Maya Allison is founding Executive Director of The NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery and Chief Curator at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), a degree-granting research university in the liberal arts tradition. NYUAD shapes its scholarly and creative endeavors through an intercultural and multidisciplinary lens. The university has a deep commitment to support the work of UAE artists, and will launch an MFA program next year. Here, The NYUAD Art Gallery connects disciplines and integrates global and local dialogues in its exhibitions both in the main gallery, and the Project Space, as well as supporting emerging artists with the annual Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award.
Allison’s curatorial specializations intersect two areas: artistic communities, and installation art. Her most recent project, Speculative Landscapes (NYUAD Art Gallery, 2019) gathered four rising UAE-based artists who work in immersive, experimental installation. Her curatorial projects that included book-length publications include Slavs and Tatars: Mirrors for Princes (Curator, JRP Ringier/NYUAD Art Gallery, 2015), Diana Al-Hadid: Phantom Limb (Curator, Skira / NYUAD Art Gallery, 2016), But We Cannot See Them: Tracing a UAE Art Community, 1988-2008 (Lead Curator, NYUAD Art Gallery, 2017), and Zimoun (Curator, NYUAD Art Gallery, 2019).
Outside the university, she has guest-curated a number of projects in the UAE, including Artists and the Cultural Foundation: The Early Years (Lead Curator, with book publication, Cultural Foundation Abu Dhabi, 2018), a 30-year survey of 18 UAE artists.