In the presence of His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa, Chairman of UAE Unlimited, an art collector, and a patron of the Centre Pompidou, the British Museum and Sharjah Art Foundation, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Swiss watchmaking brand Richard Mille have announced Rand Abdul Jabbar as the winner of the second edition of the Richard Mille Art Prize, at an exclusive ceremony that took place at Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Rand Abdul Jabbar was one of ten artists shortlisted to showcase her work, Earthly Wonders, Celestial Beings (2019 – ongoing), in the Art Here 2022 exhibition in October 2022.

Born in Baghdad, Rand Abdul Jabbar borrows from and reconstructs the ephemera of place, history, and memory, employing design, sculpture, and installation as primary mediums of operation. Examining and engaging with historic, cultural, and archaeological narratives, she interrogates the fragility of tangible heritage to create and compose forms that draw on artefacts, architecture, and mythology. Simultaneously, she explores and contests with individual and collective memory to produce fragmentary reconstructions of historic events and past experiences.

To date, the artist has had her work exhibited at Shubbak Festival (UK), SAVVY Contemporary (Germany), Rabat Biennale (Morocco), Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans (France), Abu Dhabi Art, Jameel Arts Centre, NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, and Warehouse 421 (UAE). She has also conducted art residencies with the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art (Singapore), Warehouse 421, the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation and the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation (UAE).

Rand Abdul Jabbar was selected by a distinguished five-member jury featuring HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, Chairman of UAE Unlimited, an art collector, and a patron of the Centre Pompidou, the British Museum and Sharjah Art Foundation, Morad Montazami, a curator, art historian, publisher and director of Zamân Books & Curating, Hala Wardé, founding architect of HW Architecture, long-term partner of Jean Nouvel and the lead of the Louvre Abu Dhabi project, Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Director of Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management at Louvre Abu Dhabi, and Reem Fadda, Director of the Cultural Foundation and curator of Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2022. 

Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management Director at Louvre Abu Dhabi said: “The second edition of the Richard Mille Art Prize and Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here has been a resounding success. The response this year has been outstanding, and I am honoured to be part of the jury that gets to witness this level of creativity and authenticity first-hand. These artists have engaged with the brief so wonderfully, and you can see how the theme of icon and iconic has deeply resonated with them. Through this exhibition, we have been enabled to foster creativity, dialogue, and diversity, further bolstering our mission to identify opportunities that inspires and supports our communities. Providing a platform for artists to demonstrate their work has always been a major tenet for us at Louvre Abu Dhabi, and I am looking forward to seeing all that these artists will achieve in the near future.”

Peter Harrison, CEO, Richard Mille EMEA said: “Rand Abduljabbar delivered outstanding works of art that push the boundaries of contemporary creativity while exploring this year’s thematic Icon/Iconics. Seeing this architectural masterpiece Louvre Abu Dhabi from a near distance, we award the second winner of the Richard Mille Art Prize. This is a celebration of our ten-year partnership with Louvre Abu Dhabi and 10 incredibly Artists. Together we celebrated Rand’s crowning as the second Richard Mille Art Prize winner” He concluded “I am certain that Rand will join Nasser Alzayani, our first Art Prize winner, in paving the way for the next wave of Middle Eastern contemporary artists, both regionally and globally.”

Manuel Rabaté, Director, Louvre Abu Dhabi said: “Since our inception, Louvre Abu Dhabi has always sought to connect artists and audiences through inspiring, participatory, and creative platforms. Our Art Here exhibition and the Richard Mille Art Prize, held in partnership with Richard Mille, are two fine examples of how we are continually enabling artists in the region to showcase the depth and breadth of their creativity to our local and global audiences. It is incredible to witness the success of this edition and to see Rand Abdul Jabbar receive the art prize, which further inspires us as a museum to expand on our mission to bring communities together and foster cultural exchange.”

Rand Abdul Jabbar, winner of the second edition of The Richard Mille Art Prize, said: “I am grateful to be recognized amongst a group of peers for whom I have deep respect and admiration. The Richard Mille Art Prize represents a significant investment in the growth and development of an artist’s practice, instilling both the capacity and drive to forge ahead in their pursuit. I would like to thank Louvre Abu Dhabi and Richard Mille for their generous support, and acknowledge the esteemed jury for their trust.”

For its second edition, Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2022 invited artists to propose new or existing artworks that engage with the notions of icon and iconic. The artworks explored how the concept of the icon resonates within contemporary art practices and how it informs new artistic perspectives.

Artworks featured in the second edition of Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here 2022 included: Between Desert Seas (2021) by Ayman Zedani, Camoulflage: The Fourth Pillar (2022) by Zeinab Alhashemi, Wall House (2022) by Vikram Divecha, Xylophone (2022) and the Reino Plantae series (2021) by Elizabeth Dorazio, Sidelines (2016) by Manal AlDowayan, Break the Atom and Vegetal Life (After Zeid) (2022) by Simrin Mehra Agarwal, Standing by the Ruins (2022) by Dana Awartani, Weighing the Line (2022) by Afra Al Dhaheri, Earthly Wonders, Celestial Beings (2019 – ongoing) by Rand Abdul Jabbar, and A Still Life of an Ever-changing Crop Field (2022) by Shaikha Al Mazrou.

Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here is an annual exhibition and art prize which will serve as a platform to showcase contemporary artists from the region working in a variety of media. Each year the exhibition will see several artists selected through an open call for proposals, each exhibiting one artwork in the Forum, a space of interaction and exchange within Louvre Abu Dhabi, dedicated to contemporary art.

The theme of the third edition of the Richard Mille Art Prize and the Louvre Abu Dhabi Art Here exhibition for 2023 is Transparency. Curated by Maya El Khalil, the open call for the upcoming edition will start from 30 March 2023.