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  • Nov 28, 2023

Duygu Demir Appointed Curator at the NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery

Portrait of DUYGU DEMIR. Courtesy of The NYUAD Art Gallery. 

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) has appointed Duygu Demir to the post of Curator of the university’s Art Gallery and Research Assistant Professor of Art History.

Demir is an art historian and curator. Originally from Turkey, she was a founding member of SALT, a research-based cultural institution in Istanbul, after which she earned her PhD from MIT. Prior to joining NYUAD, Demir was Assistant Professor of Art History at Sabancı University in Istanbul. 

As the NYUAD Art Gallery enters its tenth year of exhibitions and publications, Demir’s appointment advances the Gallery’s commitment to exhibition-making as a mode of investigation, supporting experimentation in form and concept, and charting new areas of art history.

Maya Allison, the NYUAD Art Gallery’s Executive Director and Chief Curator, writes: “Since opening our campus on Saadiyat Island in 2014, our university’s role in the UAE’s fast-growing cultural sector has crystallized: in our Art Gallery as well as in our Project Space and Reading Room, we support creative experimentation and the development of new bodies of knowledge, through exhibition-making, publications, and programming. Duygu Demir brings to this watershed moment in the UAE her very rare combination of scholarly training in non-Western modernism and her commitment to global contemporary art and cultural production.

“Demir has done this kind of work for many years before proceeding to her PhD. She brings a critical contribution to our mission, as we train future generations of museum professionals and art historians, through our work of investigative exhibition-making, and projects with artists from around the globe. I look forward to exciting years of growth ahead, with publications and programs for audiences that range from our local neighbors to arts professionals from around the world—and here, those are sometimes one and the same!”

In keeping with the Art Gallery’s mission as a teaching institution and a core catalyst for NYUAD as a locus of intellectual and creative activity, Demir will also support the University’s Arts and Humanities division as a Research Assistant Professor. Her academic research topics include non-Western modernisms, exhibition histories, transnational artistic encounters, and moments of confluence between art and architecture. Her academic writing has appeared in Art Margins (2014) and Thresholds (2018), both from MIT Press, as well as Art Journal (2019). 

Demir’s most recent curatorial project is a survey of art from Turkey made in the last decade, currently on view at İMALAT-HANE in Bursa. Last year, she worked on solo presentations of work by Deniz Aktaş and Gözde İlkin, both for artSümer in Istanbul (2022). While at SALT, she co-curated several critically acclaimed solo and group exhibitions and accompanying public programs as well as editing two monographic publications, one on conceptualist İsmail Saray (2018) and another for Hüseyin Bahri Alptekin (2011).  In addition to numerous exhibition catalog contributions, she was one of the authors of Art Cities of the Future: Avant-Gardes of the 21st Century (Phaidon, 2013), nominator and contributor for Vitamin D2: New Perspectives in Drawing (Phaidon, 2013) as well as editor of Room of Rhythms–Cevdet Erek (2012, Walther König). 

*This post is presented by the NYUAD Art Gallery.