Outlook optimistic for art sales: galleries

60 galleries will take part in Art Dubai Courtesy Carbon 12. (SUPPLIED)

A recent gallery survey conducted for Art Dubai 2010 indicates that a majority of respondents believe sales will either remain the same or improve compared to last year.

Art Dubai is the first contemporary art fair in Dubai and takes place at the Madinat Arena every March. With more than 60 galleries exhibiting this year, well over half from outside the region, international galleries are continuing to look to the Middle East and neighbouring markets to open up new opportunities in the contemporary art market. Additionally, respondents consider the Middle Eastern market to play a very significant role for the contemporary art industry, with 75 per cent of the surveyed galleries indicating that Dubai is perceived as the key platform for the art market in the Middle Eastern region and Art Dubai an essential component for meeting new collectors.

John Martin, Director and Co-Founder of Art Dubai, said the results indicate continued confidence in the Middle East art market and in the central role Dubai has established as the principle marketplace for art commerce in the region.

"Despite the tough economic conditions of the last 18 months, the Middle East art market has demonstrated its resilience and Dubai has proved its importance as the principle platform for the contemporary art market in the region," Martin said.

"Our survey has indicated that more than 75 per cent of Art Dubai's surveyed participants believe Dubai remains the most important centre for the art market in the Middle East and that Art Dubai continues to present the best opportunities for meeting new collectors from across the region and internationally. Art Dubai has consolidated its position as one of the most important new art fairs in the world."

In addition to the 60-plus art galleries participating in Art Dubai 2010, the fair will also include the unveiling of artwork by this year's recipients of the Abraaj Capital Art Prize. The three artist/curator teams will reveal their winning projects, enhancing their global reputation and widening their international network. In its second year, the Abraaj Capital Art Prize provides an exciting opportunity for creative collaboration between international curators and artists from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region.

"In 2010 there will also be a new area within the fair devoted to museum-quality painting and sculpture from the 1950s to 1970s providing an important contextual framework to the achievements of contemporary artists," Martin said.

"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."

With "Bazaar" as its theme, the 2010 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 the Dubai International Film Festival and founder of the Emirates Film Competition, 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.

 

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