THE 60TH INTERNATIONAL ART EXHIBITION
The National Pavilion UAE has appointed Emirati artist Abdullah Al Saadi to represent the country at the 60th edition of La Biennale di Venezia’s International Art Exhibition, opening in April 2024. Abdullah’s solo exhibition will be curated by Tarek Abou El Fetouh.
Considered a key figure in the development of contemporary art in the UAE, Al Saadi’s prolific practice ranges from painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, and photography, to collecting and cataloguing found objects, and the creation of new alphabets. His work is informed by the UAE’s landscape, heritage, and his own family history, often exploring relationships between individuals and their natural and social environment. His thought-provoking body of work delves into personal constructions of meaning emerging from his immersion in nature, inspiring us to reflect on our relationship to the world. Starting in the 1980s, Al Saadi has consistently created the most distinctive and comprehensive body of work connected to the landscapes of the Arabian Peninsula.
The 2024 exhibition will be curated by Tarek Abou El Fetouh, with whom Al Saadi has recently collaborated on a public intervention in Expo 2020 Dubai with his exhibit titled Terhal which stemmed from the artist’s experience with the UAE’s natural environment. Over the last 25 years, Abou El Fetouh has been dedicated to creating institutional platforms that provide opportunities for contemporary artists in the region through commissions, co-productions, touring projects, residencies, and events. His curatorial practice is influenced by classic Arab intellectual and scientific literature. Tarek Abou El Fetouh was chosen as curator for the National Pavilion UAE’s 2024 participation at the 60th International Art Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia by the artist, in line with the pavilion’s ambition to encourage an artist-led approach.
The 60th International Art Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia will take place from 20 April to 24 November 2024, conceived by Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa, director of the São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP).