Home Arts Shaikha Al Mazrou’s focus on materials and man-made brands

Shaikha Al Mazrou’s focus on materials and man-made brands

by godlove4241
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Ten artists from across the Gulf have been nominated for the second Richard Mille Art Prize. The complete list is available here.

The artists’ works are exhibited at Louvre Abu Dhabi until March 19 and the winner will be announced on March 20.

Hard cushions and soft, supple stone: Shaikha Al Mazrou’s work often disrupts our understanding of materials and their properties. In his 2021 work Pedestal, four Carrara marble columns are crumpled and brought together in a yellow arch. Al Mazrou’s largest sculpture to date, red stack, on display at Frieze Sculpture 2022 in London, is a wobbly stack of red fiberglass cushions. Other works saw forms of folded paper transmuted into steel.

Born and based in Dubai, Al Mazrou obtained her MFA at Chelsea College of Arts in London and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at NYU Abu Dhabi. His work is inspired by minimalism and conceptual art, and by artists such as Paul Klee, Carl Andre and Wassily Kandinsky. She describes her art as “expressions of materiality, articulations of tension and the interplay between form and content”. She often uses mass-produced materials in her work, such as e-waste or building materials, experimenting with these resources to create abstract geometric arrangements.

At Shaikha Al Mazrou A still life of an ever-changing crop field (2022) at Louvre Abu Dhabi

Photo: Augustine Paredes – Seeing things. Courtesy of Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi. Artwork © the artist

His work for the Richard Mille Art Prize, entitled A still life of an ever-changing crop field, is a visual departure from earlier works but retains its focus on materials. Disks of different sizes rest on the floor of the gallery. Made of glazed ceramic, they look like diamonds or buttons; all are inscribed with circular crests.

Al Mazrou took the shapes of the crops planted in the desert, these geometric shapes being a symbol of human intervention, with the arid lands made productive by modern agricultural techniques. The text on the exhibition wall explains: “Fascinated by the mapping of the location of cultures, their systematic placement and their rotations, the artist questions this hybrid creation of modern engineering. These calculated circular shapes are not native to the earth, placed in an environment to which they do not belong and find the place of nature in a world invaded by human imprint.

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