Louvre Abu Dhabi has commissioned two internationally acclaimed artists to create site-specific artworks that will be displayed in the museum when opening in 2017. Giuseppe Penone and Jenny Holzer have worked closely with the Louvre Abu Dhabi team to develop sculptures and installations reflecting the universal stories of the museum and in harmony with the iconic building. These are the first commissions for Louvre Abu Dhabi which will through a diversity of artists, reflect the universal nature of the museum.
HE Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, said: “In line with Louvre Abu Dhabi’s ambition to reflect the universal nature of art making, we have commissioned contemporary works by the internationally renowned artists, Giuseppe Penone and Jenny Holzer. The artists’ works are inspired by the museum’s iconic architecture and diverse stories and play an important role in connecting the cultures and civilisations of our past with the relevant ongoing conversations and artistic practices of today.”
Italian artist Giuseppe Penone has created Germination, a four-part installation that reveals the artist’s fascination with the use of organic materials, such as trees, to highlight the connection between man, nature and art. The central element of the installation is Penone’s Leaves of Light, a vast bronze tree which interacts with Jean Nouvel’s architectural design through mirrors placed on its branches reflecting the ‘Rain of Light.’ Soaring towards the dome covering the museum’s outdoor walkways, the tree becomes a symbol of life, as shared by all cultures.
Giuseppe Penone commented: “The artworks that I have developed for Louvre Abu Dhabi aim to inscribe themselves in the place, underscoring aspects of its architectural form and content. The pieces that make up Germination echo the museum’s universal spirit.”
American artist Jenny Holzer has created three engraved stone walls of texts from important historical sources from across the world. The walls will feature excerpts from Ibn Khaldun’s Muqaddimah from the Atif Efendi Library collection in Istanbul, the Mesopotamian bilingual Creation Myth tablet from the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin, and the 1588 annotated edition of Michel de Montaigne’s Essais from the Bordeaux Municipal Library.
“It’s delightful to work on this significant new museum. Louvre Abu Dhabi set an ambitious agenda for itself, and raises lively questions about museums and civilisations. It’s a privilege and a challenge to realise an installation that joins Jean Nouvel’s architecture and that speaks with the fantastic works the museum will display. I made my walls in close relation to Jean Nouvel’s building, which I saw as an ideal archaic village under a most beautiful futuristic sky dome.” said Holzer of her upcoming collaberation.