Art Radar highlights 8 galleries to see at Art Dubai from 15 to 18 March 2017.
Art Radar takes a look at the 11th edition of Art Dubai, and picks 8 must-see stands across the contemporary and modern sections.
Art Dubai has one of the most extensive public programmes of all international art fairs, meaning that one can easily be distracted from the galleries themselves. In 2017 Art Dubai features 94 galleries from 43 countries, with the highest-ever number of Latin American galleries, as well as a particularly strong contingent of Iranian galleries. Art Radar takes a look at the commercial fair itself and previews a selection of must-see stands.
1. ATHR – Monira Al-Qadiri
Based in a 20,000-square-foot space in central Jeddah, ATHR represents Middle Eastern and international artists. Founded by Hamza Serafi and Mohammed Hafiz, the Saudi gallery showcases an exhibition schedule of international and local contemporary art. At Art Dubai they are showing the work of Kuwaiti artist Monira Al Qadiri, whose research is focused on the aesthetics of sadness in the Middle East stemming from poetry, music, art and religious practices. Her work explores unconventional gender identities, petro-cultures and their possible futures, as well as the legacies of corruption. She is also part of the artist collective GCC, who held a solo exhibition at MoMA PS1 in New York in 2014.
Her work Spectrum (2016) explores the shared histories, metaphors and colours associated with pearls and oil, two fundamental materials to the cultural and economic life of the Arabian Gulf region. Spectrum 1 and 2 follow on from the artist’s research into the historical and cultural legacy of the pearl trade, and the massive social and economic shifts brought about by its replacement with a petro-economy. Based on the heads of oil drills, these alien-like sculptural objects liken these machines to intruders from another planet. This work by Al Qadiri and more can be seen at ATHR, Booth C10.
2. Galerie Imane Farès – Younès Rahmoun
Established in Paris in 2010, Galerie Imane Farès specialises in contemporary art from Africa and the Middle East. At Art Dubai they are showing the work of Younès Rahmoun. One of the most important Moroccan artists of his generation, Younès Rahmoun’s drawing works reveal his fascination with Sufi thought and practice. The artist adopts repetition, incantation, insistence, concentration, finishing, un-finishing, presence and co-presence in his installation and drawing practice. Some of the drawings are related to architectural and mathematical practice, associated with the universal spatial and ornamental practices in which Byzantine and Andalusian artist-craftsmen excelled. Works by Younès Rahmoun and those by Ali Cherri can be seen at Galerie Imane Farès’ stand at Booth D1.
3. O Gallery — Shahrzad Changalvaee
Since its inception in 2014 in Tehran, O Gallery has quickly established itself as one of the leading art galleries in the city with a focus on promoting young emerging artists and works on paper. Housed in a 1950s building, the gallery also showcases established mid-career artists whose body of work consists mostly of works on paper. At Art Dubai they are presenting the work of Shahrzad Changalvaee, Ali Nassir and Shideh Tam. Born in 1983 in Iran, Shahrzad Changalvaee uses typography as her medium to explore sociopolitical themes heavily influenced by her Persian heritage. Her explicative use of the Farsi language and its poetry creates graphic and dynamic imagery, which is captivating regardless of one’s knowledge of the language or culture. Her series “Body Composition Remaining Within Limited Domain” is comprised of photographs of people in cityscapes holding shining words that read “man”, “body” and “Motherland”. Her work can be seen at O Gallery’s stand in Booth B4.
4. Revolver galería — Andrea Galvani
Revolver Galería is a project established by artist Giancarlo Scaglia in Lima with the intention of promoting Peruvian contemporary art. Since its inception, Revolver has been showcasing the most exciting new generation of artists, committed to support their individuality and enhance their experimentation through various media/genres. At Art Dubai they will be showing the work of Italian-born artist Andrea Galvani, spotlighting his series entitled “The End”. Over the course of months, Andrea Galvani coordinated with local cameramen to film the sunrise along the eastern coastlines of five different Central American countries.
On 8 January, the anniversary of Galileo’s death in 1642, the event was filmed in over 30 different locations simultaneously. Discrepancies between atmospheric conditions, the sensitivity of 16mm film technology, and the movements of each individual manifest as a prism of time and space. The architecture of The End [Action #1] was conceived as an ephemeral monument – pedestals of light designed to be used by seven vocalists whose voices activate and enliven the space at different times throughout the exhibition. The result of this two year research can be viewed at Booth B0.
5. The Third line — Rana Begum
The Third Line is now at the forefront of the Dubai scene, having presented ground-breaking exhibitions of contemporary artists from the region since their inception in 2005. At Art Dubai they are showcasing the work of represented artist Rana Begum, who was awarded the USD100,000-worth Abraaj Group Art Prize in 2017, organised by Art Dubai. Graduating from Chelsea College of Art and Design in 2002, and the Slade School of Art thereafter, Rana Begum has since been exhibiting her work globally.
Her practice comprises of an intriguing mix of the Islamic art that she was immersed in from a young age and Western artistic traditions such as Op-art and Minimalism. The result is a series of tightly controlled and abstract compositions that lift off the wall as paper installations or sculptures. The colourful hard-edge lines of her works are coated in a thick layer of glossy resin, to create seductively tactile reflective surfaces, and reflective of another focus of her practice: the urban experience. Her work can be seen at Booth A7.
6. Vermelho — Jonathas de Andrade
Vermelho has been running for 14 years at their São Paulo base, and has established itself as one of the main spaces for contemporary art in Brazil. At Art Dubai they are presenting the work of Jonathas de Andrade, who works with installation, photography and video to explore constructs of love and the process of urbanisation, with particular emphasis on Brazil’s vibrant but often overlooked northeast region. His 2013 work Posters for the Museum of the Man of the Northeast (Cartazes para o Museu do Homem do Nordeste) is a series of (fake) posters for the Museum of the Man of the Northeast, an anthropological institution founded in 1979 in the city of Recife.
Another series entitled O Peixe (2016) is a series of documentation of fishermen from a village on the northeast coast of Brazil whom the artist asked to enact a ritual of embracing the fish that they have caught. The affectionate gesture that accompanies the passage of death is a testament to a relationship between species that is imbued with strength, violence and domination. His work can be seen at Booth E2.
7. Project artbeat — Levan Mindiashvili
Project ArtBeat aims to show works by carefully selected Georgian artists to the international community through its online platform and Tsibili-based project. At Art Dubai they are presenting the work of Levan Mindiashvili – a Georgian-born, New York-based visual artist primarily interested in exploring the complex relationships between communal and private spaces. His multidisciplinary approach can be seen not only in his artistic practice, but also in his professional practice overall. In 2009-2012 Mindiashvili worked as a curator and executive director at Laguanacazul Art Gallery, Buenos Aires. At the same time, he worked as a performance artist at Ensamble Caustico, Buenos Aires. Mindiashvili’s artistic research covers topics such as memory and identity – the theme so actual in today’s post-Soviet reality of the country, where the so-called transmission period of the 1990s has left its fatal traces on the identity of the place. His work can be seen at Project Artbeat’s stand, Booth C1.
8. Jhaveri contemporary — Anwar Jalal Shemza
Jhaveri Contemporary was formed in 2010 by sisters Amrita and Priya with an eye towards representing artists, across generations and nationalities, whose work is informed by South Asian connections and traditions. In 2010, Amrita and Priya Jhaveri also produced Anish Kapoor’s first-ever public exhibition in India, a landmark event in the country’s art world. Jhaveri Contemporary’s dedication to the creation of original scholarship, engendered through its carefully crafted shows, is one of the many ways in which the gallery distinguishes itself.
As part of their participation in Art Dubai’s Modern section they are presenting drawing works by the Pakistani artist Anwar Jalal Shemza (1928 – 1985). Despite being better known as an artist, Shemza published several Urdu novels and books of poetry in the 1950s and wrote plays performed on Radio Pakistan. Shemza was initially influenced by Modernism, most notably Paul Klee, although later works also showed a traditional Islamic influence. He was also an accomplished printmaker, having his work exhibited at the International Print Biennial in Tokyo. His work can be viewed at Jhaveri Contemporary, Booth M12.
- Championing diversity in art: new Art Dubai Fair Director Myrna Ayad – interview – February 2017 – Art Radar speaks to new Art Dubai Fair Director Myrna Ayad
- Art Dubai and Art Jameel announce developments in Senior Leadership – April 2016 – Myrna Ayad is to be new Fair Director, while current Director Antonia Carver will stay as Board-level advisor and become Director of Art Jameel
- Yongwoo Lee and Hans-Ulrich Obrist to co-direct Shanghai Project “2116” – March 2016 – leading cultural thinkers from East and West announced as Artistic Directors of inaugural Shanghai Project
- “The Future Was”: Art Dubai 2016 Global Art Forum – February 2016 – Art Dubai announces programme of its tenth Global Art Forum, taking place from 16 to 18 March 2016
- Organic explosion: Dubai’s ‘art district’ Alserkal Avenue expansion – February 2016 – Alserkal Avenue extends its reach with addition of respected international galleries, bold commissions and first residency programme
Subscribe to Art Radar for more art from the United Arab Emirates