The Iraqi-born, Abu Dhabi-based artist Rand Abdul Jabbar has been named the winner of the second Richard Mille Art Prize. She was awarded the $60,000 prize in a lavish ceremony at the Louvre Abu Dhabi, where an exhibition of work by the 10 shortlisted artists also took place.
Abdul Jabbar was born in Baghdad and moved to Abu Dhabi aged five. After studying architecture at Columbia University in New York, she returned to Abu Dhabi, where she continues to live and work.
Her work exhibited as part of the prize, Earthly Wonders, Celestial Beings, is a collection of dozens of handmade clay objects, whose forms echo objects from ancient Mesopotamia. “A lot of my work engages with historic accounts and memory,” she told The Art Newspaper at the opening of the exhibition, “the tangible remains of history and the more ephemeral remains.”
Abdul Jabbar says, “I am grateful to be recognised 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.”
This is the second year of the prize, which is organised by the Louvre Abu Dhabi with the watchmakers Richard Mille. Open to artists across the Gulf region, it aims to “support the exciting and richly nuanced local art scenes that are thriving in the Gulf and help share their creativity with the world,” says Peter Harrison, chief executive of Richard Mille EMEA. The first winner of the prize was Nasser Alzayani.
The open call for the next prize will start from 30 March—the theme will be ‘transparency’.