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Art Dubai 2022: What to expect from the exhibit’s largest edition to date

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Art Dubai 2022, which is set to open to the public on Friday, has announced the launch of its largest edition to date.

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The annual event is set to feature over 100 contemporary and modern galleries from over 40 countries. The exhibition will be divided into four main gallery sections: contemporary, modern, Bawwaba, and for the first time, Art Dubai Digital.

There will be a series of ambitious new commissions by internationally acclaimed artists, group exhibits, and education and talks programs.

Art Dubai 2022, March 09, Art Dubai Digital Installation View. (Supplied)
Art Dubai 2022, March 09, Art Dubai Digital Installation View. (Supplied)

The fair will take place at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai from March 11 to 13, with previews happening on Wednesday and Thursday.

The event this year includes more than 30 first-time participants, and over 50 percent of the gallery program is drawn from the Global South, featuring collections from artists in the Middle East, Asia Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Islands.

Art Dubai 2019, Image Courtesy Art Dubai. (Supplied)
Art Dubai 2019, Image Courtesy Art Dubai. (Supplied)

Debut of Art Dubai Digital

New to the event this year is Art Dubai Digital, a dedicated digital art and NFT (non-fungible token) section that provides a comprehensive, 360-degree introduction into the fast-developing landscape of digital art, examining the concepts of cryptocurrencies, NFTs, virtual reality (VR), and video art. This branch of art has seen an exponential rise in popularity in recent years.

Abieyuwa, Papa, 2022- Digital art collection at Art Dubai 2022. (Supplied)
Abieyuwa, Papa, 2022- Digital art collection at Art Dubai 2022. (Supplied)

As the art world continues to adapt and evolve in the NFT and digital art realms, new communities are emerging to support them, bringing in new stakeholders and creators with a new perspective on art and art valuation.

Art Dubai Digital will feature a curated section of 17 galleries that represent a broad geographic base, including digitally native platforms and collectives, traditional gallery models, and presentations by some new up and coming artists whose work revolves around innovation.

Many of the artists featured in this new section will be exhibiting at Art Dubai for the first time.

Additionally, 15 artworks from galleries participating in Art Dubai Digital will be dropped on the Bybit platform, a cryptocurrency exchange with more than 2 million registered users, on the opening day of the fair in the Bybit X Art Dubai Drop.

There will also be a dedicated section of the exhibition featuring NFTs created by 12 artists, some of whom are based in the UAE.
“In this debut edition of Art Dubai, we wanted to bring a depth and analysis to a sector that is known for hype, myth and can be mystifying to many,” said Curator and Artistic Director of Art Dubai Digital, Chriss Fussner, in a statement released on Wednesday.

“We wanted to present an overview of the digital art space as it is right now, looking at how artists are applying and adapting [to] these new technologies and how these digital art spaces are starting to mature,” he added.

In its jam-packed schedule, Art Dubai Digital will also feature talks and programs related to innovation in the art space for a range of audiences.

‘This is the Picture’ is a program that will take place across four days and will explore the concept of digital art as we know it today.

Flóra Borsi, Flamingo, 2021, digital art at Art Dubai 2022. (Supplied)
Flóra Borsi, Flamingo, 2021, digital art at Art Dubai 2022. (Supplied)

The Global Art Forum, in its 15th edition, will also examine the worlds of digital artefacts and crypto economies, inviting leading curators, artists and technologists to shed light on a range of topics such as NFT art, crypto gaming, and the Metaverse, among many others.

“It was important to bring both a global and a local perspective, and to show how the application of digital technologies can be a bridge between the digital and the physical art worlds,” said Fussner.

Contemporary art

Andrehn Schiptjenko - Martín Soto Climent - Gossip - Janus - Contemporary collection (Supplied)
Andrehn Schiptjenko - Martín Soto Climent - Gossip - Janus - Contemporary collection (Supplied)

Art Dubai Contemporary 2022 will feature 77 galleries from 33 countries, welcoming 15 new exhibitors. Some of the new exhibitors include Andrehn-Schiptjenko, a contemporary art gallery with spaces in Paris and Stockholm; FORO.SPACE, an art gallery based in Colombia’s city of Bogota; Italian art gallery based in Bologna P420; among many others.

With a strong representation from Africa and South Asia, this year’s exhibition highlights Dubai’s appetite for diversity, making it an ideal place for artists from under-represented regions to showcase their collections alongside other internationally acclaimed artists.

Mono8 - Clarence Chum - The fog was all around - Acrylic on canvas -Contemporary collection at Art Dubai 2022. (Supplied)
Mono8 - Clarence Chum - The fog was all around - Acrylic on canvas -Contemporary collection at Art Dubai 2022. (Supplied)

Modern art

Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath- founders and directors of multidisciplinary curatorial platform artReoriented – Art Dubai’s Modern section of the fair will feature 11 solo presentations of museum-quality works by artists from the 20th century.

Untitled, 1960- DAG- Modern art collection at Art Dubai 2022. (Supplied)
Untitled, 1960- DAG- Modern art collection at Art Dubai 2022. (Supplied)

Under the title ‘The Soul of Progress,’ these presentations are drawn from the Arab World, Iran, North Africa and South Asia, spanning a range of artistic practices that took place between the 1930 and 1970s.

The collections will include artworks made with a range of different mediums including paintings, tapestries, and sculptures.

Cairo - Icons of the Nile 089- Modern art collection at Art Dubai 2022. (Supplied)
Cairo - Icons of the Nile 089- Modern art collection at Art Dubai 2022. (Supplied)

Bawwaba

Bawwaba – which translates to gateway in English – will include artworks that were created specifically for the event within the past year and curated renowned Indian cultural theorist and art curator Nancy Adajania.

The section will feature solo presentations by ten artists from India, Pakistan, Mexico, Peru, Angola, Nigeria, and Chile, with a focus on ‘facture,’ the act of creating a piece of art.

Night Round (Tiger), Bawwaba. (Supplied)
Night Round (Tiger), Bawwaba. (Supplied)

Art Dubai is truly a global fair, and this is reflected in both the quality and geographic spread of galleries participating in our 2022 edition, our largest to date,” said Art Dubai’s artistic Director Pablo del Val.

Bawwaba will include six first-time exhibitors to the fair including Mumbai-based gallery TARQ, which is Sanskrit for discussion, abstract reasoning, logic and cause; Cusco-based gallery VIGIL GONZALES; and Lisbon’s Madragoa gallery, among others.

Progreso y civilización, Vigil Gonzales, Bawwaba. (Supplied)
Progreso y civilización, Vigil Gonzales, Bawwaba. (Supplied)

Founded in 2007, Art Dubai is an annual event that takes place in Dubai which features modern and contemporary gallery sections.

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