Bassam Freiha Art Foundation is the capital's new cultural centre

Bassam Freiha Art Foundation is the capital's new cultural centre



Located in the Saadiyat Cultural District, the centre opens on 4 March.

Abu Dhabi is about to get more arty. Bassam Freiha Art Foundation is opening in Saadiyat Cultural District on 4 March. The venue will be the first private art foundation on the island, and was founded by His Excellency Bassam Freiha.

Located in the Cultural District, Bassam Freiha Art Foundation is a non-profit institution. The centre aims to foster a cultural exchange between communities. Plus, it will showcase work by established and emerging artists, and educational programmes. 

Bassam Freiha Art Foundation's first exhibition is Echoes of the Orient, which brings together work from Bassam Freiha's personal private collection. The exhibition has been curated by the centre's Director of Exhibitions, Michaela Watrelot. The artists range from Arab modernists to 19th-century photography. Artists include Bassam Léon Comerre, Rudolphe Ernst, Jan-Baptist Huysmans, Paul Leroy and Fabio Fabbi. 

Michaela explained: "This juxtaposition aims to catalyse a West-East dialogue surrounding the orientalist movement, promote critical thinking about the existing narrative ascribed to the orientalist art, and foster a deeper understanding of cultural exchange which transcends time and geography. The photographs act as a visual bridge between the Orientalist fantasies captured in the paintings and the realities as viewed through the stylised lens of Western photographers."

Bassam aded: "I aim for the Bassam Freiha Art Foundation to become a flagship space inspiring other collectors to share their masterpieces with the public and contribute to the thriving cultural scene in the region. My collection reflects my personal journey, which was guided by the power of art to challenge prevailing narratives and its capacity to serve as a reflection of society."

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