Programs & Events
U.S. Ambassador Highlights U.S.-UAE Artistic Ties
Abu Dhabi, November 17
“Connecting people to people through the visual arts advances freedom of expression and invites an exchange of ideas.”
– U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton
As part of his ongoing efforts to build cultural ties between the United States and the United Arab Emirates, U.S. Ambassador Michael H. Corbin is hosting an exhibition of contemporary Emirati and American art at his residence. Beyond the Frame: Contemporary Art in the Emirates is a group exhibit featuring works by seven emerging Emirati artists alongside pieces by two American artists with strong ties to the UAE. The exhibition has been assembled by American curator Isabella Ellaheh Hughes and features works by Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Alanood Abdul-Rahman Al-Hammadi, Fatema Al Mazrouie, Maisoon Al Salah, Sama Alshaibi, Noor Al Suwaidi, Amna Abdullah Al Zaabi, James Clar, and Maitha Demaithan.
Opening the same week as Abu Dhabi Art, Beyond the Frame celebrates the vibrant and ever-growing art scene in the Emirates. This exhibit attests to the importance of art as a vehicle for cultural exchange and diplomacy, as well as the long history of friendship between the United States of America and the United Arab Emirates.
On Thursday, November 17, Ambassador Corbin hosted an opening reception for participating artists, their galleries, attendees at Abu Dhabi Art, and a wide variety of cultural contacts of the Embassy. Among those in attendance were well-known American artists Jeff Koons and Kurt Perschke, as well as representatives of Emirati arts and cultural organizations including the Sharjah Arts Foundation, the Emirates Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Salsali Private Museum, and the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation.
Ambassador Michael H. Corbin said, “I am delighted to host such a varied and exceptional group of works, which dually showcases the conceptual thinking and cutting-edge aspects of American and Emirati contemporary art. This exhibition not only brings together a range of Emirati art rarely seen under one roof, it helps further our work of building bridges of understanding between our two countries.”
Beyond the Frame offers an opportunity to discuss and reflect on the constantly evolving nature of contemporary art in the Emirates, while simultaneously pondering the delicate balance between modernity and tradition, whether through medium used or thematic concepts framed. Many of the artworks presented in Beyond the Frame touch upon issues within the context of the Emirates and its region, yet the questions raised by the artists are of global resonance.
Beyond the Frame will be on display at the Ambassador’s residence through the summer of 2012. In addition to being enjoyed by the many guests who attend diplomatic receptions and other events hosted by Ambassador Corbin, the exhibition will be the focus of a series of programs that will allow students, artists, and others to visit and learn more about the works on display and about Emirati contemporary art.
The homes of U.S. ambassadors around the world usually play host to American art, in exhibitions that are created and curated by the Department of State's Art in Embassies program. Established in 1964, Art in Embassies is a global museum that exhibits original works of art by U.S. citizens in over 175 diplomatic residences worldwide. In 2012, Art in Embassies will return to Abu Dhabi with a new exhibition devoted to contemporary American works.