Major permanent installations by the US artist Jenny Holzer and the Italian sculptor Giuseppe Penone will go on show next year in the Louvre Abu Dhabi as part of the museums contemporary art commissions programme. Holzer will unveil three stone walls inscribed with ancient text, while Penones four-part installation includes a vast bronze tree.
The new museum is due to open in 2017 on Saadiyat Island according to the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority, which is developing the new museum and culture quarter. The long-awaited launch of the new institution, the result of an intergovernmental agreement between Abu Dhabi and France signed in 2007, comes after years of delays.
A museum spokeswoman says: We expect to announce the official opening date soon. Construction is in its final stages, and once handed over, the building will then enter the important preparation phase that includes testing, art installation and development of the visitor experience.
The new works will be displayed outside, underneath the dramatic dome of the new museum, which has been designed by the French architect Jean Nouvel as a museum city, comprising streets, plazas and waterways.
The [building] will be illuminated by an enchanting, shifting rain of light, reminiscent of mashrabiya [wooden screens] and the beams of light that illuminate souks, according to a statement on the Louvre Abu Dhabi website.
Penones tree piece will be dotted with mirrors, interacting with Nouvels latticed architectural roof design. The Italian artist will also unveil a wall of porcelain tiles, titled Propagation, made in collaboration with the Svres ceramics workshop in France.
Holzers wall piece includes excerpts from Ibn Khaldun's Muqaddimah drawn 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 housed in the Bibliothque Municipale de Bordeaux.
She says in a statement: Jean Nouvels walls were described as perfect pages. I agree. These works carry the permanence of carving important content from around the globe and through time."