In another creative addition to the cultural identity of Downtown Dubai, the 500-acre mega-development described as ‘The Centre of Now,’ Emaar Properties, today, unveiled renowned Spanish sculptor Xavier Corbero’s Gathering, a collection of ten figurine sculptures made of basalt.
Mr Mohamed Alabbar, Chairman of Emaar Properties, unveiled Gathering in the presence of Ms Samia Saleh, the owner of Courtyard Gallery who commissioned the work.
Weighing over 20 tonnes, the ten figurines - artistic interpretations of the human form - are larger than life but not too big to become monuments, in line with Corbero’s vision that “people should relate to the sculptures, especially in urbanc places, as a part of life, and not put up on pedestals.”
Gathering is located on Emaar Boulevard, which is evolving as one of the world’s most prestigious boulevards hosting attention-grabbing events such as the ongoing ‘Festive Lighting.’ The sculptures are framed against Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. This gives an added dimension to the sculptures, evoking the connection between mankind and their towering dreams, while remaining connected to their roots.
The sculpture in basalt – petrified lava from the northeast of Spain - adds to the existing collection of sculptures in Downtown Dubai including figurative artist Fernando Botero’s Horse 2007, Kuwaiti sculptor Sami Mohamed Al Saleh’s Al Sidra and Syrian artist Lutfi Romhein’s Together.
Mr Alabbar said: “Downtown Dubai is redefining the way urban neighbourhoods are perceived. While being home to iconic developments like Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall, the community is a thriving residential, business and cultural destination. We are honoured to add the sculptures of Corbero, as part of our Art Programme, which further underlines the cultural identity of Downtown Dubai.”
Corbero said: “Burj Khalifa is a beauty. I think it is the most beautiful building in the world now and it is going to be for a long time. I see a beautiful relationship between Burj Khalifa and Gathering. I looked around the building and found this spot that was perfect for the sculptures. I want to evoke the feeling of nature, imagination and reality.”
Ms Samia Saleh, the owner of Courtyard Gallery, Dubai, said: “It gives me great pleasure once again to be part of the Emaar's Art Programme and to be involved in installing these marvellous sculptures by one of the greatest living Spanish artists, Xavier Corbero. It was a challenging task moving and installing 10 sculptures of solid basalt weighing over 20 tonnes. It took us almost a week to plan and erect these sculptures on the boulevard in the presence of Mr. Corbero who admired the area as a whole and was very impressed with the architecture of Burj Khalifa. With this new addition, residents and visitors alike now have free access to an open contemporary art museum.”
Xavier Corbero, regarded as one of the premier Spanish sculptors, graduated from the Massana School of Barcelona, and the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. One of his early patrons was Salvador Dali, the world-renowned surrealist artist, who bought much of Corbero’s early works.
Corbero’s works have been influenced by renowned artists including Pablo Gargallo and Henry Moore. His sculptures have been displayed in galleries and museums around the world including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York; the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Downtown Dubai, anchored by Burj Khalifa, is one of the most prestigious lifestyle communities that features The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination; and The Dubai Fountain, the world’s tallest performing fountain, in addition to luxury hotels, homes and offices. The development also features one of the city’s popular galleries, The Pavilion.
The 3.5 km long Emaar Boulevard hosts regular lifestyle events such as the popular Emirates Classic Car Show Festival, which will be held from Dec. 1 to 3, and the Downtown Dubai Parade to mark the UAE National Day to be held on Dec. 3.
Downtown Dubai hosts regular music concerts at its prime venues including Burj Park, which recently was in global spotlight for the Burj Khalifa New Year’s Eve Gala attended by more than 600,000 people and telecast live to over 2 billion people.