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Thursday, December 1, 2011

A CENTURY-OLD MONUMENT HIGHLIGHTS ABU DHABI’S AMBITION


A century-old monument highlights Abu Dhabi’s ambition
There is a fascinating resonance between the wild, ambitious idealism that once inspired Tatlin’s tower, and the 'remarkable, miraculous, limitless possibility of thinking' that has inspired the development Saadiyat Island

By Henry Hemming. Web only
Published online: 17 November 2011

ABU DHABI. The most interesting work of art on show at Abu Dhabi Art 2011 is not for sale, it could hardly be more prominent, and yet most visitors give it no more than a passing glance.

Just beyond the main entrance to the Manarat Al-Saadiyat is one of the earliest surviving models of Russian artist Vladimir Tatlin’s The Monument to the Third International, conceived between 1915-20. Though the original disappeared long ago, this ten-foot-tall model was built in 1967 by the Moderna Museet, Stockholm, using extant plans and photographs. The New York-based dealer Tony Shafrazi had the idea of bringing it to Abu Dhabi Art 2011.

What makes the piece so compelling is the relationship between it and its current location. There is a fascinating resonance between the wild, ambitious idealism that once inspired Tatlin’s tower, and what Shafrazi called the “remarkable, miraculous, limitless possibility of thinking” that has inspired the development of Abu Dhabi and in particular Saadiyat Island, now home to Abu Dhabi Art.


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