ABU DHABI: Around 900 works by more than 300 artists from around the world will be on show at this year’s Abu Dhabi Art fair.
The 14th edition of the event, that opened on Wednesday, will be the largest and most diverse to date with at least 80 galleries from 28 countries representing the exhibiting artists.
Rita Aoun, executive director of culture at the Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi, said: “The Department of Culture and Tourism is more than ever working to cultivate a cultural ecosystem and embrace culture as a lived experience, advancing it as a public good, and protecting and promoting the diversity of cultural expressions to achieve sustainable goals.”
This year’s edition will feature 33 new galleries including from Colombia, France, Tunisia, Italy, Nigeria, South Korea, Morocco, Turkiye, and the UAE.
Abu Dhabi Art director, Dyala Nusseibeh, noted that the diversification of this year’s fair was very much down to its three guest curators, Tunisian art historian Rachida Triki, Turkish gallerist Jade Yesim Turanli, and arts journalist Riccarda Mandrini.
Turanli, who has curated galleries and artists from Turkiye for the art fair described it as an honor to be taking part alongside the other women.
She said: “It’s really empowering to see how female art people are present, and so many in Abu Dhabi — I have seen this over a decade now and I’m really happy to be a part of it.”
The gallerist highlighted first-time exhibitors Dirimart, and Galeri Nev Istanbul, both of which will be showcasing their works at the fair that will be open free to the public at Manarat Al-Saadiyat until Nov. 20.
Triki has acted as curator for the exhibition’s Focus section, running under the title “New Tomorrows,” that spotlights galleries and artists from North Africa and explores the artistic evolution of the region.
Welcoming visitors to the fair will be Italian visual artist Marinella Senatore’s “Bodies in Alliance,” a large metal and LED installation inspired by Italy’s traditional light structures created for outdoor public celebrations.
“Beyond: Emerging Artists,” features the works of up-and-coming UAE-based artists Majd Alloush, Sarah Al-Mehairi, and Mohammed Khalid, who explore themes such as consumerism, borders, and man-made territories.
The fair also includes a retrospective tribute to the late Iranian artist Farideh Lashai, known for her abstract contemporary paintings, and a display titled “Afloat Over Undulations” will showcase artworks via six video installations.
Meanwhile, Egyptian-born artist, curator, writer, and editor Dr. Omar Kholeif, whose curatorial practice focuses on art that intersects with the internet, has curated “My Life in the Metaverse,” an eclectic multi-media exhibit featuring international artists and guided by his alter-ego Dr. O.
The artists on display include Sophia Al-Maria, Cory Arcangel, Cream Projects, Simon Denny, Celia Hempton, Paul Heyer, Haroon Mirza, Farhad Moshiri, Trevor Paglen, Nam June Paik, Heather Phillipson, and Andy Warhol.