Art Dubai, the region’s largest and most global art fair, opens its doors to the public at Madinat Jumeirah. The eighth annual edition of the fair is the biggest in its history, featuring 85 galleries from 34 countries, with over 500 artists participating across its programmes. Seventy museum groups and more than 400 international curators are attending the fair, from all over the world.
Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the fair was graced by the presence of the Crown Prince of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, at Tuesday’s preview. His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development inaugurated the new gallery hall, Art Dubai Modern.
Fair Director Antonia Carver said, “We’re delighted to be able to open our doors to the public today, following hugely successful preview sessions. The participating galleries have reported strong sales from the off, indicating that interest in contemporary and modern art has never been stronger here in the region. Over the past eight editions of Art Dubai, we’ve seen not just a greater interest in the fair locally, but a growth in the appreciation of art and culture in and from our region on the international stage. We’re proud to have been a pioneering spirit helping to grow the UAE’s reputation as an international hub for the region, working together with our artists, galleries, patrons and sponsors.”
This year’s fair boasts its largest ever show with three separate gallery programmes – Contemporary, Marker and new in 2014, Modern. The Global Art Forum, five days of talks and presentations by leading figures from across all cultural disciplines, has been attracting capacity audiences. Speakers participating in the Forum today and Friday March 21 include Sulayman Al Bassam, John Akomfrah,Catherine David, Okwui Enwezor, Farah Al-Nakib, Adam Szymczyk, Marina Warner, among others.
Art Dubai’s 2014 Programme comprises a strong not-for-profit programme of curatorial and educational projects, including 12 specially commissioned site-specific artworks; Falgoosh live radio station; curated film and video screenings at the Art Dubai Cinema; the return of The Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program for children – all of which are taking place daily until the fair closes on Saturday evening.
‘Garden and Spring’, the exhibition of works by the winners of the Abraaj Group Art Prize, has opened at Madinat Jumeirah, to critical acclaim.
The eighth edition of Art Dubai is held in partnership with The Abraaj Group and is sponsored by Cartier and Emaar. Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) is the strategic partner of Art Dubai and supports the fair’s year-round education programme. Art Dubai Modern is sponsored by Mashreq Private Banking. Maserati is the Car Partner of Art Dubai 2014. Rothschild joins Art Dubai as a Corporate Patron of the 2014 fair.
Art Dubai Programmes:
Art Dubai Contemporary
Art Dubai’s Contemporary gallery halls remain the largest section of the fair with more than 70 galleries exhibiting new works for sale. Returning galleries include Athr (Jeddah), Galerie Chantal Crousel (Paris), galerist (Istanbul), Grey Noise (Dubai), Victoria Miro (London), Experimenter (Kolkata) among others. Galleries making their debut at Art Dubai this year include Ota Fine Arts (Tokyo), GallerySKE (Delhi/Bangalore), Galerie Polaris (Paris), Marisa Newman Projects (New York), Tyler Rollins (New York), Baró Galeria (São Paulo), The Breeder (Athens), Gladstone Gallery (New York), Marian Goodman (New York/Paris), Galerie Greta Meert (Brussels), Galleria Franco Noero (Turin) Yavuz Fine Art (Singapore), and 313 Art Project (Seoul) and many more. UAE galleries participating in Art Dubai are Ayyam Gallery, Carbon 12, Gallery Etemad, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Green Art Gallery, Grey Noise, Elmarsa, Tashkeel, The Third Line.
Art Dubai Modern
This year Art Dubai has introduced a new gallery programme devoted to Middle Eastern and South Asian art from the twentieth century. Art Dubai Modern, taking place in Mina A’Salam, was advised by renowned curators and historians Savita Apte, Catherine David, Kristine Khouri and Nada Shabout, and includes 11 galleries. Each booth presents a solo or two-person show by highly influential artists that were producing works in the early- to mid- 20th century including Nasser Al Yousif and Rashid Al Khalifa (Albareh Art Gallery, Manama), Huguette Caland (Janine Rubeiz Gallery), Hamed Abdalla and Adam Henein (Karim Francis, Cairo), Shemza (Jhaveri Contemporary), Ardeshir Mohasses (Shirin Gallery, Tehran), among others.
The dynamic programme of invited art spaces-dedicated each year to a particular theme or geography–turns its focus in 2014 to Central Asia and the Caucasus. Curated by the artists Slavs and Tatars, art spaces and artists-led organisations invited to participate in this innovative section of the fair include: ArtEast (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan); Asia Art (Almaty, Kazakhstan); North Caucasus Branch of the National Centre for Contemporary Art, NCCA (Vladikavkaz, Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, Russia); Popiashvili Gvaberidze Window Project (Tbilisi, Georgia); and YARAT Contemporary Art Space (Baku, Azerbaijian). Presenting works ranging from mid-twentieth-century painting to contemporary drawings and sculptures, Marker takes the form of a chaikhaneh or Eurasian tea salon and an education programme run in partnership with Caspian Arts Foundation, plus artists’ books published in collaboration with onestar press.
Art Dubai Projects
The not-for-profit dynamic programme of new commissions and site-specific projects invites 12 artists to create installations, performances, video and research projects that engage audiences and interact with and comment on the fair and its environment. The works produced range from Youmna Chlala’s garden that welcomes visitors on their arrival to the fair, to Nadia Ayari’s frescoes in the bathrooms at Madinat Jumeirah, via Sunoj D’s sound project and Sara Al Haddad’s embroidery, located within the stairwells leading to Art Dubai Modern. Shuruq Harb’s project is an intervention in the Art Dubai catalogue; Maryam Al Qassimi has brought alive the Bukhoor sculptures on the terraces; Maitha Demithan occupies a scanning booth, creating a live portrait of the fair audience; Amina Menia pays tribute to a stone that journeyed from Algeria to France to the UAE. Hajra Waheed is performing each night of the fair on an abra, while Mounira Al Sohl invites visitors to swap their fair shoes for traditional Syrian clogs.
Clark House Initiative, from Bombay, and UAE artist Najat Makki have situated their projects in relation to Art Dubai Modern, in Mina Salam.
The artists have worked by curator Fawz Kabra to develop their projects. Art Dubai Projects is supported by Alserkal Avenue Arts District and Art Salon.
The Abraaj Group Art Prize
Now in its sixth edition, the renowned Abraaj Group Art Prize presents an exhibition of works by the five selected prize-winning artists: Abbas Akhavan, Anup Mathew Thomas, Basim Magdy, Bouchra Khalili and Kamrooz Aram. The artists have been developing their projects in collaboration with internationally renowned curator Nada Reza. Previewing at Art Dubai, the prize gives the artists a global and viable platform to develop their practice and reflects Abraaj’s own investment philosophy.
Global Art Forum
Titled Meanwhile…History, the Global Art Forum reflects on significant decades, years, days, minutes or seconds that have brought shifts in our understanding of the world and history. Commissioned by Shumon Basar with co-directors Omar Berrada and Ala Younis, the Forum features over 40 speakers and contributors including, today and Friday March 21, Sulayman Al Bassam, John Akomfrah, Catherine David, Okwui Enwezor, Farah Al-Nakib, Adam Szymczyk, Marina Warner, among others. The Global Art began at the Katara Art Center, Doha (March 15-16) and then moved on to Art Dubai, Mina Salam, Madinat Jumeirah (March 19–21).
Presented by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Global Art Forum 2014 is held in partnership with the Office of Strategic Cultural Relations at Qatar Museums Authority through its Years of Culture annual initiative. The Forum Fellows is supported by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC). All of the Forum sessions are bilingual and being live streamed (with the support of Ibraaz / Kamel Lazaar Foundation) and can be viewed at http://artdubai.ae/global-art-forum
Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program for Children
The Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program was launched in 2013 to promote art appreciation among children through specially-designed and artist-led educational activities. This year’s programme expands to include activities for teenagers as well as children (covering ages 5-16), with projects led by both international and UAE-based artists. There are more than 15 events throughout the week of the fair (March 19-22).
Art Dubai, in partnership with The Cultural Office, invited Australia-based artist Dylan Martorell as featured artist for the Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program in 2014. Dylan works in drawing, installation and sound: for The Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program at Art Dubai, he has devised a set of dynamic and innovative workshops (for ages 5-8 and 9-12) that has the young artists creating sounds from drawings and instruments from upcycled materials. The Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program also features the return of Discovery Tours, which proved a hit at last year’s fair. Led by UAE-based and international artists, and specially designed for ages 8-12 and 13-16, these tours enable young people to discover all aspects of the fair, with the works brought alive via a series of maps and the story-telling of the guides.
Artists’ and curators’ residencies programme A.i.R Dubai is run as a partnership between Art Dubai, Delfina Foundation, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and Tashkeel. A.i.R Dubai 2014 features five artists from across the Middle East and Asia, Nadia Ayari, Sunoj D, Maitha Demithan, Sara Al Haddad and Maryam Al Qassimi who have worked in Al Fahidi historical neighbourhood alongside curator-in-residence ?pek Ulusoy Akgül: their works are exhibited in House 11, as part of Sikka, and all five artists have produced works for Art Dubai Projects.
Campus Art Dubai
Campus Art Dubai is a school for artists, curators, writers, cultural producers and art workers based in the UAE. The course is taught and led by a local and international cast of academics, critics, curators and artists. Meetings occur over weekends and feature seminars, workshops, critiques and one-on-one mentorship. The course provides a space for critical thinking and the exchange of ideas and skills, with participants encouraged to collaborate, debate and challenge.
Campus Art Dubai is part of Art Dubai’s educational programming and is held in partnership with Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, and is supported by d3 Dubai Design District.
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