Abu Dhabi Art concludes its successful 11th edition
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, the third and final day of Abu Dhabi Art 2019 has come to a close, concluding a successful 11th edition of the leading art fair which welcomed scores of art lovers and industry insiders to its wide array of exhibits and programming on Saadiyat Island and in Al Ain.
Taking place from 21-23 November at Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi Art 2019 featured participation from esteemed gallerists, artists and curators from around the world, as well as emerging local artists and creatives. In addition to the commercial aspect of the fair, visitors enjoyed specially-commissioned installations, curated exhibitions, and a full public programme of talks, guided tours, workshops, performances and more. The fair also welcomed visitors to activations in Al Ain Oasis and Al Jahili Fort in Al Ain.
The final day of the fair also saw the last sessions in its talks programme take place, with artists, curators, and industry professionals exploring issues relevant to the global art world today. ‘The Artist, The Publisher, The Migrator’ featured artist Mohamed Melehi speaking about his multifaceted practice as a cultural activist, muralist, photographer, designer and painter, which has placed him at the forefront of postcolonial Moroccan art and modernism in the Global South.
Comité Colbert held their final talk of the fair, which saw representatives from Mobilier National, Manufacture des Gobelins, Foundation d’Entreprise Hermes and Musée et Domaine National de Versailles discuss the intersection of French luxury and contemporary art, as part of its programme of events examining French and Emirati craftsmanship.
The final talk of the fair featured Gateway curator Paolo Colombo in dialogue with Senior Curator at the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, Sarah Collins, as well as commissioned artists Lamya Gargash and Nima Nabvi. Centred around the 2019 Gateway exhibition, Fragments, Yesterday & Today, the panelists discussed the complications of exhibiting archeological artefacts and objects of anthropological interest with works of contemporary art.
Day three of the fair also saw final performances of ‘The Art of Expression’, featuring poetry readings from Untitled Chapters in an interactive installation exploring heritage storytelling and symbolism in the context of the contemporary world; and ‘Neither Visible nor Concealed’, a performance by Beyond: Emerging Artists participants Ayesha Hadhir, Rawdha Khalifa Al Ketbi and Shaikha Al Ketbi, which activated the artists’ installation space and allowed audiences insights into the creative process.
Abu Dhabi Art’s final day also offered a masterclass by the Naqsh Collective, which introduced participants to some of the oldest Palestinian textile motifs and allowed them to learn from women who use the art of cross-stitch and fabric to bring their stories to life.
The Abu Dhabi Art programme is year-round and extends beyond the centerpiece of the three-day fair; the Gateway: Fragments, Yesterday and Today and Beyond: Emerging Artists exhibitions will be on display at Manarat Al Saadiyat until 8 February 2020 and the Beyond: Commissioned Artists installations at Al Ain Oasis and Al Jahili Fort can be viewed until 29 February 2020.