The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2014

The Abraaj Group Art Prize is born to empower potential and give often under-represented, contemporary artists the resources to further develop their talent. Artists are invited to submit proposals for new artworks they would like to produce. Once chosen by the Selection Committee, the artists go on to produce the works. The artists collaborate with an internationally renowned curator. This allows them to tap the latest trends, while the prize gives them a global platform to showcase their works and their region. The prize reflects Abraaj’s own investment philosophy, which is to take viable businesses with great potential, and create regional and global champions. Each year the awarded artworks are unveiled at Art Dubai.

The winners, Abbas Akhavan and Kamrooz Aram from Iran, Basim Magdy from Egypt,Bouchra Khalili from Morocco and Anup Mathew Thomas from India have been working closely with guest curator Nada Raza on their ambitious projects, which are drawn together in the exhibition Bagh O Bahar: Garden and Spring on show at Art Dubai 2014. The five artists were chosen on the basis of written proposals delineating hypothetical works of art. Their selection was determined, in part, by the persuasive powers of their textual descriptions to suggest visual forms. Now realised after an intensive period of research, travel and production, the completed works continue to demonstrate a commitment to the narrative genre. The gauntlet: to take as a point of departure the proposal itself, a space of flux and possibility and respond with a text. The digital experience of the publication contemporises the architecture of the Persian garden and produces a virtual environment where documentation of the artworks and commissioned texts can hope to live beyond the transient nature of the display. They are available on screens inside the exhibition, and online at

Curator: Nada Raza


  • Open:
    Wednesday, 19 March 2014
  • Close:
    Saturday, 22 March 2014
  • Address:
    Madinat Jumeirah, Al Sufouh Road, Dubai, UAE
  • Web:
    Art Dubai
  • Photo credits:
    Bouchra Khalili, courtesy of Art Dubai


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