Briefing

Louvre Abu Dhabi opens this weekend; 2019 Sharjah Biennial curators named; New York’s Performance Space 122 reopens

Louvre Abu Dhabi. Courtesy: the museum; Photograph: Roland Halbe

Louvre Abu Dhabi. Courtesy: the museum; Photograph: Roland Halbe

Louvre Abu Dhabi. Courtesy: Louvre museums; photograph: Roland Halbe

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is finally opening to the public on Saturday 11 November, after a series of delays for the EUR€10-billion project. The building, located on Saadiyat Island, has been designed by Jean Nouvel, and will host an inaugural show that draws from its own holdings as well as partner museums in France. Nouvel’s dome structure, composed of layers of 8000 stars, inspired by the patterns of oriel windows from the region and palm trees, controls the flow of sunlight into the museum to produce a ‘rain of light’, creating ‘a place of convergence and correlation between the immense sky, the sea-horizon and the territory of the desert’, the architect commented. Museum director Manuel Rabaté said in a statement: ‘[Louvre Abu Dhabi] has reinvented the 18th-century premise of the universal museum for a demanding contemporary audience.’ The new Louvre joins an outpost of New York University on the island, with plans to turn the location into a cultural centre with the addition of a National Museum and a new Guggenheim. The Louvre building has been the focus of criticism for poor labour conditions over the years (with the death of a construction worker on site two years ago).

Performance Space 122 has announced that it is opening its doors again in New York’s East Village, according to the New York Times. The organization has spent the last six years as a nomadic outfit, after its temporary closure in 2011 for much needed renovations. A series of premieres, Dane Terry’s Jupiter’s Lifeless Moons, Dean Moss’s Petra and David Thomson’s he his own mythical beast will be among works that inaugurate the space. The performance space was established in 1980, featuring work by Meredith Monk, Spalding Gray and Taylor Mac over the years.

Sharjah Art Foundation has named Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif and Claire Tancons as curators of Sharjah Biennial 14 (SB14), which opens in March 2019. The theme of SB14, ‘Leaving the Echo Chamber’ looks at cultural production in an age of ecological crisis, across three exhibitions. ‘Journey Beyond The Arrow’, curated by Butt – Artistic Director of The Factory Contemporary Arts Centre in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietrnam – looks at the relationship between humanity and ‘tools’, from the physical to the psychological. Kholeif – currently Manilow Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago – curates ‘Making New Time’ which looks at notions of time through the physical body and virtual reality. Tancons – currently curator of Miami’s Tout-Monde festival – reformulates modes of perception, exploring the possibilities of obscurity and clandestinity in ‘Look for Me All Around You’. Sharjah Art Foundation director Hoor Al Qasimi commented: ‘Butt, Kholeif and Tancons bring incredibly different perspectives to these questions, and together represent the complexity of challenges faced by today’s artists and society as a whole.’ You can read our review of this year’s edition, themed around fluidity, botany and the subterranean, over here.

The Center for Curatorial Leadership has named its fellows for 2018 which include the Whitney Biennial co-curator Mia Locks, the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Asian art curator Soyoung Lee and Lauren Haynes from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. The selected curators will work with museum directors across America through residencies, as well as working with the Center's Diversity Mentoring Initiative.

Maureen Bray has been named executive director of the Art Dealers Association of America. Bray has been director at David Nolan Gallery since 2014. ‘[I] look forward to working with ADAA leadership to support our dealers’ vital contributions to the art world’, she said in a statement.

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