Ithra unveils Nadia Kaabi-Linke’s Ithra Art Prize-winning piece at the inaugural edition of the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale
- Presented by the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, the Ithra Art Prize winning artwork will be unveiled at the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale, through Ithra's partnership with the Diriyah Biennale Foundation
- The winning artwork will be on display at the Biennale throughout the opening months, until March 11, 2022The Ithra Art Prize, one of the most significant globally, expanded its 4th edition to 22 Arab countries
- E Pluribus Unum – A Modern Fossil is the winner artwork from Nadia Kaabi-Linke displayed at Saudi Arabia’s first biennale until March 11, 2022, the work will then join Ithra’s permanent collection
DHAHRAN, SAUDI ARABIA, December 11, 2021 – The King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture (known as Ithra) is excited to unveil Nadia Kaabi-Linke’s E Pluribus Unum – A Modern Fossil, the winning artwork of the 4th edition of the Ithra Art Prize, at the inaugural Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale on December 11. One of the most significant art prizes in the Arab world, Kaabi-Linke received a USD$100,000 grant to bring her proposal to life.
E Pluribus Unum – A Modern Fossil takes a reflective look at one of the effects of the pandemic, which continues to impact commercial air travel and highlights questions about how humanity measures progress. The monumental work consists of 19 canvases depicting the cracks in a sign bearing an arrow, a symbol associated with the aviation industry and with economic growth and has us reflect on our priorities.
“Ithra’s goal is to ignite cultural curiosity, stimulate knowledge exploration and inspire creativity, while encouraging the development of original content across several creative fields, with an emphasis on the arts,” said Head of Ithra Museum, Farah Abushullaih. “Ithra’s Museum works to bridge the past with the present, and the present with the future, all the while engaging with world cultures and honoring Saudi Arabia’s rich heritage and cultural history,” she said, adding: “The Ithra Art Prize is proof of this commitment to support and develop the creative landscape in the Kingdom and beyond. We are delighted to share Kaabi-Linke’s winning artwork with the world for the first time, and proud to be able to expose talent from the Arab world on an international platform.”
Kaabi-Linke, a Tunisian-Ukrainian conceptual artist based in Berlin, said: “The Ithra Art Prize empowered me to get over boundaries in a way I never thought possible to date,” said Nadia Kaabi-Linke. Nadia continue by saying, “In the end, I can say that I have produced one of my most complex and detailed paintings in about two months, but different from previous works, this piece is almost 20 meters long. This unique experience was as challenging as rewarding in the end. Thank you, Ithra Art Prize, for bringing this project to life. I know it is in the best hands now.”
Kaabe-Linke studied fine arts in Tunis and holds a PhD from the Sorbonne in Paris. She grew up in Tunis, Kyiv, Dubai and Paris, and has exhibited widely in several renowned global art institutions, including at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and the Centre Pompidou in Paris. E Pluribus Unum – A Modern Fossil will join Ithra’s prestigious permanent collection.
Her winning artwork, E Pluribus Unum – A Modern Fossil, takes a reflective look at one of the effects of the pandemic, the decline in commercial air traffic, which raises questions about how humanity measures progress and economic growth.
The Ithra Art Prize was originated as a competition for Saudi and Saudi-based contemporary artists. This is the first year the competition opened up to artists from 22 Arab countries and presented at the Kingdom’s first biennale, Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale organized by Diriyah Biennale Foundation. Ayman Zedani (Mēem, 2018), Daniah Al Saleh (Sawtam, 2019) and Fahad bin Naif (Rakhm, 2020) previously won the prize.
The Ithra Art Prize winning work is displayed at the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale, which runs until March 11, 2022. For more information on Ithra and its programs, visit www.ithra.com.