Abraaj Capital Art Prize 2013 Guest Curator Announced

Abraaj Capital Art Prize 2013 Guest Curator Announced

2013 will see the return of Art Dubai on 20 - 23 March, and with it the unveiling of the projects from the winners of the fifth edition of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize (ACAP). The selection committee of ACAP today announced Murtaza Vali as the guest curator for the fifth edition of the prestigious prize, and he is to join the committee which selects the five winning artists, to be announced later this year. Vali will work with the artists to realize their new projects before the unveiling and he will edit a publication which will be available at the fair.

Of Indian extraction, Vali is a freelance critic and curator who lives and works between Sharjah, UAE and Brooklyn, USA. He is well known in the Emirates where he has undertaken many successful projects over recent years, including speaking at the Global Art Forum, Art Dubai; serving on the Selection Jury for the 2010 Sharjah Art Foundation Production Programme Grants; editing Manual for Treason, a multilingual publication commissioned by Sharjah Biennial X (2011) and most recently curating ‘Brute Ornament’ at Green Art Gallery, Dubai (2012). He is a visiting instructor at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn and contributing editor for Ibraaz and ArtAsiaPacific. He also contributes to, Art Review, Art India, Bidoun, Harper’s Bazaar Art Arabia, Modern Painters and Nukta Art and has written several monographic essays on contemporary artists from the Middle East and South Asia.

Speaking of his appointment, Vali commented: “The works selected for the Abraaj Captial Art Prize each year use sophisticated conceptual strategies and diverse media to grapple with region specific subject matter. As curator, I hope to provide a discursive framework that allows these elements to surface, while engaging with the process of cultural production by playing the role of interlocutor and collaborator for the selected artists, as they realize their ambitious proposals”.

Frederic Sicre, Partner at Abraaj Capital and Head of the Abraaj Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement Track (ASSET) added: “We are delighted to have Murtaza Vali as guest curator for the fifth edition of our prize which goes from strength to strength. Being born and raised in Sharjah with Indian roots and a base in the US he is very much aware of how our region sits in the global arts community and we look forward to seeing the results of his collaboration with us and our next group of winning artists.”

The Selection Committee includes leading experts in the field of the visual arts including: Antonia Carver, Director, Art Dubai; Dana Farouki, Patron; Ali Khadra, Publisher and Editor in Chief, Canvas Magazine; Salwa Mikdadi, art historian and curator; Jessica Morgan, Daskalopoulos Curator, International Art, Tate; Elaine Ng, Editor, Art Asia Pacific and Glenn Lowry, Director, the Museum of Modern Art.

Savita Apte, Chair of the committee, said the following: “Each year we embark on a journey of discovery through a fresh curatorial perspective. Murtaza Vali brings a mature regional sensitivity coupled with international experience working with artists on new commissions, as well as with publications. We look forward to another excellent edition next March.”

The Abraaj Capital Art Prize 2013 winners will be announced later this year, alongside a publication documenting ‘Spectral Imprints’, the 2012 Abraaj Capital Art Prize.

ACAP rewards chosen artists from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region on the basis of a proposal rather than completed works of art. The winning artists then go on to create the works, and once completed, works become part of the Abraaj Capital Art Collection and are shown in a variety of locations.

For more information about the Abraaj Capital Art Prize please visit


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