Review: Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s 2nd Art Collection

Artistic Creation is being celebrated at the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi art exhibition. The message is that art is an active and living thing. The Creative Act covers the presence, process, and performance and is being held at Manarat Al Saadiyat on Saadiyat Island. Work from over 25 artists from different countries, backgrounds, and generations will be presented.

The exhibition began to come together when the curatorial team of Maisa Al Qassimi, Hillings, Muneera Al Sayegh, Sasha Kalter-Wasserman and Sarah Dwider each made lists of artists they wanted to see presented. They realized how many artists overlapped on these lists and began to identify themes for a performance.

The theme was based on the nature of the artists selected. This included pieces by Anish Kapoor’s whose piece My Red Homeland was made using 25 tons of red wax, Niki de Saint Phalle’s painting of Pterodactyl over New York and Anri Sala’s video of Ravel Ravel Unravel.

West Asian artists are represented in the exhibit with media and geography works that span the course of several decades. Hassan Sharif offers art bridging the sixties to the present and all of the documentation of the late artist from the 1980’s performances are included. Other artists reflect his incredible legacy from Mohammed Kazem to Ebtisam Abdulaziz.

Rasheed Araeen’s Chakras I is highlighted as one of the favorites of the entire cultural team. The original performance dates back to 1970. Sixteen discs painted red were released into London’s Thames River by his friends, various artists and the public. He wanted to document exactly how they would float and photographed the discs as they were floating down the river. Araeen admitted watching the pieces of plastic and wood floating on the water became an obsession. He was enthralled the way the objects drifted because of the wind and the water.

The discs were seen as the city evolving in relation to the migrants arriving from Europe, East Asia, the Caribbean Islands and Africa. These individuals formed clusters and settled into different areas in London. Araeen saw a direct correlation between these individuals and the way the objects in the water moved and rearranged themselves.

The ideas concerning migration will probably resonate with people in the present day. Araeen’s work is an incredibly important reminder that creative achievement can be found through the interdependence of humans. Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection Exhibition is reflecting the works of numerous artists of greatness.