Abu Dhabi Art gears up to launch 11th edition

Under the patronage of HH Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, Abu Dhabi Art is set to take place this year at Manarat Al Saadiyat from 21-23 November. Now in its 11th edition, the leading art fair will present modern and contemporary artworks from 49 leading galleries hailing from 21 cities around the world.

This year, Abu Dhabi Art will introduce two new curated gallery sections alongside Focus, its existing curated section. New Horizons: China Today will spotlight contemporary Chinese art while New Horizons: India will feature modern and contemporary art from India. Galleries not participating in these sections will have the opportunity to apply for Special Projects, an additional area open to the participation of all galleries with a curated concept.

Dyala Nusseibeh, Director of Abu Dhabi Art, said, “The high quality of work on offer, coupled with an unique visitor experience, are two major factors that make Abu Dhabi Art the most innovative art fair in the region. In adding further curated sections, we strive to offer attendees and collectors a selection of the most interesting voices and perspectives from the art world. Through collaborations with these key curators, we aim to transform the visitor experience by creating exhibition-level gallery presentations whilst enabling our collectors to continue to discover important emerging and established global artists at the fair.”

Renowned curator Dr. Omar Kholeif will oversee the fair’s longstanding curated section Focus, which has eight galleries participating this year and will spotlight drawing, tracing and mapping in art. The featured works reference tradition, but with a contemporary outlook, and will showcase what drawing means to some of the most important regional visual artists working today. The galleries set to appear in Focus are ATHR, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, GALERIST, Green Art Gallery, Jhaveri Contemporary, Leila Heller Gallery, Salon 94 and The Third Line.

Dr. Kholeif said: “The UAE has played a pivotal role in the broader region of the Middle East and South Asia. It has become a meeting point, a central node that links and binds citizens of these cultures in unison through the lens of the visual arts.

“This is a place where artists can be re-examined and considered in the broader canon of art and its history – standing on their own merits. At the same time, their cultural specificity is made evermore clear through the rich context that the UAE and Abu Dhabi, specifically, creates. I am proud to have worked with Abu Dhabi Art over the last two years to showcase artists from this region in new ways, using the Focus platform which I developed. It has been a defining moment – bearing witness to artists, collectors, curators and all around dreamers who come together to congregate around art and ideas.”

New Horizons: China Today will be curated by renowned international curator Jérôme Sans, bringing together nine galleries presenting works by important Chinese contemporary artists. Sans is a co-founder and former Director of the acclaimed Palais de Tokyo in Paris. In 2006 he moved to the UK, where he became the Director of Programming at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, and from 2008 to 2012 he served as Director of the groundbreaking Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing. He has been involved as artistic director in several major urban projects, such as the Rives de Saône-River Movie in Lyon, and, from 2015 to 2017, the Grand Paris Express cultural project. Sans was recently appointed Artistic Director of the future contemporary art foundation of the Ile Seguin, developed by Emerige in the greater Paris region. He is also co-founder of Perfect Crossovers Ltd., a Beijing-based consultancy for cultural projects between China and the rest of the world.

The artist Sans has chosen to represent the new landscape of contemporary Chinese art, one of extraordinary richness, dynamism, and clear-sightedness of expressions and perspectives on the world today. Already acclaimed in in their home country, most of these artists have also attained international recognition in recent years.

Sans commented: “New Horizons: China Today will bring together ten artists – Li Qing, Li Shurui, Liu Wei, Lu Chao, Qiu Zhijie, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, Xu Qu, Xu Zhen, and Zhao Zhao – all born in the 1970s and 80s, who have formed a contemporary vocabulary that speaks to a global perspective. Having inhabited a shared period of history in China, their work raises questions relating to its future evolution and to how far its continuous mutations in all fields of society can go. At the same time, the artists gathered together in this section do not form a homogeneous group nor represent a particular movement or trend. Rather, they embody the dynamics of a greater diversity of approaches and styles than has ever existed before in China. It is in this very diversity, that they are indicative of Chinese society today.”

New Horizons: China Today featured galleries are Almine Rech, Chambers Fine Art, Galleria Continua, Hanart TZ Gallery, HdM Gallery, Lehmann Maupin, ShanghART Gallery, Tang Contemporary Art and White Space Beijing.

Abu Dhabi Art 2019 will also introduce New Horizons: India, curated by Ashwin Thadani, founder of Mumbai’s Galerie Isa. Six galleries, most of which will be exhibiting in Abu Dhabi for the first time, will present leading and emerging Indian artists. Participating are Aicon Contemporary, Galerie Isa, Gallery Espace, Grosvenor Gallery, Nature Morte and Vadehra Art Gallery.

Thadani said: “As a curator for the India section of New Horizons at Abu Dhabi Art 2019, the mission is to bring together some of the region’s most prominent galleries and exhibit stellar artists who have not had their due exposure in Abu Dhabi. The collaborating galleries in this exciting curatorial project have played pioneering roles in the South Asian art world, and beyond.”

The full list of participating galleries at Abu Dhabi Art 2019 can be viewed on the website: www.abudhabiart.ae.

Tickets are now available for this year’s edition of Abu Dhabi Art Fair and can be purchased for 55 AED. Visitors can also purchase tickets for the opening reception on 20 November, which includes access to all other regular days, for 100 AED. All tickets include complimentary access to the talks programme. Complimentary tickets are also available for students (university and school students) and for children.

To keep up-to-date on Abu Dhabi Art’s year-round programme, visit www.abudhabiart.ae and follow Abu Dhabi Art on social media channels: FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Tickets are exclusively available via Ticketmaster. To book a tour, please contact: [email protected].

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