Dubai- Art Dubai, the leading international art fair in the Middle East and South Asia, will open tomorrow under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Taking place at Madinat Jumeirah until 22 March 2014, this year’s edition of Art Dubai builds on its reputation as a fair of discovery and is the most global fair to date with 85 participating galleries from 34 countries; more than 500 artists are participating in the gallery halls and across the not-for-profit programmes.
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’s development over the past eight years reflects the extraordinary growth of the UAE arts scene,” said Antonia Carver, Fair Director, Art Dubai. “The fair has acted as a catalyst, expediting Dubai’s role as a bona fide cultural hub for the region and beyond. We’re thrilled to be opening our eighth edition with such a strong and diverse range of 85 gallery exhibitions, plus our largest not-for-profit programme to date.”
New for this year, the galleries are presented in three distinct programmes – Contemporary; the inaugural Modern; and Marker – the curated section of invited art spaces and galleries focusing in 2014 on Central Asia and the Caucasus.
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, and galleries that are joining for the first time. This year, galleries making their debut at Art Dubai include Ota Fine Arts (Tokyo), GallerySKE (Delhi/Bangalore), Marisa Newman Projects (New York), Tyler Rollins (New York), Baró Galeria (São Paulo), 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), among others.
In 2014, Art Dubai launches a new gallery programme devoted to Middle Eastern and South Asian modern 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 including, Rasheed Araeen (Grosvenor Gallery, London), Michel Basbous (Agial Art Gallery, Beirut), Hamed Abdalla and Adam Henein (Karim Francis, Cairo), M.F. Husain (Aicon Gallery, New York/London), Ardeshir Mohasses (Shirin Gallery, Tehran), and Anwar Jalal Shemza (Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai), among others.
Marker, 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, selected art spaces and artists-led organisations 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 drawing, sculpture and video, Marker takes the form of a chaikhaneh or Eurasian tea salon and includes talks and educational materials, as well as artists’ books published in collaboration with onestar press.
Alongside the gallery halls, the fair also features an extensive not-for-profit programme including dynamic site-specific works for Art Dubai Projects. This year, 12 artists and artists’ groups have been commissioned to create installations and performances that engage audiences and interact with and comment on the fair and its environment. Artists commissioned for Art Dubai Projects include Nadia Ayari (Tunis/New York), Youmna Chlala (Beirut/New York), Clark House Initiative (Bombay), Sunoj D (Bangalore), Maitha Demithan (Dubai), Sara Al Haddad (Dubai), Shuruq Harb (Ramallah), Najat Makki (Dubai), Amina Menia (Algiers), Maryam Al Qassimi (Sharjah), Mounira Al Solh (Beirut), and Hajra Waheed (Montreal), who have been working with UAE/New York-based curator Fawz Kabra.
Now in its sixth edition, the winners of the renowned Abraaj Group Art Prize present at the fair an exhibition of their new works, developed over the past year with curator Nada Raza. The 2014 winners of the Abraaj Group Art Prize are Abbas Akhavan, Anup Mathew Thomas, Basim Magdy, Bouchra Khalili and Kamrooz Aram. Previewing at Art Dubai, the prize gives the artists a global platform to showcase their works and reflects Abraaj’s own investment philosophy.
Titled Meanwhile…History, the eighth edition of the Global Art Forum reflects on significant decades, years, days, minutes or seconds that brought shifts in the 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 Sulayman Al Bassam; John Akomfrah; Okwui Enwezor; Frauke Heard-Bey, Adina Hempel; Farah Al-Nakib; Todd Reisz; Shuddhabrata Sengupta; Adam Szymczyk; Marina Warner, among others. The Global Art Forum opened to acclaim at the Katara Art Center, Doha, March 15-16, and continues March 19–21 at Art Dubai, Mina A’Salam, Madinat Jumeirah. This year’s Forum will be simultaneously translated into Arabic/English and is live-streamed, thanks to the 2014 online partner Ibraaz/Kamel Lazaar Foundation.
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, the fellowship programme this year focussing on upcoming curators from the region, is supported by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC).
Art Dubai’s curatorial and educational programme also includes: Falgoosh Radio—a live artist-led radio station led by London-based sound artists and composers Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver and featuring a rolling programme al week of interviews with fair participants, sound projects and music,film and video screenings in the Art Dubai Cinema as part of Moving Images exploring artists’ films and filmmakers’ art. Featured artists in 2014 include John Akomfrah, Shezad Dawood and Taus Makhacheva.
In addition to that,there’s the Manal Little Artists Program of discovery tours and workshops for children, held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Women Establishment ,Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs UAE, and in collaboration with The Cultural Office. This year, the workshops are created and led by Melbourne-based sound artist Dylan Martorell, assisted by Emirati artist Reem Falaknaz. The Discovery Tours are led by UAE-based and international artists Athier Mousawi, Khawla Darwish, Rania Jishi and Sara Naim.
Artists’ and curators’ residencies programme A.i.R Dubai, a partnership between Art Dubai, Delfina Foundation, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and Tashkeel,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 been working in Al Fahidi historical neighbourhood alongside curator-in-residence İpek Ulusoy Akgül. Their Open Studio exhibition is open as part of Dubai Culture’s Sikka (until March 25).