The 10th edition of the capital’s art fair is small but perfectly formed
Abu Dhabi Art returns to the Saadiyat Cultural District this month
Now in its 10th edition, Abu Dhabi Art is a boutique art fair in terms of size – with considerably less galleries in attendance than the fair in Dubai and other big cities – but that makes for a more manageable experience, helping visitors to take in the full range of what’s on show. With world-renowned galleries alongside leading spaces from the Middle East region, the fair is a platform for supporting established artists and nurturing emerging ones. This year, under the directorship of Dyala Nusseibeh, the programme is curated and designed by leading figures in the regional arts world so that outside of the commercial halls, there will be a host of exhibitions, workshops, and public events for everyone to enjoy. COMMERCIAL GALLERIES Highlights this year include: Los Angeles gallery Kayne Griffin Corcoran will be making its Middle Eastern debut, with a stunning solo by the American artist James Turrell; Spruth Magers, which has spaces in LA, Berlin and London will present abstract photographs by German artist Thomas Ruff, and a special installation by the American artist Jenny Holzer – whose permanent sculpture stands in the ground of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. EMIRATI TALENT Under the guidance of their mentor, Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim, three young and talented artists – Ahmed Saeed Al Areef Al Dhaheri, Dhabiya Alrumaithi, and Taqwa Alnaqbi – have created works for an exhibition during Abu Dhabi Art in Manarat Al Saadiyat, which will stay on view for an additional two months afterwards. TALKS This forum presents a series of talks on the topic of the regional art market. Topics include the rise of neoliberal economies in the Gulf, the rise of auction houses and the circulation of art in emerging markets and conflict regions. GATEWAY A nominated guest curator curates this exhibition every year. This year, Hammad Nasar has gathered artworks that explore the built environment and language as structures through which meaning accumulates. It is titled Structures of Meaning | Architectures of Perception and will remain on display for an additional two months after the November dates. COMMISSIONS In a special section of the fair in Al Ain, large-scale sculptures and installations will be installed in the oasis of the desert city. These include three commissions by established contemporary artists Moataz Nasr from Egpyt, Ammar Al Attar from the UAE, and Imran Qureshi from Pakistan. PERFORMANCE The fair’s performance art platform Durub AlTawaya, curated by Tarek Abou El Fetouh, will take place in different locations throughout the city November until January with a focus on technology
The vernissage – which is the normally private evening that happens on the eve of the fair – is open to the public this year in order to celebrate the 10th year anniversary. It will feature DJs, special performances and canapés, and tickets will be available to buy online.
Vernissage: Abu Dhabi Art Celebrates 10 Years! November 14 from 6pm, Dhs100.