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Creative art installations, captivating talks and inspiring performances converge in the UAE capital as Abu Dhabi Art 2016 opens

November 14, 2016 10:34 am

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The eighth edition of Abu Dhabi Art opens its doors to the public at Manarat Al Saadiyat from 16-19 November, bringing together a combination of exhibitions, stimulating discussions and creative forms of artistic expressions presented as part of a dynamic multidisciplinary program including live performances and visual art installations.

Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Abu Dhabi Art presents an art fair and an extensive public program that connects with the wider community through a dynamic schedule of performing arts, talks and collaborative community initiatives. The inspired programming bears testament to Abu Dhabi’s artistic evolution, presenting to audiences a diversity of cultural experiences that underpin Abu Dhabi’s position as a cultural hub.

Commenting on this year’s edition of Abu Dhabi Art, HE Saif Saeed Ghobash, Director General of TCA Abu Dhabi, said: “Abu Dhabi Art celebrates the cultural and creative diversity of the region and is a platform for artistic expressions, serving as a vibrant beacon of Abu Dhabi’s creative ambitions, intellectual exchange and inspired dialogue. We are proud to present a globally renowned event which bolsters Abu Dhabi’s vision as a hub for cultural fortitude.”

Abu Dhabi Art 2016

This year’s Fair welcomes 40 established and innovative galleries from 20 different countries, presenting iconic artworks by internationally renowned and emerging artists Coming from Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East, the galleries will exhibit under the fair’s main sections: Modern & Contemporary, Bidaya, and Beyond, presenting some of the world’s most innovative and established galleries, offering visitors a selection of exceptional modern and contemporary artworks.

TCA Abu Dhabi has recently announced the appointment of Dyala Nusseibeh as Fair Director of Abu Dhabi Art, who is well connected to her peers in the art world and the UAE community, making her appointment greatly significant for the project.

The 2016 edition is introducing a new and innovative program reflected in three curated exhibitions that are part of the new Abu Dhabi Art program: ‘Gateway’. The exhibitions will be included within the art fair and will be transforming the concept of Abu Dhabi Art to a place of discovery and discourse, reflecting the exceptional calibre of contemporary cultural practice for which Abu Dhabi Art is renowned for.

Three exhibition spaces will showcase the artworks by galleries in an innovative format; where each exhibition has its own curator.

Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator, Asian Art and Senior Advisor, Global Arts at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, is curating and presenting as part of Gateway, a large scale installation by Gu Dexin, an influential Chinese artist revered by fellow-artists and intellectuals. The presentation seeks to challenge viewers to encounter raw matter process of life and decay. Gateway will also include ‘(Re) Birth’, a thematic group exhibition curated by Fabrice Bousteau, featuring a thematic presentation of modern and contemporary artwork across a range of themes designed to showcase the talents of both emerging and established artists. Artists forming the line-up for ‘(Re) Birth’ include Faig Ahmed, Cuadro Fine Art Gallery, Gilles Barbier, Galerie GP&N Vallois, Mona Hatoum, GALLERIA CONTINUA, Seidou Keïta, Leila Heller Gallery and Zeinab Al Hashemi, Cuadro Fine Art Gallery.

A newly commissioned edition of Durub Al Tawaya, a multidisciplinary performing arts program curated by Tarek Abou El Fetouh brings to the Abu Dhabi Art program a captivating series of live performances. Reflecting the cosmopolitan character of the city, the program is anchored by a range of artists from around the world, including Raed Yassin with traditional Emirati musicians, an opera concert on Abu Dhabi’s Corniche by Japanese 3D sensation Hatsune Miku in collaboration with contemporary composer Keiichiro Shibuya, Anna Rispoli in an engaging performance about Abu Dhabi’s waterfront, experience from a boat and performances by the highly acclaimed Chinese dance company Tao Dance Theater. Durub Al Tawaya will also offer a specially adapted performance by artist Miet Warlop in Manarat Al Saadiyat’s atrium.

Abu Dhabi Art has also inaugurated this year the program of Majlis Fann, a cultural forum for stimulating talks through panel discussions led by some of the most influential figures of the art world. Set to engage audiences in a dialogue about the history and complexities of art practices in the UAE, Majlis Fann is a two-tiered program of events curated by Reem Fadda, catering to patrons and practitioners from the international arts community. Majlis Fann will comprise of a series of daily curated talks that will offer diverse perspectives on global art trends

Curator, Artistic Director and long-term Abu Dhabi Art collaborator Fabrice Bousteau will curate Beyond, a pioneering public art platform for large-scale sculptures and artistic installations. Showcasing installations both indoors and outdoors at Manarat Al Saadiyat and extending into the city’s iconic spaces for six months from November 2016 to May 2017, Beyond installations are designed with the aim of showcasing Abu Dhabi’s dynamic art scene, and the emirate as a fast-growing hub for fostering immersive arts and cultural experiences and  aims to reflect Abu Dhabi Art’s vision to connect with the wider urban fabric of the city with a series of interactive programs that draw from international trends in art and creative expression.

As part of the Beyond public art program, Bousteau also curates the new “Street Art” initiative, an inspired creative presentation within and beyond Manarat Al Saadiyat’s periphery, characterized by artistic live demonstrations on shipping containers across four locations throughout the city.  Yas Marina, Warehouse 421, Abu Dhabi Corniche, and Abu Dhabi Art venue Manarat Al Saadiyat will showcase large-scale three-dimensional artistic works by Californian artist Cleon Peterson and Dubai-based aerosol artists Sya & Bow originating from London among others.

Visitors to this year’s edition of Abu Dhabi Art can expect to witness some of the world’s most captivating artistic presentations and performances, coupled with distinctive dialogue platforms from leading artists, gallerists, art historians and curators. Emblematic of the vitality of Abu Dhabi and its fast-evolving contemporary art scene, Abu Dhabi Art is adapting to the ongoing development of the cultural landscape in the Saadiyat Cultural District and the emirate of Abu Dhabi, and is an embodiment of the cultural intrigue and creative ambition that defines the city.

Abu Dhabi Art is taking place at Manarat Al Saadiyat between 2.00pm – 10.00pm daily from November 16 – 19. For more information, please visit abudhabiart.ae.  

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