Jury for Dubai’s Bulgari Contemporary Art Award

3D-printed David in the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020, curated by jury member Davide Rampello

The jury for the Bulgari Contemporary Art Award has been named. The award, run jointly by Dubai Culture and the Italian luxury brand Bulgari, will be given to one artist from a shortlist produced by Dubai Culture; the winning work will be announced in February 2022 and exhibited at Italy’s Expo 2020 pavilion (where Bulgari is the official Platinum Sponsor) before moving on to “venues associated with Dubai Culture and Bulgari”.

The award itself may appear somewhat compromised by the absence of an open call – Dubai Culture will be proposed around 15 artists that it deems worthy of consideration – but at least the jury looks pretty solid. There are four names from the art world and four from the organisers:

  • Davide Rampello, curator of the Italian Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. His extensive curating CV also includes Memory and Contemporaneity at the 2017 Venice Biennale, a show dedicated to contemporary Chinese art
  • Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, director of Castello di Rivoli – Museo d’Arte Contemporanea in Turin. An author of many books and catalogues, she has curated the Sydney Biennial in 2008, Documenta 13 in 2012, and the Istanbul Biennial in 2015.
  • Hou Hanru, Artistic Director at Rome’s MAXXI (National Museum for 21st Century Arts: it’s housed in a gorgeous Zaha Hadid building if you ever happen to be in the area). He too has a hefty resume including much heavyweight curating, many publications, and consultancy to numerous art institutions around the world.
  • Mattar bin Lahej, the Emirati painter, sculptor, and photographer who in 1992 founded Marsam Mattar, the first art gallery of its kind to be run by an Arab artist.

From the sponsors’ side the jury includes Dubai Culture DG Hala Badri; Bulgari Group CEO Jean Christophe Babin; Lucia Boscaini, Brand Curator at Bulgari; and Beatrice Bulgari, costume designer and film producer, and a member of the family that founded and still largely controls Bulgari Group.

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