Artwork from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection will be on display for the first time at an upcoming exhibition that highlights light itself.
The Seeing Through Light exhibit opens at Manarat Al Saadiyat in November and showcases 16 works from the collection as well as two pieces on loan from the institution in New York, the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA) said on Wednesday.
The exhibit will be give visitors a glimpse of what they can expect to experience in the museum, scheduled to open in 2017, said Maisa Al Qasimi, one of the curators.
"Its curatorial narrative and presented notions will create a singular exhibition and will shed light on the path to the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi,” she said.
The selections are a "stepping stone” for the future museum, "where the art presented will be structured under the same transcultural perspective, manner and philosophy,” she said.
Presenting different themes and subjects across cultures and time periods align with the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi's vision, said Ms Al Qasimi, programmes manager for the museum at TCA.
"The Seeing Through Light exhibition will examine the theme of ‘light', which will explore the diverse meanings and associations from the physical to the intellectual and from the spiritual to the scientific,” she said.
The works, dating from the 1960s to today, are divided into five sections examining various aspects of light: Activated, Celestial, Perceptual, Reflected and Transcendent.
Some are installations that immerse the visitor into a certain environment, while video, painting and sculpture is also included.
Among the works is an untitled piece sprayed lacquer on vacuum-formed Plexiglas, lit by white ultra-violet neon, by American artist Doug Wheeler.
Indian artist Bharti Kher's 2012 piece, Redemption is not the only reason to look up into the night sky, consists of four panels of bindis on broken mirrors in stainless steel frames.
A mirror-panelled installation with LED lights and water, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room — Filled with the Brilliance of Life, is also on display.
Other artists represented include Iranians Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian and YZ Fami, as well as Algerian Rachid Koraichi, Canadian Angela Bulloch, American Robert Irwin and the late German artist Otto Piene.
The theme of light is to be more fully explored in the museum itself, TCA said.
Renowned architect Frank Gehry's design for the museum is "a monument to light”, the authority said.
The exhibition "illuminates not only the fabric of the museum itself, but also its cultural direction and broader role in the region's international art scene,” said Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon, the TCA's chairman.
Curators from the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and TCA organised the exhibition.
The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is scheduled to open in 2017 as part of the Saadiyat Island Cultural District, where the Zayed National Museum, Performing Arts Centre and Louvre Abu Dhabi are also planned to open.
Seeing Through Light is free of charge and runs from November 5 to January 19.
Source: The National