On Site: NYUAD Art Gallery's Inaugural Exhibition

New York University Abu Dhabi opened its new Art Gallery with a show that takes Saadiyat Island as its starting point.
Dec 2014

New York University Abu Dhabi opened its NYUAD Art Gallery on 1 November 2014 with the inauguration of the exhibition titled On Site.

The exhibition, which will run until January 17, 2015, features paintings, photography, projection, and several large-scale installations by: Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim, Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Basim Magdy, Rashid Rana, and Mary Temple.

Gallery Director and Chief Curator Maya Allison said that NYUAD’s location on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island serves as the inspiration for On Site, which includes artworks about landscape and the built environment. “I was reflecting on how we understand an artwork to be about a unique landscape, such as a lush garden or a desert island, and how we view a site as historic or new,” Allison said. “These questions are mirrored in NYUAD’s new Saadiyat campus, a multifaceted location that is itself garden and desert, cultural crossroads among new developments, on an island that is both a repository of significant local memories and part of the UAE’s vision for Abu Dhabi’s future.”

On Site is the first show in a multi-year program planned for the gallery, which will present curated exhibitions of art and material culture across historical and contemporary topics, with a special emphasis on subjects of both regional concern and international significance. The first few years will center on three themes: landscape and the built environment, Islamic art and culture, and art in global dialogue. The curatorial platform supports scholarly and experimental installations, artists’ projects, guest curators, and landmark exhibitions. Through focused exhibitions, events, and publications, the gallery will serve as a catalyst and locus of intellectual and creative activity, linking the University with the Abu Dhabi public and a worldwide community of artists, curators, and scholars.

Located at the main entrance to NYUAD’s Saadiyat Campus, the 664-square-meter (7,000-square-foot) gallery space features soaring double-height ceilings and an outdoor exhibition space in its courtyard. It is fully equipped for exhibitions in all media, with flexible walls and lighting offering freedom for experimental and traditional installations, from video art to ancient works.

More information:

(From press information)

On Site

Inaugural Exhibition

1 November 2014 -
17 January 2015

NYUAD Art Gallery
New York University Abu Dhabi
Saadiyat Island, Building A4, Art Gallery Offices
PO Box 129188
United Arab Emirates
Website /

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