Abu Dhabi Art 2014, held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, announces another highly successful event celebrating the cultural landscape of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.
As a distinctive platform that is continuously evolving to adapt to the ongoing developments in the cultural landscape of Saadiyat Cultural District and the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi Art is now accepting applications from both previously participating galleries and those who wish to be considered for next year’s edition.
During four extraordinary days of art, talks, performances and participation from galleries and artists from around the world, as well as UAE dignitaries including HH Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court who inaugurated the event, HH Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, Chair of the Abu Dhabi Art Host Committee, along with HH Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs; HE Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development; HE Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority;
HE Abdulrahman Al Owais, Minister of Health; HE Zaki Nusseibah, Cultural Advisor – Presidential Affairs, and Fleur Pellerin, French Minister of Culture.
“Abu Dhabi Art surpassed our highest expectations in 2014, through the exceptional art available to emerging and established collectors, its compelling performances and discourse to the inclusive nature of public art launched during the event. Underscoring Abu Dhabi as a key cultural destination and setting the stage for the opening of the city’s future cultural institutions, Abu Dhabi Art is an embodiment of the quality, focus and commitment of the UAE and its cultural directive,” said His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.
Visitors to Abu Dhabi Art 2014 also included senior representatives from globally respected institutions such as The British Museum, Musée du Louvre, French Ministry of Culture, RMN Grand Palais, Ecole du Louvre, Centre Pompidou, Tate London, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Sharjah Art Foundation, further demonstrating the strength and diversity of the artworks and inspiring programming on offer.
Highlights of the sixth edition included an 85% gallery re-participation rate, robust attendance from local and international audiences including museum professionals, scholars, art enthusiasts and families, and sales to both emerging and established collectors. Participating galleries, local, regional and international ones reported strong interest and confirmed sales throughout the four days of Abu Dhabi Art to frequent and new collectors, as well as to leading global institutions and collections. In addition, Subodh Gupta’s Et tu, Duchamp? and Shilpa Gupta’s Today will end monumental artworks from the Beyond sector of Abu Dhabi Art have been bought by Abu Dhabi-based collectors and will remain in the capital on permanent public display.
Abu Dhabi Art’s sixth edition presented an interdisciplinary programme of art, talks and sensational experiences with participation from renowned artists, collectors, galleries and art professionals from around the world covering topics relevant to the future cultural institutions of Saadiyat Cultural District and guiding principles which reflect on themes of time, space and history.
Abu Dhabi Art 2014, which consisted of three main sections: a daily public forum, a performing arts programme and initiatives in the field of public art, design and architecture, attracted contribution from the participating renowned galleries and their represented artists. Audiences experienced work and talks by leading artists such as Ai Weiwei, Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, Dia Azzawi, Edgar Degas, Chafic Abboud, Ghada Amer, Kader Attia, Henri Matisse, Liu Guosong, Rachid Koraichi, Richard Long, Martin Creed, Mohammed Kazem, Hassan Hajjaj and Pablo Picasso.
The diversity of Abu Dhabi Art’s Performing Arts programme, from the moving opening-night concert by legendary rock icon Patti Smith to the Middle East premiere of a visually and aurally-rich cine-concert by William Kentridge and Phillip Miller, engaged a large and diverse audience, as did the standing-room-only roster of talks and panel presentations by the regional and global art community’s leading lights. Programming for the 2015 event will continue to broaden, inspire, and elevate the discussions and experiences that pervade Abu Dhabi Art as a platform.
Looking ahead, 2015 will mark Abu Dhabi Art’s seventh edition, paving the way for the opening of Louvre Abu Dhabi and underscoring Saadiyat Cultural District’s growing role as a leading arts destination and platform for global cross-cultural dialogue.