Saudi Arabia: Major artists to exhibit art installations at AlUla’s Arts Valley
June 28, 2022 - Tala Michel Issa, Al Arabiya English
Major artists have signed up to exhibit their artwork in Saudi Arabia’s AlUla following the launch of the Arts Valley Project.
The Royal Commission of AlUla announced the launch of the 25-square-mile project on Tuesday, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.
Major artists including James Turrell and Michael Heizer will be among the artists who will permanently install their pieces in the northwestern desert area over the next couple of years, the Wall Street Journal reported late Monday.
Turrell told WSJ in an interview that the Kingdom’s “diplomatic or nationalistic tendencies” could be propelling the timing and backing of Wadi al-Fann, which translates to the Valley of the Arts in English.
“I have shown in Moscow, Shanghai, Beijing – places where I doubt I could show today. It is possible for art to bridge large cultural gaps,” he added.
Saudi officials have also enlisted Iwona Blazwick, former director of London’s Whitechapel Art Gallery, to curate the project and chair the RCU’s panel of art experts.
In addition to Turrell and Michael Heizer, conceptual artist Agnes Denes and Saudi artists Manal al-Dowayan and Ahmed Mater will install massive pieces at the arts valley. More artists will eventually be added to the valley’s programming, Blazwick said.
“I don’t think there’s anywhere else in the world featuring all these titans,” she said. “It’s going to be remarkable to see them in these surroundings.”
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