: From a record number of submissions, five artists have been chosen as winners of the third edition of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize. They will work for the next six months to create their new artworks which will be unveiled during Art Dubai in March 2011, before becoming a permanent part of the Abraaj Capital Art Collection.
This year's winners hail from across the geographical land mass of the Middle East North Africa and South Asia (MENASA). Four new countries are now represented. Jananne Al-Ani is the first winner with Iraqi heritage, Nadia Kaabi-Linke is Tunisian and for the first time we have winners from South-Asia, Hamra Abbas and Shezad Dawood. The fifth winner is Iranian Timo Nasseri.
Sharmini Pereira (Sri Lanka/UK) has been appointed as Guest Curator for 2011 and will be working closely with the artists; supervising the production of the artworks, their display at Art Dubai and the publishing of the annual catalogue.
All five winners have a strong exhibition history internationally and specifically in the region, and are represented by highly credible galleries. The annual prize is awarded on the basis of a proposal for an art project which were submitted earlier in 2010. The choice of the Selection Committee reinforces that the Abraaj Capital Art Prize, with its unrivalled annual endowment of US$1 million is rightly awarded to artists who have been able to present a credible project, and proved themselves as talents worthy of support.
A press conference was held this morning at the Dubai International Financial Centre to introduce the winners to members of the media.
Speaking at the event, Frederic Sicre, Executive Director of Abraaj Capital commented: "Heading into its third year, the Abraaj Capital Art Prize is proving itself as the benchmark for artistic excellence in the MENASA. Continuing to nurture talents and empower potential from this dynamic and diverse region, through the prize Abraaj Capital demonstrates its unwavering commitment as a patron of the arts by providing a platform for young artists to develop their practice in new directions and showcase their work to the global arts community".
Savita Apte, Chair of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize, stated: "With five artists now awarded the Abraaj Capital Art Prize a broader spread of artwork will be seen each year, and each artist will work with a guest curator for the first time. We look forward to seeing the result of this exciting collaboration in March."
Abraaj Capital, the premier investment firm specializing in private equity investment in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region, pioneered the art prize in order to foster and reward artistic development in its core markets.
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