The first exhibition from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi launched back in 2014. Seeing Through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection attracted more than 90,000 visitors, with works from huge names such as Yayoi Kusama.
Two years later, the museum has launched its second major exhibition, The Creative Act: Performance • Process • Presence, showcasing more of its much talked-about collection that will be displayed in the museum once it opens.
The new exhibition brings together 19 artists from around the world, and with works ranging from installations, paintings, photographs and sculptures to videos, all focusing on the inter-linked themes of performance, the process of creating art and the presence of the artists within the works themselves. Here, we take a closer look at some of the pieces on display.
Chakras I, (1969-70) by Rasheed Araeen
Rasheed Araeen, the artist of Pakistani origin based in London, has always invited people to participate in his shows. For this particular work, he asked viewers to toss 16 red disks into London’s River Thames. The floating discs were said to be symbolic of the arrival of immigrants to the UK.
Chiinsei Botaich (1961) by Shiraga Kazu
The late Japanese artist was known for his live-action painting events. Audiences would watch as he hung, suspended from the ceiling by a rope, while using his feet to run through paint on canvas sheets to create his art. In this painting, blues and blacks are punctuated by dramatic splashes of white and red and areas of the canvas have transparent black washes that evoke ink painting.
Directions (2002) by Mohammed Kazem
The Emirati artist uses everyday life and objects to capture his performances, many of which include himself as a subject. The inspiration for this piece stems from an incident when Kazem fell overboard during a fishing trip. The installation includes a short, colour video with sound, four chromogenic prints, and two acrylic-on-wood panels.
My Red Homeland (2003) by Anish Kapoor
Kapoor is known for his monumental sculptures and installations. My Red Homeland uses an incredible 25 tons of red, oil-based painted wax. A massive steel block moves slowly over a circular platform with a diameter of 12 metres and pushes through the wax in its path. It requires viewers to become participants rather than mere spectators, making them conscious of their position in space and their size as they walk around it.
Notations (2011) by Susan Hefuna
German-Egyptian visual artist Susan Hefuna collaborated with choreographer Luca Veggetti for this series of work, which is inspired by the movement of dancers. She mapped their routine by overlaying her signature dot-and-line drawing method on paper with ink and graphite.
Pirodactyl over New York (1962) by Niki de Saint Phalle
This piece of art is from the late French sculptor’s Tir (Shooting Paintings) series. De Saint Phalle would fill polythene bags – shaped like human beings or objects – with paint, fix them onto plaster-covered panels and shoot at them with a 22-calibre rifle. The result was something unique and impossible to recreate. This particular work is an outspoken comment on the ongoing threat of violence in the nuclear age.
Free. Daily 9am-8pm. Until Jul 29. Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi, www.saadiyatculturaldistrict.ae (02 657 5800).