Abraaj Capital Art Prize – first deadline 31 January 2011

Announcement of dates for artists & curators to apply

Curators’ applications accepted from January 1 – 31, 2011
Artists’ applications accepted from February 1 – April 30, 2011

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The Abraaj Capital Art Prize, established by the Dubai-based private equity firm Abraaj Capital, is opening up applications for independent curators and artists to apply for its 4th edition. One of the most generous art prizes in the world, the prize is extending its reach to provide the most dynamic creative collaborations between international curators and artists from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA).

Calling Curators

For the first time, curators can apply for the position of annual guest curator of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize. This position allows the winning curator to work directly with the five winning artists on the development of their artworks over the production period, culminating in an exhibition during Art Dubai 2012. The curator will also be responsible for editing and providing content for the catalogue. Curators can originate from any country in the world and be based anywhere. There are no specific curatorial qualifications required, but applicants are expected to have quantifiable experience in the field of curating on an international level, and have an active interest in the development of artistic practice in the MENASA.

Calling Artists

Artists originating (first generation) from the MENASA are invited to apply with a proposal for an as yet unrealised project which is able to be created in advance of Art Dubai 2012. Countries in the MENASA are defined as: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Time spent within the MENASA during the production period is preferred, as is an engagement with the region. Proposals cannot be part of an ongoing series, nor be shown in public in advance of the official unveiling. The winning artworks go on to form part of the Abraaj Capital Corporate Collection, and need to be of a size and form suitable to be stored and shipped easily. Neither ephemeral artworks with a short lifespan nor multi-media artworks are encouraged. Applications are only accepted by individual artists.


We are introducing a nominating system for this round of applications. Nominators consist of a wide range of art professionals based across the MENASA and internationally, who have no direct commercial interest in artists they nominate. Artists still submit applications themselves, but should consult an accredited nominator in advance to support their submission, who needs to be mentioned on their application. More details to follow when the application process opens.

All applications must be made electronically via the online system within the set deadline. A list of materials required for submission and the selection criteria for both curator & artist applications can be sent by request.

The 2011 winners of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize, whose works will be unveiled at Art Dubai in March 2011, are Shezad Dawood, Nadia Kaabi-Linke, Jananne Al-Ani, Hamra Abbas and Timo Nasseri. The guest curator is Sharmini Pereira.

Laura Egerton, Curator, Abraaj Capital Art Prize

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PO Box 504905 Dubai, United Arab Emirates
+971 45064600
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