Louvre Abu Dhabi to launch ‘Stories of paper’ exhibition in April

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In a partnership with Musee du Louvre in Paris and France Museums, Louvre Abu Dhabi will launch its ‘Stories of Paper’ exhibition on April 20, which is set to run until July 24, Emirates News Agency WAM reported on Sunday.

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The exhibition, which will also include the collaboration of 16 French and international institutions and private collections, will explore a vast range of artistic expressions of paper, aiming to cultivate the visitor’s knowledge of a familiar material in the digital age.

“This exhibition reflects on paper being one of humanity’s most important inventions, helping to document and preserve material for thousands of years,” Victor Hundsbuckler, one the exhibition’s curators who also works as a Curator at the department of Drawings and Prints at the Musee du Louvre, said in a statement carried by WAM.

Around 100 art pieces and objects such as books and manuscripts will be displayed. The exhibition will also include 13 contemporary artworks and art installations made of paper.

“If there is one material that is a common ground for the human race, it is most certainly paper,” said exhibition curator and General Curator and Director of the Department of Drawings and Prints Xavier Salmon.

“Paper was invented in China around 200 B.C., and rapidly made its way to Korea and Japan then eventually along the Silk Road. From there, the Islamic world absorbed this material, and stretched its use across the Middle East and along the coasts of the Mediterranean. Years later, in the 11th century, the first paper mills were documented in Al Andalus. Shortly after, in the 13th and 14th centuries, the advancement of mass paper production took place in Italy and France and the demand for paper grew expeditiously worldwide,” he explained.

People walk at the Louvre Abu Dhabi in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, November 6, 2017. Picture taken November 6, 2017. (Reuters)
People walk at the Louvre Abu Dhabi in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, November 6, 2017. Picture taken November 6, 2017. (Reuters)

The artwork that will be displayed as part of the exhibition come from collections of the Musee du Louvre and 15 other leading cultural institutions and private collections including Louvre Abu Dhabi, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Centre Georges Pompidou, Sharjah Art Foundation and Zayed National Museum.

The ‘Stories of Paper’ exhibit will be spread across 12 different sections, all of which highlight the key qualities and varied use of paper across centuries. The themed sections are: Plant-based origin, A Humble Material, Color, Movement, Relationship With Light, An Untruthful Material, Memory, Fragility and Resilience, Space, Possibility of Collection, A Medium for Reproducing Artworks, and A Malleable Medium.

“It is entirely appropriate that paper should be the subject of Louvre Abu Dhabi’s second exhibition of 2022 - exploring a single medium and the specific techniques that encompass it,” Manuel Rabate, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, was quoted by WAM as saying.

“The history of paper, an invention that transcended geography in its journey from East to West while transforming cultures and societies in the process, exemplifies the stories of cultural interaction and intellectual exchange that the museum is committed to examining,” he added.

Some of the exhibit’s highlights will include a selection of artworks from the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection such as Pablo Picasso’s Portrait of a Woman (1928) and two Japanese prints by artist Katsushika Hokusai, among others.

It will also showcase some pieces from international lenders, including a panorama on seventeen panels of Carmontelle’s Figures Walking in a Parkland (1795), a nineteenth century manuscript folded in the manner of a screen from Burma and Munagat Ali, a Quran written in fingernail calligraphy.

The exhibit will run from April 20 to July 24, 2022, and adults (18 years old and above) will need to visit the museum’s official website to book and buy tickets. Entry will be free for children under the age of 18.

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