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MMoCA Receives NEA Grant for Faisal Abdu’Allah Exhibition

MMoCA Receives NEA Grant for Faisal Abdu’Allah Exhibition Press Release

MADISON, WI—The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art (MMoCA) is honored to announce it has been approved for a $40,000 grant award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to support an upcoming exhibition by British artist Faisal Abdu’Allah (b. 1969, London), who is now based in Madison, Wisconsin. DARK MATTER, scheduled to open at MMoCA in 2022, explores personal identity, representation, and the systems of power that structure our experiences of the world. Abdu’Allah’s artistic production centralizes how the arts can address disparities, increase awareness and acceptance of difference, and foster human understanding.

DARK MATTER will also showcase Abdu’Allah’s most recent project—a largescale “counter-monument.” The sculpture will be installed this July as a prelude to Abdu’Allah’s 2022 exhibition. As communities continue to engage in ongoing debates about the role of monuments in public spaces, Abdu’Allah, asks us to question the act of memorialization: Who gets to be commemorated? Whose story is told, and by whom?

“We are truly grateful for the NEA’s recognition of Abdu’Allah’s incredible work and its support which makes it possible for MMoCA to share this exhibition and related programming with the Madison community,” said Christina Brungardt, MMoCA’s Gabriele Haberland Director.

Abdu’Allah’s exhibition at MMoCA is among the more than 1,100 projects across America totaling nearly $27 million that were selected during this second round of the NEA Grants for Arts Projects fiscal year 2021 funding.

“As the country and the arts sector begin to imagine returning to a post-pandemic world, the National Endowment for the Arts is proud to announce funding that will help arts organizations such as MMoCA reengage fully with partners and audiences,” said NEA Acting Chairman Ann Eilers. “Although the arts have sustained many during the pandemic, the chance to gather with one another and share arts experiences is its own necessity and pleasure.”

For more information on the projects included in the Arts Endowment grant announcement, visit

About the Artist

Faisal Abdu’Allah is an artist and a barber. He studied in London at the Royal College of Art. He is Professor of Printmaking at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2012 Mayors prize for sustainability for his film Double Pendulum, Decibel Visual Artist Award, London, First Prize at the Tallinn Print Triennial, Estonia, and is a 2016 recipient of The Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant Program for Painters and Sculptors. In 2021, Faisal Abdu’Allah was named the Chazen Family Distinguished Chair in Art at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

About MMoCA

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art offers free daily admission. Its vision is to be an organization that fosters the exchange of ideas and creates experiences that will inspire a wide audience; be a nexus for the work of emerging and established regional, national, and international artists; serve as a catalyst for the continued development of a vigorous community of artists; and provide a forum that will encourage people to be challenged by, reflect on, and make connections between art and the world around them.

The Museum includes four galleries and The Shop, a recently opened space to provide interactive contemporary art experiences and educational workshops to the community.

The Museum’s Rooftop Sculpture Garden provides an urban oasis with an incredible view which serves as a lovely venue for weddings, art openings, dining, and cinema.

MMoCA’s galleries are open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from noon to 6 PM. The Museum also has a slate of online events, including wellness activities, education programs, and virtual tours. Please visit to learn more.

Marni McEntee
Director of Communications
Cell: 608.515.0137



Faisal Abdu’Allah, The Barber’s Chair, 2017. Gold plating, leather, aluminum, cast iron, 49 x 55 x 25 inches. Commissioned by Autograph ABP Edition of 3 + AP.