Abu Dhabi Art 2012 aims for quality with a limited selection of participating exhibitors.
Abu Dhabi Art recently announced the participating galleries for its fourth edition, set to run from 7 to 10 November 2012. The fair has a high returning-galleries rate; this year, the fair will add eleven first-time exhibitors, including six from Asia.
The scope of Abu Dhabi Art is small compared to other Asian art fairs. For 2012, there are currently 43 participating galleries, representing over 400 artists. However, the limited number of exhibitors is a planned decision. According to fair director Rita Aoun-Abdo,
You can see from the calibre of galleries we have again this year, that it was a difficult decision to select a small number from the exceptional submissions, to fit with our boutique platform.
Is this smaller, “boutique” event is a successful model for Abu Dhabi Art? Around three quarters of the galleries have previously exhibited at the fair. Of the eleven newcomers, six are galleries that were first established in Asia. They include
- Artspace Gallery, which was first established in Dubai in 2003 and has since expanded to London.
- Athr Gallery from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, focused on Saudi artists.
- Istanbul-based Cda Projects, which supports young artists from Turkey.
- Kukje Gallery, which has been exhibiting in Seoul, South Korea since 1982.
- Japanese gallery Ota Fine Arts, which represents many Japanese artists including Yayoi Kusama.
- Tina Keng Gallery, located in Taipei, Taiwan and Beijing, China and founded by a former director of Lin & Keng Gallery.
Among the other new exhibitors are Simon Lee Gallery and Galleria Continua. Hamburg and Beirut-based Sfeir-Semler Gallery, which specialises in exhibiting Middle Eastern artists, will also participate in the 2012 fair.
Abu Dhabi Art will take place from 7 to 10 November 2012 at the Manarat Al Saadiyat exhibition centre and the UAE Pavilion, which was originally designed for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo. The programming will also include exhibitions, talks and design workshops, as well as an Art Zone, a space designed for children. The 2011 edition of the fair attracted 17,000 visitors, a testimony to the UAE’s continued development as a regional art hub.
- Art Dubai: strong sales shine through fog of political tension – March 2012 – Will Art Abu Dhabi run into the same censorship pratfalls?
- Maraya Art Centre hub for contemporary Arab art – December 2010 – the local art scene is growing in many cities in the UAE
- Art world big boys attend second Abu Dhabi art – November 2010 – a review of the second edition of the fair
- Sheikh Sultan opens private collection to public putting Sharjah on the UAE art map – August 2010 – Sheikh Sultan opens the Barjeel Art Foundation, developing Sharjah as an art hub
- Antonia Carver named Art Dubai director, lends Middle Eastern art insight to fair – July 2010 – a new director with an extensive background in contemporary Middle Eastern art
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