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Fair share
by Muhammad Yusuf December 01, 2016
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Art Dubai, the region’s leading art fair, has announced the programme and gallery line-up for its eleventh edition (Mar.15-18, 2017). Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, this year marks its first edition under its new director, Myrna Ayad.

Art Dubai 2017 features 90+ galleries from 44 countries, with 25 galleries attending for the first time and almost three quarters of galleries returning. As per reports, both the Contemporary and Modern sections were oversubscribed.

Art Dubai Contemporary 2017 features 76 galleries spread across its two gallery halls, including a selection of 30+ galleries focusing on solo or two-artist exhibitions and showing alongside collective presentations by galleries with multi-artist shows.

The line-up has a number of galleries from Europe and North America. Returning galleries include Marianne Boesky Gallery (New York), Galerie Daniel Templon (Paris, Brussels), Carlier|Gebauer (Berlin),Galleria Franco Noero (Torino), Victoria Miro (London) and In Situ-Fabienne Leclerc (Paris), which will be joined by first-time participants Marlborough Gallery (New York, London, Barcelona, Madrid) and Waddington Custot (London). In addition to 12 galleries participating from the UAE, Art Dubai will again present Athr Gallery (Jeddah), Chatterjee & Lal (Mumbai), Dastan’s Basement (Tehran), Experimenter (Kolkata), Selma Feriani Gallery (Tunis), Gypsum Gallery (Cairo) and Zawyeh Gallery (Ramallah) as well as newcomers Ab/Anbar and Mohsen Gallery from Tehran.

It will also feature its highest ever number of galleries from South America, with galleries from Peru and Uruguay attending for the first time. Exhibiting galleries include Piero Atchugarry Gallery (Montevideo), Revolver Galeria (Lima), D12 Proyectos de Arte (Santiago) and Vermelho (Sao Paulo).

Art Dubai Modern showcases 14 galleries from 13 countries. This selection of galleries presents leading artists from the Middle East including Agial Art Gallery (Beirut) exhibiting the ‘icon of Arab graphic arts’ Mustafa Al Hallaj (1938-2002), ArtTalks (Cairo) presenting Egyptian modernist Mamdouh Ammar (b. 1926), as well as Gallery One (Ramallah) showing Palestinian-born Sliman Mansour (b. 1947).

Shirin Gallery (Tehran, New York) will have works by Iranian artists Hadi Hazavei (b. 1940) and Houshang Pezeshknia (1917-1972). Pieces by leading modernists from India and Pakistan will be exhibited by Grosvenor Gallery (London), which will present works by recently deceased artist Sayed Haider Raza (1922-2016), a pioneer of Indian Modernism, and Pakistani artists Zahoor ul Akhlaq (1941-1999) and Anwar Jalal Shemza(1928-1985), offered by Jhaveri Contemporary (Mumbai).

Presence from the African continent includes, among others, Nigerian artists Ben Osawe (1931-2007) and Muraina Oyelami (b. 1940), presented by Tafeta (London).

Global Art Forum features around 50 speakers. The theme this time is ‘Trading Places’ which focuses on the trade of goods and ideas that shape – and reshape – the world.

Conceived by Shumon Basar as Commissioner, with Antonia Carver and Oscar Guardiola-Rivera as Co-Directors, ‘Trading Places’ takes place at the Dubai Design District, across Sharjah and at Art Dubai.

‘The Room’ will feature its second project, Green Sea Gardens, where New York-based Moroccan artist Meriem Bennani will create an imaginative country, complete with its own gastronomy, architecture, fashion, technology, brands and music.

The Abraaj Group Art Prize, curated by Omar Berrada, returns with an exhibition by winning artist Rana Begum, which will be presented alongside works by short listed artists Doa Aly, Sarah Abu Abdallah and Raha Raissnia.

Prize and purse

2017 marks the ninth edition of the Abraaj Group Art Prize (AGAP). The jury received applications from 61 countries, more than double the number received in 2015.

Annually, the $100,000 award enables the winning artist to develop a new commission – a “dream project” - and recognises short listed artists with cash prizes of $10,000, used to support the development of their artistic practice.

The Abraaj Group Art Prize Collection – comprised of works commissioned as part of the prize – has a highly active lending policy, with works having been exhibited across five continents, 11 biennales, 31 institutions and 25 countries, including the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum (New York), Victoria and Albert Museum (London), Smithsonian Museum of Asian Art (Washington DC), Sharjah Biennial, Kochi-Muziris Biennale and Biennale of Sydney. The AGAP has taken place annually at Art Dubai since 2008.

AGAP’s jury was formed of renowned international museum curators and directors. Chaired by Dubai-based curator and patron Dana Farouki, it comprises of Defne Ayas, Director and Curator of Witte de With, Center for Contemporary Art; Antonia Carver, Director of Art Jameel; Nav Haq, 2016 Guest Curator of the Prize; Fayeeza Naqvi, Founding Trustee, Aman Foundation; Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director of Exhibitions and Programmes and Director of International Projects at Serpentine Galleries; Sandhini Poddar, art historian and Adjunct Curator at the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum and Frederic Sicre, Managing Director, The Abraaj Group.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a monograph, written and produced by Omar Berrada, AGAP curator, and will be held during Art Dubai.  

Art trek

To mark the ten year anniversary of the Crossway Foundation’s ‘Journeys’ programmes, ten alumni from previous programmes from Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Syria, were invited  to travel around the Southwest USA. The project, realised in partnership with Art Jameel, enabled the group to move through Texas and New Mexico from Oct. 13 – 27, to collaborate with local arts and social organisations.

The journey started in Houston where the group spent the day getting to know each other and the road trip began in earnest once they flew to Midland Odessa, rented cars, and made their way to Marfa, a desert city in far West Texas that became an art hub when minimalist artist Donald Judd moved there in the 1970s.

There they visited the JUDD and Chinati Foundations, explored other Marfa institutions such as Ballroom Marfa and Marfa Contemporary and spent an evening in the company of The XX, who happened to be in town recording their new album!

Then they moved to El Paso via Elmgreen & Dragset’s iconic land art project, Prada Marfa. In El Paso there was an intensive two-day workshop focusing on border issues with local students at the University of Texas, El Paso (UTEP), facilitated by Ersela Kripa and Stephen Mueller of Agency Architecture.

The group was asked to think about what they would pack with them to cross a border (legally or illegally), an idea inspired by 20 per cent of UTEP’s student population that cross the USA/Mexico border to and from Juarez on a daily basis to attend classes.

Touch downs at White Sands National Monument, a ranch outside Magdalena in New Mexico and an immersive stay at Walter de la Maria’s iconic land art work, ‘The Lightning Field’ in Catron County, New Mexico, were among other highlights of the trip.

The journey ended at FotoFest International where the artists presented their work and impressions to a number of curators and members of the city’s art scene. Approximate total mileage: 952 miles.

Those who made the journey were Ahaad Alamoudi, Saudi Arabia; Najd Altaher, Kuwait; Mohammed Al Kindi, Oman; Nasser Alzayani, Bahrain; Majid Angawi, Saudi Arabia; Rawan Alhusaini, Bahrain; Basmah Felemban, Saudi Arabia; Tyma Hezam, Saudi Arabia; Tulip Hazbar, Syria; Marouan Omara, Egypt and Alizeb Raees, Pakistan.

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