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25 June 2024

Guggenheim museum buys UAE artist's work

The anonymity of the desert in the artwork offered a perfect stage for investigation. (SUPPLIED)

By Staff Writer

A work by artist-photographer Tarek Al Ghoussein, Associate Professor of Design at the American University of Sharjah, has been bought by New York's Guggenheim museum for its permanent collection.

The piece, Untitled 5, is part of the D Series of 2008. Al Ghoussein studied art in New York in the early 1980s and his work has since been exhibited around the world.

"Obviously it's a great honour and very exciting for me to be included in the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York," said Al Ghoussein, who works at the university's School of Architecture and Design (SA&D). "Since 2003, I have explored various aspects of identity through my work as a photographer.

"The rapid transformation of the UAE has been a catalyst and a starting point for an investigation into issues related to my own personal relation to land and place. The anonymity of the desert has offered the perfect stage for the investigation.

"The D Series continues the exploration by examining the relationship between the subject and space, particularly the relationship between the solitary figure and the temporary boundaries that define a place. The series has allowed me to explore how the individual both affects and is affected by space."

School Dean Peter Di Sabatino said: "This is a great achievement not only for Tarek but also for SA&D. It follows on from the acclaim his work has received internationally and reaffirms the calibre of the faculty members here. It is indeed an honour to have one's work as part of the permanent collection there."

Di Sabatino said the school's faculty members, students and alumni had acquired a reputation for excellence in their work and continued to win accolades around the world.

"The fact that our faculty and students exhibit their work at prominent venues internationally proves that SA&D has become a centre recognised for nurturing and fostering creativity," he said.


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