The Iraq Pavilion has been named a Finalist for the Global Fine Art Awards 2017 (GFAA) in the ‘Best Public Art / Exhibition or Installation’ category. The Pavilion’s exhibition, ‘Archaic’, was curated by Tamara Chalabi and Paolo Colombo. The official finalists were announced on 15 January. The GFAA Winners will be announced on 8 March 2018.

The Global Fine Art Awards announced a list of 33 Finalists for this year’s awards. The GFAA Judges voted for this elite group of exhibitions, selected from the slate of 85 Nominees which was culled from over 2,000 exhibitions reviewed by the GFAA research team and open call submissions. Among the Finalists are some of the biggest names in art – The Royal Academy, Tate Modern and Tate Britain in
London; New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Museum of Modern Art
(MoMA). Many smaller exhibitions and museums are included as well, exemplifying the mission of GFAA to reach a broader audience for fine art.

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.