Maya Allison Bio

Maya Allison

Founder, Executive Director
The Art Gallery at NYU Abu Dhabi
Chief Curator
NYU Abu Dhabi

Maya Allison is the Chief Curator at NYU Abu Dhabi and founding Executive Director of the NYUAD Art Gallery and Project Space. Her background is in academic museums: she curated her first major exhibitions at The RISD Museum (Rhode Island School of Design), then served as curator of the Bell Gallery (Brown University). She was also director of the city-wide, international new media showcase Pixilerations, and of the 5 Traverse Gallery, all in the US. She holds an MFA from Columbia University, a BA in art history from Reed College, and continued her research on curatorial practice via a fellowship at Brown University’s Center for Public Humanities.

Allison has curated numerous exhibitions at these and other institutions. Those for which she also developed book-length projects include Slavs and Tatars: Mirrors for Princes (JRP|Ringier, 2015), Diana Al-Hadid: Phantom Limb (Skira, 2016), and But We Cannot See Them: Tracing a UAE Art Community, 1988-2008 (Akkadia Press, 2017), and Zimoun (Akkadia Press, 2019). Recently, she guest-curated Artists and the Cultural Foundation: The Early Years (2018, with publication) for the Cultural Foundation Abu Dhabi, a 30-year survey of 18 UAE artists. Allison is Curator of the UAE’s national pavilion to the Venice Biennale for 2022.