Art and business converge in Dubai

More than sixty galleries from 30 countries converge on Dubai in March for what has become one of the region's top annual cultural events while generating significant sales for participants.

The fourth edition of Art Dubai, which runs from March 17 to 20, features new galleries from as far afield as Mexico City (Galeria OMR), Santiago (Galeria Animal) and Lahore (Grey Noise).

Although the total number of galleries is marginally down from last year (62 this year versus 65 in 2009), more than half are returning galleries, a fair spokesperson told Emirates Business.

Chili Hawes, Director, and Elisabeth Lalouschek, Artistic Director of the October Gallery, London, said in a statement to media: "Art Dubai is a strong platform for us to exhibit and sell. We choose works that will impact on the visual landscape in Dubai and we see the fair as an excellent way of promoting our artists."

Among the new initiatives this year are artist focus stands, where select galleries will exhibit one or two artists. These galleries include Rose Issa Projects, London; Green Art Gallery, Dubai; Chemould Prescott Road, Mumbai; Rossi + Rossi, London; and Frey Norris, San Francisco. The move follows the successful introduction of solo projects in 2009, with nearly a third of all participants now present exhibitions by individual artists.

A new area within the fair has been devoted to museum-quality painting and sculpture from the fifties to the seventies, providing an important contextual framework to the achievements of contemporary artists.

"Collectors and curators come to Art Dubai to discover new talent and new ideas and this will remain a guiding principle of the fair's long-term strategy," said John Martin, Director and Co-Founder of Art Dubai.

In addition, Art Dubai has invited not-for-profit arts organisation Bidoun Projects to curate its programme of special projects highlighting the importance of collaboration in the region.

With "Bazaar" as its theme, guest curators are Aram Moshayedi, of Laxart, and the curatorial team of Sohrab Mohebbi and Ozge Orsoy. In addition, Antonia Carver and Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Artistic Director of Dubai International Film Festival, will curate a programme of films by UAE directors and artists, focusing on the exploration of the surreal and the spiritual in a series of short films and videos. The second Abraaj Capital Art Prize will also be unveiled at the fair this year.

 

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