Art Dubai to give fillip to contemporary works

75 galleries to take part in event that will have paintings, installations and videos from more than 500 artists

Shaikh Hamdan takes a tour of the displays after opening Art Dubai
Image Credit: WAM
Shaikh Hamdan takes a tour of the displays after opening Art Dubai. This year, the event has a new programme of artists’ and curators’ residencies, as well as performing art tours and workshops.
Gulf News

Dubai: Art Dubai, recognised as the leading event in the region's booming contemporary art community, which opened officially on Tuesday, is set to headline the city's cultural scene for the next four days.

Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Price of Dubai and Shaikh Majid Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, officially opened Art Dubai on Tuesday at Madinat Jumeirah.

The opening came after a press conference by Antonia Carver, director of Art Dubai and Frederic Sicre, head of Abraaj Sustainability and Stakeholder Engagement Track (Asset), highlighting the key aspects of Art Dubai and Abraaj Capital Art Prize.

Carver said there are 75 galleries from 32 countries displaying paintings, sculptures, installations and videos by more than 500 artists, of which 10 are UAE based. This is the most number of galleries from a single country.

She added that there has also been an increase in museum groups attending the fair, from 60 last year to 75 this year. She also stressed that Dubai has become the commercial art hub in the region and that a large number of people fly to Dubai just to attend Art Dubai.

"Providing a platform for new talent, celebrating established artists, debating the latest developments in the industry, and integrating art into the fabric of the region are among Art Dubai's key cornerstones," Carver added.

Sicre, said that the goal of Abraaj Capital Art Prize was "to empower talented artists with the resources to realise ambitious projects which take their practice to a new level of recognition." He also called on private Arab companies to get involved in the Arab art scene and support artists of this region.

Art prize

The artworks of the 2012 Abraaj Capital Art Prize's fourth edition, were first unveiled yesterday in a side exhibition. The Abraaj Capital Art Prize, which is given on the basis of proposals rather than completed works, is the world's only art prize to focus on the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region (Menasa). The 2012 winners are Taysir Batniji (Palestine), Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige (Lebanon), Wael Shawky (Egypt), Risham Syed (Pakistan), Raed Yassin and (Lebanon). The exhibition is curated by Nat Muller.

Frederic Sicre, head of Abraaj Capital said that the goal of this prize was "to empower talented artists with the resources to realise ambitious projects which take their practice to a new level of recognition."

Art Dubai will be open to the public on tomorrow, but there will be an exclusive Ladies Day from 11am till 2pm today, which is being held under the patronage of Shaikha Manal Bint Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Women's Establishment, which consists of tours by curators and art experts. A session of the Global Art Forum will also be held today between 2-5pm.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Global Art Forum is part of Art Week, an initiative promoting the region as an art destination. This year, Art Dubai has a new programme of artists' and curators' residencies, commissioned projects, performing art tours, workshops, Abraaj Capital Art Prize and the Global Art Forum.

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