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Aug 29 2012

Abraaj Capital Art Prize 2013 Winners

by Isabella E. Hughes

(From left) Guest curator Murtaza Vali, artist Huma Mulji, artist Iman Issa, chair fo the Abraaj Capital Art Prize, Savita Apte, and partner at Abraaj Capital, Frederic Sicre. Courtesy Abraaj Capital Art Prize, Dubai.

On August 27, the recipients of the 2013 Abraaj Capital Art Prize (ACAP) were announced in Dubai. The 2013 ACAP selected artists are: Vartan Avakian and Rayyane Tabet, both from Lebanon, Iman Issa from Egypt, Hrair Sarkissian from Syria, and Huma Mulji from Pakistan.

The ACAP is annually awarded to five artists from the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia to foster artistic development across the so-called MENASA region, based on their proposals for the production of new works, which then debut at Art Dubai the following March, before becoming part of the Abraaj Capital Art Collection. Supported by private equity firm Abraaj Capital, the Prize has been given to 21 artists since launching in 2008.

This edition’s winners have already commenced working with the selected guest curator, Murtaza Vali, whose appointment was announced in May earlier this year. As guest curator, Vali is responsible for overseeing the production of the new artworks, their display and the publishing of the annual catalogue that compliments the prize. Artists each receive around USD 100,000 to realize their proposed works.

In a press release, Savita Apte, chair of the ACAP, commented on this edition: “In the five years since we started the Abraaj Capital Art Prize, it has consistently shone a spotlight on diverse creative talent from the MENASA region, and propelled its winners to even greater achievements. The five artists we are announcing today are all actively engaged in pushing boundaries and developing dynamic visual experiences with the arts sector in their respective home countries and abroad; I encourage you all to visit Art Dubai in March 2013 to experience the works when they are unveiled.”

The ACAP selection committee this year comprised leading art professionals and patrons, including: Antonia Carver, director of Art Dubai; Dana Farouki, independent patron, collector and curator; Ali Khadra, editor-in-chief of Canvas; Salwa Mikdadi, art historian and curator; Jessica Morgan, curator of international art at the Tate Modern; Glenn Lowry, director of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Nat Muller, guest curator of ACAP’s 2012 edition; and Elaine Ng, editor-in-chief of ArtAsiaPacific.