Abu Dhabi: New Louvre exhibition shows visitors how paper was utilised across cultures

Books, manuscripts, drawings, artworks and installations made of paper to trace chronological history of the medium


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Tue 19 Apr 2022, 8:56 PM

Dozens of artworks and objects from 16 museums, cultural institutions and private collections will be on display at the new exhibition at Louvre Abu Dhabi which kicked off on Tuesday.

Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi inaugurated Louvre Abu Dhabi’s second international exhibition of the year, Stories of Paper. The exhibition will open to the public on April 20 and will run until July 24, 2022.

Organised by Louvre Abu Dhabi in partnership with Musée du Louvre and France Muséums, the exhibition will showcase an extensive variety of artistic expressions of paper.

About 100 artworks and objects from 16 museums, cultural institutions and private collections will be on display. These include books, manuscripts, drawings, a reproduction of a house and 13 contemporary artworks and installations made of paper.

The exhibition will take visitors on a journey through time to discover the various ways in which paper was utilised across cultures. Visitors will also be able to enjoy a diverse public programme of wide-ranging cultural activities.

Stories of Paper is curated by the Musée du Louvre’s Xavier Salmon, General Curator and Director of the Department of Drawings and Prints, and Victor Hundsbuckler, Curator at the Department of Drawings and Prints, with the support of Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Director of Scientific, Curatorial and Collections Management at Louvre Abu Dhabi. They were assisted by Amna Rashed Al Zaabi, Senior Curatorial Assistant, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Charlotte Maury, Art Collection Officer, Department of Islamic Art, Musée du Louvre and Cristina Cramerotti, Musée National des Arts Asiatiques – Guimet.

Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi, said: “With the emergence of digital transformation and the dematerialisation of our haptic experiences, it makes sense for Louvre Abu Dhabi to celebrate paper as a common yet precious good. From books, manuscripts and drawings to contemporary art works or installations made of paper, Stories of Paper retraces a chronological history of this single universal medium, considering the usage and key characteristics of paper such as transparency and robustness to provide an original perspective on the use of paper throughout time and across the different regions.”

Laurence des Cars, Director of Musée du Louvre, said: “Stories of Paper fuses contemporary works from Arab and European art scenes, such as Labyrinth by the great Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto — a piece which confirms paper's perpetual importance to mankind.”

Curators Xavier Salmon and Victor Hundsbuckler said: “Stories of Paper aims to create curiosity for this familiar material at a time when digital technology is permeating all aspects of our daily lives. The exhibition takes a historical look at paper on a global scale.”

A cultural and educational programme will accompany Stories of Paper. An online talk and a recorded podcast by the exhibition’s curators will be available on Louvre Abu Dhabi’s website and mobile application, for the public to explore the exhibition.


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