Thursday, April 3, 2014




 Fair welcomes over 25,000 visitors and exhibits more than 500 artists over four days

 Capacity crowds attend opening night while Global Art Forum talks attract full houses

Art Dubai today announced visitor numbers and news from its eighth edition, and further cemented its standing as the leading international contemporary art fair in the Middle East and South Asia.

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who graced the fair with two separate visits, the fair preview was inaugurated by the Crown Prince of Dubai, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. HE Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development opened the special preview of the new gallery hall, Art Dubai Modern.

Art Dubai‘s largest and most global edition welcomed 85 participating galleries from 34 countries and featured the work of more than 500 artists. With a combined value in excess of US$45m, galleries reported healthy sales to local, regional and international collectors and institutions from the moment the buzzing collectors‘ preview opened on March 18, and throughout the week.

Over the course of four days (March 19-22, 2014), attendance at the fair exceeded 25,000 visitors. The opening on March 19 attracted capacity crowds, while the Global Art Forum, titled ‗Meanwhile…History‘, witnessed packed houses for both its Doha and Dubai programmes. The talks and sessions were live-streamed in Arabic and English via the Internet to audiences around the world.

Art Dubai 2014 included the launch of a third gallery hall (Art Dubai Modern), to complement the Contemporary and Marker gallery programmes and provided a unique, curated, and enthusiastically-received outing for masters from the Middle East and South Asia. 70 museum groups and more than 400 curators and museum representatives attended the fair, confirming Art Dubai‘s role as the meeting point in the Middle East and South Asia, and the global fair of choice for the art world.

The fair also saw its highest-ever levels of attendance from universities and colleges, welcoming more than 500 UAE and GCC-based students on specially organised tours. The Campus Art Dubai core class of 2013-14 held its graduation at the fair, with two members (Raja‘a Khalid and Suheyla Takesh) also awarded fellowships from the New York University Abu Dhabi‘s FinD programme. A ‗Saturday art school‘ for UAE-based artists, writers and curators, Campus Art Dubai is a partnership with the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority and is supported by d3 Dubai Design District.

For the youngest creatives, The Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program, which featured workshops and Discovery Tours of the fair, attracted over 1000 children plus their parents. Art Dubai and The Cultural Office have today signed an agreement to work together through 2015 and beyond, building on the success of the children‘s programme at the fair.

Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, said: ―The success of the eighth edition of Art Dubai is a testament to Dubai‘s position as a global cultural and artistic hub, bringing together the world‘s creative artists to one platform. As one of the pillar events of ‗Dubai Art Season,‘ Art Dubai has demonstrated the city‘s creative capabilities, while highlighting its commitment to nurture and foster a genuine appreciation for these industries through a sterling repertoire of events.‖

―We‘re thrilled with the outcome and the response to our eighth edition,‖ said Antonia Carver, Fair Director, Art Dubai. ―The great attendance of more than 25,000 art professionals and enthusiasts shows that Art Dubai is not only responding to an appetite for art in the region, but also driving it. The growth of the fair echoes the development of the arts scene in the UAE and indeed, the region as a whole.‖

―This year‘s fair featured a number of firsts, including the addition of the Modern section, and saw significant growth in the geographic reach of exhibiting galleries. Our roots are here in the UAE but there is no question that Art Dubai is now a global fair with a global footprint and global relevance, and that we are at the heart of a region that not only acts as a hub, but also creates and generates great work and ideas. We are immensely thankful to all those who have participated in and collaborated with the fair, and who continue to support us, year-round.‖

Ahmad Al Matrooshi, Managing Director, Emaar Properties PJSC, said: ―Emaar has played an integral part in promoting the city‘s journey to creative excellence. Whether it is highlighting Dubai‘s design competencies through Burj Khalifa, or showcasing sculptures in Downtown Dubai, we are committed to lending momentum to the arts and creative scene of Dubai. We were delighted to extend our support to Art Dubai, which energises Dubai‘s creative sector.‖

As well as the organisers, galleries and exhibiting artists, also celebrating the outcome of the fair was artist Younes Rahmoun, the winner of the John Jones Art on Paper Award, whose work was exhibited by Galerie Imane Farès, Paris, in Art Dubai Contemporary; Rasheed Araeen, awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by Artnow magazine, and also exhibiting with Grosvenor Gallery, London, in Art Dubai Modern; and The Abraaj Group Art Prize winners, who exhibited their works in a dedicated exhibition, ‗Garden and Spring‘, to critical acclaim.

Audiences–from the world‘s leading curators to UAE-based families–interacted with twelve new commissioned site-specific works and performances, which formed part of the dynamic Art Dubai Projects, while Falgoosh Radio, led by UK-based artists Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver, played out live from Art Dubai to audiences across the world, throughout the fair week. Art Dubai Cinema featured films by John Akomfrah, Shezad Dawood and Taus Makhacheva, plus talks with the artists throughout the week.

Art Dubai 2014 also hosted a range of collateral events, adding to an extraordinarily rich programme. These included the British Council and British Embassy‘s reception to highlight cultural ties between the UK and the UAE, which featured a keynote by British Museum curator Venetia Porter. Among many events celebrating art publishing, ‗calligraffiti‘ artist eL Seed discussed his book Lost Walls with a capacity audience, while the late Egyptian artist Hamed Abdalla was celebrated with the launch of a monograph about his work. The UAE National Pavilion, with the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, held an event to mark the appointment of Sheikha Hoor Al- Qasimi as curator of the UAE Pavilion at the 2015 Venice Biennial, while the Saudi Art Council also held a briefing at Art Dubai to discuss its activities. 

King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, hosted a lunch to announce plans for this major new institution.

Art Dubai 2014 was held in partnership with The Abraaj Group and sponsored by Cartier and Emaar. The fair took place at its home, Madinat Jumeirah. Dubai Culture and Arts Authority is the strategic partner of Art Dubai and supports the fair's year-round education programme. Art Dubai Modern was sponsored by Mashreq Private Banking. Maserati was the Car Partner of Art Dubai 2014.

The eighth edition of Art Dubai ran from March 19-22, 2014.
Art Dubai is held in partnership with The Abraaj Group and is sponsored by Cartier and Emaar. Madinat Jumeirah is home to the event. The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority is a strategic partner of Art Dubai and supports the fair‘s year-round education programme. Art Dubai Modern 2014 is sponsored by Mashreq Private Banking.

Alongside the gallery halls, comprising Contemporary, Modern and Marker, the fair‘s extensive not-for-profit programme included artists‘ and curators' residencies; site-specific works for Art Dubai Projects, radio and film; an exhibition of works by winners of the annual The Abraaj Group Art Prize; the critically-acclaimed Global Art Forum and Campus Art Dubai—the free Saturday School for curators, artists and cultural workers living in the UAE.


Art Dubai Contemporary
Art Dubai‘s Contemporary gallery halls remained the largest section of the fair with more than 70 galleries exhibiting new works for sale. Returning galleries included 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 included 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 were 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 introduced a new gallery programme devoted to Middle Eastern and South Asian art from the twentieth century. Art Dubai Modern, which took place in Mina A‘Salam, was advised by renowned curators and historians Savita Apte, Catherine David, Kristine Khouri and Nada Shabout, and included 11 galleries. Each booth presented a solo or two-person show by highly influential artists 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), Anwar Jalal Shemza (Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai), Ardeshir Mohasses (Shirin Gallery, Tehran), among others.

The dynamic programme of invited art spaces—dedicated each year to a particular theme or geography–turned 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 included: 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 took the form of a chaikhaneh or Eurasian tea salon and an education programme was run in partnership with Caspian Arts Foundation, with artists‘ books published in collaboration with onestar press.

Art Dubai Projects
The not-for-profit dynamic programme of new commissions and site-specific projects invited 12 artists to create installations, performances, video and research projects that engaged audiences and interacted with and commented on the fair and its environment. The works produced ranged from Youmna Chlala‘s garden that welcomed 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 was an intervention in the Art Dubai catalogue; Maryam Al Qassimi brought alive the Bukhoor sculptures on the terraces; Maitha Demithan occuped a scanning booth, creating a live portrait of the fair audience; Amina Menia paid tribute to a stone that journeyed from Algeria to France to the UAE. Hajra Waheed performed each night of the fair on an abra, while Mounira Al Sohl invited visitors to swap their fair shoes for traditional Syrian clogs.

Clark House Initiative, from Bombay, and UAE artist Najat Makki situated their projects in relation to Art Dubai Modern, in Mina Salam.

The artists worked with curator Fawz Kabra to develop their projects. Art Dubai Projects is supported by Alserkal Avenue Arts District and Art Salon.

Falgoosh Radio, led by UK-based artists Fari Bradley and Chris Weaver, a project inviting fair visitors to observe the process of radio production, and listen-in live at the fair returned to Art Dubai in 2014.

About Art Dubai Cinema
Moving Images is a partnership between Dubai International Film Festival, Sharjah Art Foundation and Art Dubai, dedicated to artists‘ films and filmmakers‘ art in the Arab world.
Art Dubai Radio, plus John Akomfrah and Shezad Dawood's presence at Art Dubai was supported by the British Council.

The Abraaj Group Art Prize
Now in its sixth edition, the renowned Abraaj Group Art Prize presented 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 developed their projects in collaboration with internationally renowned curator Nada Raza.

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 reflected 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 featured over 40 speakers and contributors including, Sulayman Al Bassam, John Akomfrah, Catherine David, Okwui Enwezor, Farah Al-Nakib, Adam Szymczyk, Marina Warner, among others. The Global Art Forum began at the Katara Art Center, Doha (March 15-16) and then moved on to Art Dubai, Mina Salam, Madinat Jumeirah (March 19-21).

Held in partnership with the Office of Strategic Cultural Relations at Qatar Museums Authority through its Years of Culture annual initiative, Global Art Forum was presented in 2014 by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. The Forum Fellows was supported by the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC). All of the Forum sessions were bilingual and were live streamed (with the support of Ibraaz / Kamel Lazaar Foundation).

The 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 expanded to include activities for teenagers as well as children (covering ages 5-16), with projects led by both international and UAE-based artists. There were 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 feature 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 devised a set of dynamic and innovative workshops (for ages 5-8 and 9-12) that had the young artists creating sounds from drawings and instruments from upcycled materials. The Sheikha Manal Little Artists Program also featured the return of Discovery Tours. 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 by the guides.

The programme is held under the patronage and guidance of Her Highness Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Women Establishment, Wife of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs UAE, and forms part of the activity of The Cultural Office.

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 featured five artists from across the Middle East and Asia, Nadia Ayari, Sunoj D, Maitha Demithan, Sara Al Haddad and Maryam Al Qassimi who worked in Al Fahidi historical neighbourhood alongside curator-in-residence İpek Ulusoy Akgül: their works were exhibited in House 11, as part of Sikka, and all five artists 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 Dubai Design District (d3).

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