Abu Dhabi Art | 2014

When such a museum is built, all the parameters must be controlled. Such a museum isn’t just a building, it is some serious work.” Jean Nouvel

I was lucky enough to attend the second Louvre Abu Dhabi Talking Art Series discussion last week during the Abu Dhabi Art fair held at Manarat Al Saadiyat. Presented by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA) the discussion panel featured architect Jean Nouvel, Scientific Director of Agency France-Museums Jean-Francois Charnier and Brazilian contemporary artist Ernesto Neto, who were discussing the topic of ‘Museums as Sites for New Experiences’


The discussion explored the theory that the modern museum is no longer simply a location where artworks and artefacts are displayed but that they are also spaces for visitors to have new experiences and interactions, through the perspective of an architect, an artist and a curator. The panel discussed how these changes will affect museums of the future, their content and audiences.

e05e0a8f-cb6c-440e-b416-6beae051617dArtist impression of the Louvre Abu Dhabi (source: http://www.louvreabudhabi.ae)

b3f2e679-37ef-45d8-b069-7f0385f593a5The event attracted a large audience and those who weren’t fluent in French (c’est moi) were provided with headphones to listen to the translation of renowned and experienced museum architect Nouvel’s presentation. Nouvel who designed the Louvre Abu Dhabi presented a review of museums and galleries from around the world and how he believes an architect must work with artists and curators so that museums of today reflect their content. He studied the geography, people, heritage and culture of this region as part of his design process so that the new museum’s concept encompasses these elements.

DSC00414Neto (second left) discusses his work and how museums are changing

Neto, a contemporary visual artist whose work has been described as ‘beyond abstract minimalism’ was up next and after an initial moment of awkward silence (I thought he might have nodded off), he emerged from his trance like state and began chanting/singing his introduction which was both a little odd and entertaining at the same time. He spoke about his work to a visual backdrop of some of his exhibits from around the world and about how not only are museums changing but also the people visiting them and their content.


Neto was a hard act to follow and up next was Charnier, the curatorial scientific director of the French Museums Agency who are in charge of the content of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. The artworks will be represent a journey through the world’s art history and he spoke about abstract painter Piet Mondarian and his work that will be exhibited in Louvre Abu Dhabi.


Curator Charnier talks about Piet Mondarian’s abstract work

Future Talking Art Series panel discussions will divulge more of the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s proposed artworks through talks and workshops by world-renowned experts and three more events will take place between 28th January to 27th May 2015. 


Latest progress on the Louvre Abu Dhabi, its dome will be part of the ‘rain of light’ effect (source:www.thenational.ae)

Louvre Abu Dhabi has announced that it will receive approximately three hundred art works on loan from major French institutions for its opening year, which will complement the museum’s already growing collection.The loaned items will join the permanent collection of Louvre Abu Dhabi, the first international museum to open in the Middle East, giving visitors access to artwork from across the centuries.


Leonardo da Vinci’s Portrait of an Unknown Woman (La Belle Ferronniere) will be the first Da Vinci to be exhibited in the Middle East and the first time the painting has left Europe (source:www.thenational.ae)

The Louvre in Paris will loan its Abu Dhabi counterpart Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Portrait of an Unknown Woman‘ (also known as La Belle Ferronniere). Also making the trip from Paris, will be Edouard Manet’s ‘The Fife Player‘ and Claude Monet’s ‘The Saint-Lazare Station‘ from the Musee d’Orsay and the Musee l’Orangerie respectively, as well as a number of pieces from other French institutions. The Louvre Abu Dhabi will house 9,200 square metres of art galleries including the large Permanent Gallery featuring exhibits ranging from ancient to contemporary art from different civilisations.


Oh hello super sized anexpatabroad tweet

Ok let’s be completely honest here I am no art aficionado, in fact I’m pretty clueless when it comes to art (or just clueless in general) but I do know what I like and that’s modern and contemporary art so I really enjoyed the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi ‘Seeing Through Light‘ exhibition, click on the link at the bottom to read about that. I’m not actually sure how much I understood of the ‘Talking Art’ discussion but I did really enjoy it, especially both the panelists and audience reaction to Neto and his eccentricity. A large interactive Twitter wall was a featured part of the discussion and I was very excited to spot my anexpatabroad tweet come up super sized on the screen so I took a photo of it, I know it’s very sad but it’s true.


A bust of the Mona Lisa outside the Abu Dhabi Art Fair

Read previous post about the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi here Seeing Through Light -Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection

Factual information sourced from www.louvreabudhabi.ae and www.abudhabiartfair.ae

Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2014. All rights reserved.

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