Galería Albarrán Bourdais - Courtesy of Art Dubai
Next month will see the return of Art Dubai. The 15th edition will feature over 100 exhibitors from 44 countries, including over 30 first-time exhibitors. Taking place at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai from 11-13 March (previews on 9 and 10 March), Art Dubai 2022 will be the most extensive edition of the fair to date, and one of very few major international art events to take place this spring, The must-visit event for culture lovers, 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, will undoubtedly further boost Dubai’s emergence as an international hub for art and culture and a key contributor to conversations about modern art.
This year’s packed programme will feature newly commissioned site-specific works by internationally renowned artists and a unique new digital section that will act as a link between the crypto and art worlds. There will also be novel group exhibitions and an ambitious multi-strand talks programme, including the 15th edition of the Global Art Forum. The country’s leading institutions will present a parallel programme of significant solo and group exhibitions, talks and events as well.
“For over 15 years, Art Dubai has been a place to discover and celebrate new trends, creating and facilitating conversations, and celebrating the strength of creative output across the Global South,” Pablo del Val, Art Dubai’s Artistic Director, said. “This year’s programme places particular emphasis on where the physical and digital realms intersect, and represents what is our most ambitious and extensive programme to date.”
Here’s what’s in store for art enthusiasts this year at Art Dubai, a premier platform to see and buy contemporary art from the Global South, which was founded in 2007.
TEMPLON Gallery - Courtesy of Art Dubai
Art Dubai’s commission for 2022 is INLAND, represented by Fernando Garcia-Dory, who will present a new multi-site installation at the fair and in a variety of locations across Dubai. “Sand Flow” combines visions of Dubai’s past, present and future and examines the ways in which the multiplicity of cultures and communities inhabit the city and their contributions to it. The artwork will incorporate archaeology, hydrology, urbanism and transport, as well as the Middle East’s rich oral storytelling traditions, heritage and crafts.
Art Dubai Digital
Dastan - Sepand Danesh - The Power - 2021 - 38 x 12 x 23 cm
A new fair section exploring the digital and non-fungible token (NFT) art worlds will look at the context out of which NFTs, cryptocurrency, video art and virtual reality have grown since the rise of digital art in the 1980s. This includes those who are leading the way in the rapidly expanding digital art space. Art Dubai Digital will feature a curated selection of 17 top international galleries and platforms and include presentations by some of the most exciting and innovative artists working in the digital space today, including Refik Anadol (Pilevneli) and Uta Bekaia. Additionally, visitors can check out Denis Davydov (Window Project) and multi-artist presentations by Institut, Bright Moments, Fingerprints DAO, Postmasters, Emergeast and Cyber Baat.
The ‘COSMODREAMS’ Installation
An interactive installation by Marina Fedorova, “COSMODREAMS” will delve into the effects of technological advancements on our lives and environment. The installation combines traditional art and digital technologies in the form of large-scale paintings, sculptures, life-size objects and virtual reality video with interactive panels. Art Dubai Digital will also include an exhibition of new NFTs created by the 12 UAE-based and international artists taking part in this year’s expanded edition of Campus Art Dubai.
Global Art Forum
Art Dubai’s 2022 programme will include an innovative talks programme for a range of audiences. Entitled ‘This is the Picture’ and taking place across four days, the 15th edition of the Global Art Forum will examine the worlds of digital artefacts and crypto economies, inviting leading artists, curators, creators, thinkers and technologists to consider a range of topics. These range from NFT art and curatorial projects, to crypto gaming and the metaverse, Web 3.0 and Dubai’s new crypto zone. Confirmed participants for 2022 will include noted collectors Guy Ullens and Ryan Zurrer and pioneering artists Holly Herndon and Mat Dryhurst. Hito Steyerl and UAE blockchain advocate Saeed Al Darmaki will also be appearing.
NFT Asia, Eri Harigai, ‘Blank’, 2021, Medium_ 3D_2D Video, Courtesy of_ The Artist
Bybit Talks, a wide-ranging curated series of conversations presented by the nominal and leading cryptocurrency exchange, will give visitors greater understanding about the rapid growth in digital platforms. Guest speakers will explain more about the basics of cryptocurrency, digital media and NFT art. Participants will include Tamas Banovich, Co-Founder of Postmasters, Seth Goldstein, Co-Founder of Bright Moments, and Jenn Ellis, Co-Founder of Aora Space.
Art Dubai Modern Talks
Jhaveri Cont. - Yamini Nayar - Parallel Mapping - 2020 - Silver Gelatin print - 91.4 x 76.2 cm
Art Dubai’s Modern section will be accompanied by three days of Art Dubai Modern Talks (10-12 March), this year held in collaboration with the Dubai Collection. It will explore the life, work and influences of 20th century Modern masters from the Middle East and North Africa. These important artists’ works form the art history of the region from the turn of the 20th century to the 1980s, and the series will significantly add to the existing scholarship and research. Participants will include Art Dubai Modern curator Sam Bardaouil, leading Emirati curator Munira Al Sayegh and Nima Sagharchi, Director of Middle Eastern, Islamic and South Asian Art at Bonhams.
A New Exhibition
Gallery 1957 - Courtesy of Art Dubai
This year, Art Dubai will debut a new exhibition commissioned by and in partnership with Warehouse421 and Salama Bint Hamdan Emerging Artist Fellowship. Curated by Maryam Al Dabbagh and Mays Albaik, this show will present a variety of works from the fellowship's eight-year tenure, drawing on threads and cyclical research themes that endure across the programme’s different cohorts. Including painting, textile, video and photography, the exhibition will reflect a collective questioning of memory in relation to place, time and a sense of rhythm and repetition.
The ‘Cloud Seed’ Installation
Julius Baer has commissioned Filipino-American light and media artist James Clar (Silverlens) to create an interactive video installation entitled “Cloud Seed” for the Julius Baer lounge at the fair. The installation will immerse visitors in a large-scale real time simulation of raindrops and fog, using custom technology to create a slowly morphing visual system that reflects our control of the environment. Through the commission, Julius Baer wants to showcase the emergence of mega trends such as digital disruption and how artists are using cutting-edge technology in their practice.
A.R.M. Holding Children’s Programme
The A.R.M. Holding Children’s Programme will feature artist-led workshops for children aged 5-17 years. Kenyan artist Cyrus Kabiru will lead the schedule with a focus on sustainability. He will work with participants to retrieve and repurpose everyday materials from their homes and schools and transform them into works of art. Through these workshops, Kabiru will challenge participants to change their views and re-examine how they see everyday objects and their wider surroundings. The first A.R.M. Holding Children’s Programme will take place at Art Dubai before expanding to take place in 80 schools. Reaching over 5000 children across Dubai, the move is in line with A.R.M. Holding’s long-term commitment to artistic education and Dubai’s creative economy.
Art Dubai Week takes place during the final month of Dubai Expo 2020 with a range of solo and group exhibitions taking place across the city. Highlights include: “Jitish Kallat: Order of Magnitude” at Ishara Foundation and “A Slightly Curving Place,” curated by Nina Ghouse, at Concrete, Alserkal Avenue. There will also be two important solo shows, called “Taus Makhacheva: A Space of Celebration” and “Fahd Burki: Daydreams” at Jameel Arts Centre. Additionally, Sharjah Art Foundation will present “Lawrence Abu Hamdan: The Sonic,” the largest solo exhibition of the artist’s works to date. These include a major new commission, “Air Conditioning,” and a site-specific performance. “When Images Speak: Highlights from the Dubai Collection” continues at the Etihad Museum, featuring a selection of nearly 70 modern art works drawn from the collections of 11 patrons of Dubai Collection, the first institutional art collection of its kind.