Abu Dhabi - Louvre Abu Dhabi has commissioned two internationally acclaimed artists to create site-specific artworks that will be displayed in the museum when opening in 2017.
Jean Nouvel's 'museum city' with its streets, plazas and waterways will feature artworks exhibited both inside the galleries as well as outside.
Giuseppe Penone and Jenny Holzer have worked closely with the Louvre Abu Dhabi team to develop sculptures and installations reflecting the universal stories of the museum and in harmony with the iconic building.
These are the first of a number of commissions for Louvre Abu Dhabi which will through a diversity of artists, reflect the universal nature of the museum.
HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, chairperson of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), said: “In line with Louvre Abu Dhabi's ambition to reflect the universal nature of art making, we have commissioned contemporary works by the internationally renowned artists, Giuseppe Penone and Jenny Holzer.
“The artists' works are inspired by the museum's iconic architecture and diverse stories and play an important role in connecting the cultures and civilisations of our past with the relevant ongoing conversations and artistic practices of today.”
Italian artist Giuseppe Penone (Garessio, 1947), one of the youngest members of the Arte Povera movement, has created Germination, a four-part installation that reveals the artist's fascination with the use of organic materials, such as trees, to highlight the connection between man, nature and art.
Giuseppe Penone commented: “The artworks that I have developed for Louvre Abu Dhabi aim to inscribe themselves in the place, underscoring aspects of its architectural form and content. The pieces that make up Germination echo the museum's universal spirit.”
American artist Jenny Holzer (Ohio, 1950), known for her artwork that has been widely exhibited at international exhibitions, has created three engraved stone walls of texts from important historical sources from across the world.
Jenny Holzer commented: “My goal is to pay homage to Louvre Abu Dhabi's architecture and to foreground the museum's core concept - the cultural dialogue between civilisations - while focusing on how this dialogue was and is realised with words. Jean Nouvel's walls were described as “perfect pages.” I agree. These artworks carry the permanence of carving important content from around the globe and through time.”
Overlooking the Arabian Gulf, Louvre Abu Dhabi is designed as a 'museum city' with its contrasting series of white buildings inspired by the medina (city) and low-lying Arab settlements.
Visitors can wander from the indoor galleries, to the open-air areas of the museum, which are cooled by traditional Arabic architectural techniques. The museum will also offer temporary exhibitions, a children's museum, restaurants, a shop, promenades and gardens.
Adapted from a press release for IOL