Abu Dhabi Art is around the corner and the lineup includes artworks provided by an impressive roster of 50 local, regional and international galleries.The fair’s 13th edition featuring pieces from 19 countries will be taking place at the emirates’ Manarat Al Saadiyat from 17 – 21 November.
In all, there will be 14 new galleries and 36 returning ones participating, with The Modern & Contemporary section of the fair featuring 26 of the galleries. Whether it’s the regional players like the Hafez Gallery found in Jeddah, Beirut’s Agial Art Gallery or the Custot Gallery and Green Art Gallery in Dubai, they will be presenting a wide range of works by the different artists. As will galleries from different spots around the world, including the Artside Gallery in South Korea, Spain’s Baró Galeria, Galeria La Cometa in Colombia and Italy’s Galleria Continua.
"Autumn Dresses," 2021, Charlene Komuntale, courtesy of Afriart Gallery
“We are delighted to welcome a diverse lineup of new participating galleries alongside many of our regular exhibitors at the fair this November,” Dyala Nusseibeh, Director, Abu Dhabi Art, said. “After a year of forced hiatus, it comes as no surprise that participating galleries have brought together exceptional presentations in their booths, which range from solo shows that reposition modern art masters from the region to young galleries who are bold enough to show exciting emerging artists. We can't wait for our collectors and visitors to discover these works and reconnect with galleries at the fair.”
First timers like Fabio Rossi are feeling enthusiastic while gearing up for the event. “We are excited to participate in our first edition of Abu Dhabi Art. I have been following the fair from the very beginning but, due to conflicting schedules, have not been able to apply before,” the owner of Rossi & Rossi said. “I visited Abu Dhabi Art two years ago and was impressed by the overall quality and the atmosphere. We will be showing a selection of early works by legendary Iranian-born American artist Siah Armajani who passed away last year. We are looking forward to connect with the local audience, both private collectors and institutions.”
Returning galleries are also eager to re-connect with audiences from everywhere during the fair. “Last year, our gallery participated at the fair for the first time, in an online show, and we did very well with the artists we presented even when the artworks were only virtual,” Daudi Karungi, Director of Afriart Gallery, said. “I look forward to our participation in this in-person fair where we shall be able to show the works of our artists in real life to visitors at the event.”
Alongside galleries from the Modern & Contemporary section, 22 galleries will be presenting curated booths by one, two or three artists each as part of the fair’s Special Projects sector. On the list, visitors will find Aicon Contemporary from New York, Jeddah’s ATHR, the Salwa Zeidan Gallery in Abu Dhabi and The Guild in Mumbai. Additionally, Simon Njami is curating “Kind of Blue,” an exploration of the many varied perspectives of artists working today through the language of jazz, presenting works from four participating galleries.
Abu Dhabi Art has also announced three new works as part of the fair’s special installation section, “In and Around.” The pieces are by Olga de Amaral, Seher Naveed and Zarina. They will be be showcased alongside four previously confirmed works by Alfredo Jaar, Hera Büyüktaşcıyan, Siah Armajani and Zineb Sedira.
Meanwhile, the fair’s “Beyond: Artist Commissions” programme, features new art commissions by five artists: Aya Haidar, Hazem Harb, Dr Najat Makki, Rasheed Araeen and Richard Atugonza. The 2021 edition will also host its annual public Performing Arts Programme, curated by Rose Lejeune. The programme features four commissioned artists: Louise Hervé & Clovis Maillet, Mays Albaik, Rand Abdul Jabbar and Super Taus.
"Street Corner No.2," 1995, Bronze, 67.5 x 110 x 9 in. (171.4 x 279.4 x 22.9 cm.)
In addition, Abu Dhabi Art’s “Beyond: Emerging Artists,” curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, co-founders of multidisciplinary curatorial platform Art Reoriented and co-directors of Hamburger Bahnhof, will present new works by three UAE-based emerging artists: Hashel Al Lamki, Maitha Abdalla and Christopher Benton. Their exhibition will be on show until December 4. This year’s programme also sees the inaugural appearance of Abu Dhabi Art’s newly launched initiative, Friends of Abu Dhabi Art.