Italian artist Guiseppe Penone and American aritst Jenny Holzer have created site-specific installations for the Jean Nouvel-designed Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is scheduled to open in 2017.
Commissioned by the Louvre Abu Dhabi, artworks will be exhibited both indoors and outdoors, among the French architect’s ‘museum city’, which will feature streets, plazas and waterways in addition to the world-famous museum.
Guiseppe Penone has created ‘Germination’ – a four-part installation inspired by the artist’s fascination with nature and natural materials. ‘Leaves of Light’ is the central element of the installation – a vast bronze tree that interacts with Nouvel’s architectural design through the use of mirrors which are placed on its branches, reflecting the dome’s ‘Rain of Light’.
The tree will soar towards the dome, covering the museum’s outdoor walkways.
“The artworks that I have developed for Louvre Abu Dhabi aim to inscribe themselves in the place, underscoring aspects of its architectural form and content. The pieces that make up Germination echo the museum’s universal spirit,” Giuseppe Penone said.
Penone has created several other works including a wall of porcelain tiles featuring circles drawn using the fingerprint of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.
Artist Jenny Holzer has also created an installation for the museum comprising of three engraved stone walls of texts from important historical sources from across the globe.
Some of the excerpts include Ibn Khaldun’s ‘Muqaddimah’ from the Atif Efendi Library collection in Istanbul, the Mesopotamian bilingual (Acadian / Sumerian) ‘Creation Myth’ tablet from the Vorderasiatisches Museum in Berlin, and the 1588 annotated edition of Michel de Montaigne’s ‘Essais’ from the Bordeaux Municipal Library.
“I made my walls in close relation to Jean Nouvel’s building, which I saw as an ideal archaic village under a most beautiful futuristic sky dome,” Holzer described.
Works from the permanent collection will be displayed alongside these commissions in the outdoor areas of the museum. Recreating the atmosphere of an Islamic courtyard, an Ottoman octagonal fountain and pavement will be integrated in a contemporary scenography flooded with light.
Overlooking the Arabian Gulf, Louvre Abu Dhabi is designed as a ‘museum city’ with its contrasting series of white buildings inspired by the medina (city) and low-lying Arab settlements.
Visitors can wander from the indoor galleries, to the open-air areas of the museum, which are cooled by traditional Arabic architectural techniques. The museum will also offer temporary exhibitions, a children’s museum, restaurants, a shop, promenades and gardens.