Abu Dhabi: The NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Art Gallery’s spring exhibition, the only constant, will begin on February 22 and feature 27 different works.
The show includes works by Mr. Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Mr. Patty Chang, Mr. Gil Heitor Cortesao, Ms. Sharon Lockhart, Ms. Taus Makhacheva, Mr. Haroon Mirza, Mr. Clifford Ross, Mr. Thomas Struth, and Mr. Vivek Vilasini.
The exhibition is curated by the Executive Director of the NYUAD Art Gallery and University Chief Curator, Ms. Maya Allison, as part of her ongoing study of landscape in contemporary art.
“The artists here confront contemporary landscape as a site of profound tension: we change the landscape, and it changes us. Even as we might long for an untouched paradise, humans build futuristic utopias. My concept for this exhibition grew out of Tarek Al-Ghoussein’s Al Sawaber series, through which runs a theme: utopia and paradise arrive and then depart (change is the only constant). This tension is fundamental to the questions we face as humans on this planet. Of course, those questions are part of the larger dialogue now underway in the UAE as we approach the COP28 convening this winter,” Ms. Allison shared.
The artists in this exhibition engage with landscape to transform looking into witnessing, to observe whorls of pollution recorded on delicate rice paper (Vivek Vilasini), to wash an entire ship’s hull by hand, to acknowledge the loss of the Aral Sea (Patty Chang), or to closely examine each detail of a dense landscape at night (Sharon Lockhart).
The exhibition begins with the idea of paradise (Thomas Struth), opposite the roiling power of an untamable sea (Clifford Ross). It begins and ends with technological aspiration and the incomprehensible imprint of our existence on our planet.
The exhibition ends with Mr. Haroon Mirza visualizing this question in a living garden, with light from solar panels.