Top art professionals, collectors, artists and connoisseurs have arrived in Abu Dhabi for the grand opening of the second annual Abu Dhabi Art
. This unique platform for regional and international Modern and Contemporary art brings together the art worlds most recognised names right on the crossroads of the ancient silk route, where east and west meet - Abu Dhabi. Organised by Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) and the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage (ADACH,)this years event features a series of groundbreaking exhibitions, a boutique art fair made up of prestigious and innovative galleries, workshops, talks and debates, signifying Abu Dhabis emergence as an important hub for the exploration of new aesthetic experiences.
Abu Dhabi Art is a fundamentally new concept an arts platform composed of myriad elements, never before combined in such an environment. Audience participation and interaction is a fundamental component of Abu Dhabi Art, offering visitors a multi-faceted and immersive experience.
In his opening address, His Excellency Mubarak Hamad al Muhairi, Managing Director of TDIC, said, We are delighted to once again present this platform for Modern and Contemporary art from the region and also from the rest of the world, which continues to increase awareness of and engagement with arts and culture.
The Abu Dhabi Art platform helps us achieve Abu Dhabis cultural ambitions by engaging the community in the citys cultural and artistic development and also helps widen the professional skills and knowledge base we are cultivating in Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi Art is also encouraging the growth of the art market in Abu Dhabi and the UAE and an essential component of that is bringing together international art dealers and experts from around the world to one place where they can discover the vibrant emerging art scene here.
Abu Dhabi Arts selection of exhibitions highlights its holistic approach to presenting art. Abu Dhabi Art organizes, in cooperation with Kamel Mennour Gallery and Giacometti Foundation, Paris: Daniel Buren & Alberto Giacometti Oeuvres Contemporaines 1964-1966, a silent dialogue that juxtaposes Daniel Buren's galaxy of stripes and Giacomettis figures that lies in a short window of time (1964-1966) from which all the works originate.
In Gallery One at Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi Art presents Opening the Doors Collecting Middle Eastern Art, a major new exhibition of works featuring the most significant Middle Eastern artworks from the last 80 years. The exhibition is an original insight into the art scene of the region via some of the finest and most important individual, corporate and institutional collections. The works of this exhibition have been secured by Christies and belong to Art Patrons who have always supported the works of Middle Eastern artists. Opening the Doors reveals both a tradition of collecting and the phenomenal rise of arts patronage in the Middle East, which is driving the regions cultural progress.
Abu Dhabi Art visitors and participants can also enjoy in Manarat Al Saadiyat, RSTW (Rauschenberg, Ruscha, Serra, Twombly, Warhol and Wool), an exhibition of masterpieces from the private collection of one of the worlds most influential figures, Larry Gagosian. In Abu Dhabi Art, new dimensions are explored including RSTW which delves into the private collection of an art dealer and the collector behind the dealer.
Another major component of Abu Dhabi Art is the expanded design workshops platform. This revolves around the Design Studio, a space in which visitors participate in the creation process, while interacting with international designers. A design workshop, led by Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares & Joumana Al Jabri, considers the role of typography in the urban landscape, engaging participants in the creation of site-specific typographic work that fuses city narratives to a broader dialogue concerning participatory art in a public space. Other events involve representations from eminent studios such as the Khatt Foundation, Studio Formafantasma, Khalid Mezaina, and Campana Brothers.
Audience interaction at Abu Dhabi Art is best epitomised in Art, Talks and Sensations, an inspiring journey through the experience of art on the beach of the Emirates Palace. The innovative design of the space creates a labyrinth in which guests can experience a sensory-awakening artistic promenade. A multi-media programme curated by Fabrice Bousteau offers challenges and surprises each day, including an open air movie theatre, screening short films by artists such as Camille Henrot and Yang Fudong; a new series of photographs by Erwin Wurm; an artists lounge in which an artist and philosopher present an informal creative session or talk; The Desert of Deserts a sound installation by the American collective Soundwalk recording the sound of the desert of the Empty Quarter and the route of William Thesiger; and If tomorrow never comes a slideshow by Cypriot artist Christodoulos Panayiotou.
The boutique-style art fair comprises 50 galleries including 2 non-profit foundations and represents all the continents of the world. Divided in the main show, Signature for emerging artists, Beyond for big installations and Bidaya for emerging, new galleries, the fair presents the best selection of artists and artworks from the four corners of the globe.
Abu Dhabi Art symbolises Abu Dhabis active role in influencing the cultural field, inspiring debate and experimentation in the arts, thereby changing the nature of art in the Middle East and the world. A diverse programme reflects and translates these ambitions into something truly unique for the public to experience. This is most clearly evinced with the immense development of the Saadiyat Cultural District, which will feature pioneering new museums: Zayed National Museum, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Louvre Abu Dhabi.