Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces Abu Dhabi Art 2016 returns with 40 established and innovative galleries from 20 different countries, presenting iconic pieces by internationally renowned artists and unique artworks by emerging artists., Abu Dhabi Art is organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) and scheduled to run from November 16-19,.
Coming from Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East, the galleries will exhibit under the fair’s four sections: (1) Modern & Contemporary; (2) Bidaya; (3) Beyond; and (4) Gateway.
“Abu Dhabi Art 2016 maintains its high calibre of galleries from around the world, with a showcase of distinctive pieces by a diverse range of globally celebrated figures and emerging artists,” said Rita Aoun-Abdo, Executive Director, Culture Sector, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority. “Providing a platform for a universal perspective on art that is not defined by region or geography, Abu Dhabi Art continues to bring world-class art and experiences to the capital, supporting the UAE’s ever-evolving art scene and positioning itself as a global hub for cultural and artistic exchange.”
The Modern & Contemporary section will present some of the world’s most innovative and established galleries, offering visitors a selection of exceptional modern and contemporary artworks. Galleries exhibiting for the first time include Sean Kelly Gallery (New York) which will feature works by acclaimed artist Idris Khan, Charlie James Gallery (Los Angeles), Cuadro Fine Art Gallery (Dubai), and the Tehran/New York based Shirin Gallery. In its debut Abu Dhabi Art appearance, the Dubai-based Custot Gallery will highlight works by eminent French painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet.
Modern & Contemporary will also exhibit works by other leading figures from returning galleries such as Pablo Picasso (Acquavella Galleries), M.F. Husain (Aicon Gallery), Wael Shawky (Lisson Gallery), Etel Adnan (Sfeir Semler Gallery), Jacques Villeglé (Galerie GP & N Vallois), Ali Banisadr (Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac), Shafic Abboud (Agial Gallery), Rashid Rana (Leila Heller Gallery), Michelangelo Pistoletto (Galleria Continua) and Emirati artists such as Abdul Qader Al Rais (Hunar Gallery), and Mohamed Al Mazrouei (AB Gallery).
Bidaya, which translates to “beginning” in Arabic, is an ongoing initiative that invites an emerging gallery to participate on an international platform. For 2016, the Bidaya gallery will be Hafez Gallery, which is based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and will feature Saudi artists including Mounirah Mosly and Ibrahim El Dessouki.
Bringing art to the public arena, Beyond will provide a curated public platform for large-scale sculptures and installations which will engage with public spaces. Selected works will be exhibited throughout the city for a period of six months, creating a contemporary canvas of artwork within the urban landscape. Participating artists for 2016 include Ahmed Faig (Cuadro Fine Art Gallery), Nja Mahdaoui (Elmarsa), Bassam Geitani (Galerie Janine Rubeiz), Lee Bul (Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac), Aziz + Cucher (Gazelli Art House), Lawrence Weiner (Giorgio Persano), Wang Dongling (Hanart TZ Gallery) and Slavs and Tatars (The Third Line).
For its eighth edition, Abu Dhabi Art is introducing a new and innovative vision with a curated exhibition titled ‘Gateway’, which will present modern and contemporary artists integrated within the fair, setting the tone for the artwork displayed by leading commercial galleries, and anchoring each section of Abu Dhabi Art within a broader, shared cultural context.
Part of ‘Gateway’ will present a large-scale installation by the influential Beijing artist Gu Dexin, and curated by Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator, Asian Art and Senior Advisor, Global Arts at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, an exhibition on Modern Arab art curated by Catherine David, Deputy Director of the National Museum of Modern Art (Musée National d'Art Moderne) at Paris’ Centre Georges Pompidou.
Abu Dhabi Art will also present under ‘Gateway’ ‘(Re) Birth’, a thematic group exhibition including emerging and established artists from diverse times and geographies, curated by artistic director and long-term Abu Dhabi Art collaborator Fabrice Bousteau.
Each edition of Abu Dhabi Art presents also a public programme that connects with the wider community through a dynamic schedule of performing arts, collaborative community initiatives, and a series of public talks, bringing together experts from Louvre Abu Dhabi, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and international arts institutions.