Art world big boys attend second Abu Dhabi art

ART FAIRS REVIEWS MIDDLE EAST

Abu Dhabi Art, a fair now in it’s second year, has quickly “come of age” reports Abu Dhabi-focussed English-language paper The National. Attracting big name artists, museum-quality artworks and playing host to representatives from the world’s major galleries, the fair has placed “itself squarely on the world art map and [is] making its presence felt.”

The logo for Abu Dhabi Art. Image taken from superfuture.com.

The logo for Abu Dhabi Art. Image taken from superfuture.com.

Click here to visit Abu Dhabi Art’s website.

Timur Moon, writing for The National, notes the glittering array of work by top American and European artists present, under which spokespeople from the top 10 of international art galleries walked and talked.

“Among the roll call of big names adorning the walls, I counted four Picassos, a Matisse priced at $4.2m, a rather exquisite Cézanne, a Fernand Léger, and several Robert Rauschenbergs, in what was probably the highest density of major modern masterpieces of any recent world art fair.”

“…major players from New York, London, Paris and the bigger cities of the region mingled in a meeting of the art worlds of East and West.”

Free exhibition "Opening the Doors: Collecting Middle Eastern Art" was part of this year's Abu Dhabi Art fair. Image taken from emirates247.com.

Free exhibition "Opening the Doors: Collecting Middle Eastern Art" was part of this year's Abu Dhabi Art fair. Image taken from emirates247.com.

Educated buyers catered for at Abu Dhabi Art

The paper reports Pace Gallery (New York) vice-president Peter Boris saying that “the collections being built here are serious.” Boris compares this year’s fair with that held last year:

“Last year there was a lot of surprise and curiosity. This time people seem to know more what they’re looking at. There’s more interest and appreciation. People are engaged, and that makes anything possible.”

According to the paper, “the scale of local interest, from both casual visitors and regional collectors, had shown a marked rise.” There were a number of works brought to the exhibition which focussed on dialogues between East and West and “the programme of educational and cultural events that ran alongside the exhibition [was] credited with promoting local interest.”

The promotional flyer for Abu Dhabi Art 2010. Image taken from flux-online.com.

The promotional flyer for Abu Dhabi Art 2010. Image taken from flux-online.com.

Local galleries mingle with the international “big boys”

Standards seem to have risen throughout the fair compared to last year, with emerging and local galleries showcasing interesting artists and works alongside some of the top galleries in the world. The National reports Emirati art collector and owner of Dubai’s Traffic gallery Rami Farook as saying:

“The big boys are here. We’ve got most of the top 10 galleries in the world here, and they are taking this very seriously. As local galleries, it’s fantastic to get a chance to exhibit alongside them.”

Edgy galleries a major attraction

Young “trendy” galleries like London’s White Cube (showing work by Damien Hirst), Paradise Row (whose star attraction was Shezad Dawood) and others from New York were popular among curious fair attendees. They were there mainly to test the waters of this new market. “The emphasis is on putting down roots just as much as selling,” said White Cube’s Tim Marlow to The National. “We want to develop interest in the market, while showing in depth what we can do. This country is becoming a cultural hub, and we want to be a part of that.”

Click here to read the full article in The National.

KN/HH

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Comments

Art world big boys attend second Abu Dhabi art — 2 Comments

  1. Thank you for your comment, Peter. Unfortunately we are not in a position to provide this information as we are an independent online publisher and not affiliated with the fair. I suggest you contact Abu Dhabi Art directly to ask them for further information.

  2. I will like to exhibit my paintings at the Abu Dhabi Art fair,how can i join the other Artists.
    Sincerely,
    Peter Odeh
    Artist.

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