Press Release

The NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Art Gallery presents the only constant, with Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Patty Chang, Gil Heitor Cortesã, Sharon Lockhart, Taus Makhacheva, Haroon Mirza, Clifford Ross, Thomas Struth, and Vivek Vilasini.



International exhibitions

International Archives 1st half of 2023

The only constant

NYU Art Gallery, Abou Dabi (United Arab Emirates)

22.02 - 04.06.2023




Curated by Maya Allison (Executive Director of The NYUAD Art Gallery), this exhibition is part of her ongoing study of landscape in contemporary art. For the only constant she explains: “he artists here confront contemporary landscape as a site of profound tension: we change the landscape, and it changes us. Even as we might long for an untouched paradise, humans build futuristic utopias. My concept for this exhibition grew out of Tarek Al-Ghoussein’ Al Sawaber series, through which runs a theme: utopia and paradise arrive, and then depart (change is the only constant). This tension is fundamental to questions we face as humans on this planet.”

Allison continued: “he artists here engage with landscape to transform looking into witnessing: to observe whorls of pollution recorded on delicate rice paper (Vivek Vilasini); washing an entire ship’ hull by hand, to acknowledge the loss of the Aral Sea (Patty Chang); or to closely examine each detail of a dense landscape, at night (Sharon Lockhart). The exhibition begins with the idea of paradise (Thomas Struth), opposite the roiling power of an untamable sea (Clifford Ross). It begins and ends in technological aspiration, and the incomprehensible imprint of our existence on our planet. Taus Makhacheva asks ‘hen is land an object to be owned or a territory to be marked?’Without humans to damage the landscape, abandoned luxury homes would have incredible views (Gil Heitor Cortesão). What if we were to surround the sun in solar panels, and block out the light? The exhibition ends with Haroon Mirza visualizing this question in a living garden, fed by light from those solar panels.”

Established in 2014, The NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Art Gallery is the first of its kind in the Gulf, and among the only university galleries in the region with a program of scholarly and experimental museum exhibitions. Supporting the progress made by other arts institutions within the UAE, the NYUAD Art Gallery and the projects it supports serve the local arts community as a testing ground for new and innovative curatorial approaches that nourish the dialogue around exhibition practice. The program is recognized for mapping new territories and ideas, presenting exhibitions by internationally established artists, curators, and scholars. A regular book publication program is a core part of its curatorial frame within its academic mission. In addition, its auxiliary venue, the Project Space, is an exhibition laboratory for UAE-based artists and curators. Situated within NYU Abu Dhabi, the community of which hails from over 130 countries, the Gallery, the Project Space, and the Gallery's Reading Room collectively open up artistic opportunities and initiate local and global dialogue.

Exhibition 24 February -04 June 2023. NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, Saadiyat Island - Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). T +971 2 628 8000. Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 12–8pm.






The only constant, NYU Art Gallery, Abou Dabi (United Arab Emirates)

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2023. All Rights Reserved

Patty Chang, Invocation For A Wandering Lake, part 1 & 2, 2015–2016. Video projection on cardboard bifold panels, sound, 12:49 min. Courtesy of the artist.  

Patty Chang, Invocation For A Wandering Lake, part 1 & 2, 2015–2016. Video projection on cardboard bifold panels, sound, 12:49 min. Courtesy of the artist.