The Abraaj Group, a leading investor operating in global growth markets, announced last week the curator, winning artist and shortlisted artists selected for the ninth Abraaj Group Art Prize, the most significant arts prize in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region.
Abraaj Group Art Prize, which has been recognised globally as an exceptional platform for artists working in the MENASA region, received a record number of applications from 61 countries for its ninth iteration of the art awards.
Marking the announcement, Frederic Sicre, Managing Director at The Abraaj Group said, “The art scene in MENASA is thriving. The Abraaj Group Art Prize has played a role in creating global awareness on the creative and innovative talent that exists in the region, empowering and transforming artists’ journeys. “
The $100,000 award enables the winning artist to develop a ‘dream project’ which will be unveiled at Art Dubai — the leading art fair in MENASA — in front of a global audience of museum directors, collectors, artists, gallery owners and thousands of members of the public. It also recognizes shortlisted artists with cash prizes of $10,000 each, to support development of their artistic practice.
Omar Berrada, the director of Dar Al-Ma’mun, a library and artists’ residency in Marrackech, Morocco, who has been chosen as Guest Curator for next year’s Art Dubai, said: “As someone who is concerned with art infrastructure, I am grateful to Abraaj for generously and consistently supporting artists in and of the MENASA region over the last nine years, providing a crucial platform for new productions and international exposure.”
Expressing her pleasure on being selected as the Winning Artist for the 2017 Abraaj Group Art Prize, Rana Begum of Bangladesh said: "It is such an honor to win the Abraaj Group Art Prize. I have greatly admired the winning artists and works of previous years and consider it a privilege to follow in their footsteps."
The three shortlisted artists for the 2017 Abraaj Group Art Prize were: Doa Aly of Egypt, Raha Raissnia of Iran and Sarah Abu Abdallah of Saudi Arabia.
Commenting on the strength of the winners, Dana Farouki, Chair of the jury, said: “The strength of this year’s Prize proposals impressed the jury, and the selection was made all the harder by the number of applications, which continues to increase annually. “
The Abraaj Group Art Prize Collection, which comprises of works commissioned as part of the prize, has a highly active lending policy, with works having been exhibited across five continents, 11 biennales, 31 institutions and 25 countries.