The Iraq Pavilion has been nominated for the Global Fine Art Awards 2017 (GFAA) in the ‘Best Public Art / Exhibition or Installation’ category. The official nominations were announced on 17 October at Leighton House Museum, London.

GFAA is the first annual programme to recognise the best curated art and design exhibitions and installations worldwide. It honours innovation and excellence in exhibition design, historical context, educational value, and public appeal.

Commissioned by the Ruya Foundation for the Iraq Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale, the exhibition ‘Archaic’ shows the work of eight Modern and contemporary Iraqi artists in dialogue with 40 ancient Iraqi artefacts drawn from the Iraq Museum and spanning six millennia, from the Neolithic Age to the Parthian Period. Most of these objects have never previously left Iraq, excluding a few that were recently recovered after the 2003 lootings of the Museum. The exhibition is also accompanied by a new commission by internationally acclaimed Belgian-born artist Francis Alÿs on the subject of war and the artist. ‘Archaic’ is the third occasion on which the Ruya Foundation has commissioned the National Pavilion of Iraq at Venice.

The exhibition attracted over 5,500 visitors during the preview week of the Biennale, and was critically acclaimed by the press. It featured as a highlight of the Biennale in the Financial Times, The New York Times, Artforum, CNN, BBC News, The Times, The Australian, Artsy and The Art Newspaper among other outlets.

GFAA Finalists will be announced in January 2018, and the GFAA Winners will be announced in March 2018.