Latest edition of Abu Dhabi Art Fair to showcase most diverse line-up

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The 14th edition of Abu Dhabi Art Fair, organized by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), will be its largest and boasts the most diverse line-up to date.

The Fiar will open to the public at Manarat Al Saadiyat from November 16 and run until November 20,

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There are 80 galleries from 28 countries representing more than 300 artists from around the globe and presenting over 900 artworks. This year’s edition will feature 33 new galleries joining from Colombia, France, Tunisia, Italy, Nigeria, South Korea, Italy, Morocco, Turkey, the UAE and beyond, as well as a rich, curated fair program experience.

Abu Dhabi Art this year welcomes esteemed art historian Rachida Triki, gallerist Jade Yeşim Turanlı, and arts journalist Riccarda Mandrini as guest curators and collaborators for galleries at the fair.

Dr. Omar Kholeif will curate ‘My Life in the Metaverse,’ as part of Abu Dhabi Art’s Gateway program, and the Artist Commissions in Cultural Sites program includes new works by Abdullah Al Saadi, Marinella Senatore, Shilpa Gupta, and Conrad Shawcross.
As part of the year-round program ‘Beyond: Emerging Artists,’ three UAE-based emerging artists, Majd Alloush, Sarah Al Mehairi, and Mohamed Khalid, have created new commissioned works to be exhibited at the fair.

Abu Dhabi Art will also host CookBook Abu Dhabi, an exceptional culinary art experience featuring renowned chefs Kasper Kurdahl, Maksut Askar, Ivan Brehm, and Sahar Parham Al Awadhi, and artists Caique Tizzi, Greta Alfaro, Hicham Berrada and Emeka Ogbah.

Highlights

Art historian, Professor of Philosophy, and curator Triki is the guest curator of this year’s Focus section, under the theme ‘New Tomorrows.’ The section will spotlight galleries and artists from North Africa and explore the artistic evolution of the region.

Abu Dhabi Art has also appointed gallerist Turanlı, of Pi Artworks, and journalist Mandrini as guest curators for the fair, each bringing in a number of new galleries.

Turanlı will focus on galleries and artists from Turkey, including first-time exhibitors Dirimart and Galeri Nev İstanbul, whilst Mandrini will bring together galleries from around the world with diverse programs, including Mazzoleni, P420, and Dep Art Gallery.

Dr. Omar Kholeif, author, curator, broadcaster, and cultural historian, has curated ‘My Life in the Metaverse,’ the fair’s 2022 Gateway exhibition, which will be on display at Manarat Al Saadiyat.

‘My Life in the Metaverse’ is a multi-disciplinary exhibition that spans a variety of media, including sculpture, painting, photography, installation, video, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), with a journey through a simulation guided by Dr. Kholeif’s alter ego, Dr. O.

‘My Life in the Metaverse’ features works by internationally renowned artists, many of whom will be presenting new commissions, as well as those who have never shown in the UAE before. The artists 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.

Three UAE-based emerging artists, Majd Alloush, Sarah Al Mehairi, and Mohamed Khalid, have created new commissioned works to be exhibited at the art fair. Each artist has brought their unique perspective to explorations of the notions of borders, home, man-made territories, and geographical mapping.

Abu Dhabi Art has commissioned four artists to create new public installations, to be placed in sites of historical significance across the emirate, as part of this year’s Artist Commissions in Cultural Sites programme.

The 2022 commissions include new works by Abdullah Al Saadi, Marinella Senatore, Shilpa Gupta, and Conrad Shawcross. These works will appear in Al Ain and at Al Hosn as well as the home of Abu Dhabi Art, Manarat Al Saadiyat. The installations are site-specific and thoughtfully placed in locations to create a dialogue with their surroundings, bridging the gap between the historic and contemporary.

This year, seven established artists will be exhibiting their work as part of the programme ‘In and Around’: Shaikha Al Mazrou, Lawrie Shabibi; Ngozi-Omeje Ezema, Kó; Abdulla Al Saadi; Marinella Senatore, Mazzoleni; Conrad Shawcross, Galerie Isa; Farah Al Qasimi, The Third Line; Slimen El Kamel, La La Lande; Farid Belkahia, Le Violon Bleu. They will be joined by three art students who participated in the Christo and Jeanne-Claude award.

Abu Dhabi Art presents an exhibition showcasing the concluding artworks of the prominent Iranian artist, the late Farideh Lashai (1944-2014) via six video installations. The works incorporate her artistic life: as an abstract painter, playful experimenter with new technologies and intellectual who excelled in bringing her aesthetic genius closer to her role as a writer, thinker, and translator.

‘Farideh Lashai: Afloat Over Undulations’ presents a seamless balance between her conceptual and historical thinking and the ever-present beauty of color and brushstrokes to narrate the political conditions during and beyond Farideh’s time. The videos follow the journey of the protagonist, a playful animated rabbit, through different times and landscapes, bringing lightness and innocence to these complicated periods.

Farideh also pays homage to Charlie Chaplin and Umm-Kulthum in the video installation, El Amal (The Desire), at the entrance to the exhibition room and her works are accompanied by the artist’s Persian best-seller, ‘The Jackal Came,’ whose English translation will soon be published.

The exhibition is curated by Saam Samiee, in collaboration with the Photography Studio, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Farideh Lashai Foundation, Basel Switzerland, and Leila Heller Gallery.

Abu Dhabi Art Fair is also offering stimulating art workshops, artist-led masterclasses, tours in English and Arabic and competitions for all ages. Placing a strong emphasis on accessible public engagement, this year’s diverse line-up of programming and events includes talks, performances, workshops, and tours, organized at Manarat Al Saadiyat as well as sites where this year’s commissions are located, some led by artists and curators.

There will be daily in-depth discussions led by art and culture experts revolving around topics such as creating museum collections in the region, art in North Africa, women in art, digital art and NFTs, art empowering society, and notable personalities in art.

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