s dramatic entrance

In a statement, HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, said that the new prize “is the latest reminder that Abu Dhabi is accelerating its support and promotion of local creative talent, while simultaneously cementing its position as an attractive and inspiring destination for global creatives.”

Richard Mille has committed to fund the cash prize for the first 10 years. In a statement, Peter Harrison, the company’s CEO, said, “As an avid art collector, I have long been inspired by the visionary perspectives brought to light by contemporary artists. … The Richard Mille Art Prize will redefine the benchmarks of contemporary creativity, with a goal to offer exceptional artists the opportunity to create a new dimension of their potential.”

Louvre Abu Dhabi director Manuel Rabaté said in a statement, “We aim to provide these artists with a highly visible platform from which to come together and showcase their work to both our community and the global audience. This initiative also represents a decisive step forward by Louvre Abu Dhabi into the arena of contemporary art, as we further expand on our mission to shine a light on the cultural connections which unite us all.”

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