Art Dubai announces strongest ever programme and gallery line-up under its new fair director Myrna Ayad

Art Dubai announced today the programme and gallery line-up for its eleventh edition, taking place March 15-18, 2017 at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, this year will mark the fair’s first edition under its new Director Myrna Ayad. Continuing its mandate to offer unrivalled access to art from across the globe, Art Dubai 2017 will grow its already extensive programming and has announced its strongest and most international gallery participation to date.

Art Dubai 2017 will feature 90+ galleries from 43 countries, reinforcing its position as the most global of art fairs and the preeminent platform to discover new artists, galleries and emerging trends. With 25 galleries attending the fair for the first time and almost three quarters of galleries returning, both the Contemporary and Modern sections of Art Dubai 2017 were heavily oversubscribed.

“We are delighted to welcome new galleries and countries presenting for the first time, alongside lots of returning friends of the fair and it’s fantastic to be working with the team to drive forward what has always been the cultural powerhouse of the region. Art Dubai continues to spearhead the cultural development of the local and regional landscape, and in addition to the four days of the fair, Art Dubai is consistently present internationally, supporting and partnering with institutions, galleries and patrons, and hosting events in recognition of our combined efforts”, said Myrna Ayad, Fair Director.

Contemporary

Art Dubai Contemporary 2017 will feature 78 galleries spread across its two gallery halls; including a selection of 30+ galleries focusing on solo or two-artist exhibitions, showing alongside collective presentations by galleries with multi-artist shows; highlighting the revamped sections within the halls.

With a strong representation of returning galleries as well as several new additions, this year’s line-up features a number of galleries from Europe and North America. Returning galleries include Marianne Boesky Gallery (New York), Galerie Daniel Templon (Paris, Brussels), Carlier | Gebauer (Berlin), Galleria Franco Noero (Torino) Victoria Miro (London) and In Situ-Fabienne Leclerc (Paris), which will be joined by first-time participants Marlborough Gallery (New York, London, Barcelona, Madrid) and Waddington Custot (London).

The number of galleries participating from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia reaffirms Art Dubai’s role as a cornerstone of the regional art scene. In addition to 12 galleries participating from the UAE, Art Dubai is delighted to welcome again Athr Gallery (Jeddah), Chatterjee & Lal (Mumbai), Dastan’s Basement (Tehran), Experimenter (Kolkata), Selma Feriani Gallery (Tunis), Gypsum Gallery (Cairo) and Zawyeh Gallery (Ramallah) as well as newcomers Al Marhoon Gallery from Algeria and Ab/Anbar and Mohsen Gallery from Tehran.

Reflecting its global reach, Art Dubai 2017 will feature its highest ever number of galleries from South America, with galleries from Peru and Uruguay attending for the first time. Exhibiting galleries will include Piero Atchugarry Gallery (Pueblo Garzón), Revolver Galeria (Lima), D12 Proyectos de Arte (Santiago) and Vermelho (Sao Paulo).

Modern

With the Modern section now in its fourth edition, Art Dubai is the only platform dedicated to showcasing museum-quality works by modern masters from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. In 2017, Art Dubai Modern will feature 15 galleries from 12 countries.

This selection of galleries will present leading artists from the Middle East including Agial Art Gallery (Beirut), exhibiting the ‘icon of Arab graphic arts’ Mustafa Al Hallaj (1938-2002), ArtTalks (Cairo) presenting Egyptian modernist Mamdouh Ammar (b. 1926), as well as Gallery One (Ramallah) showing Palestinian-born Sliman Mansour (b. 1947). Shirin Gallery (Tehran, New York) will showcase works by Iranian artists Hadi Hazavei (b. 1940) and Houshang Pezeshknia (1917-1972).

Pieces by leading modernists from India and Pakistan will be exhibited by Grosvenor Gallery (London), which will present works by recently deceased artist Sayed Haider Raza (1922-2016), a pioneer of Indian Modernism, and Pakistani artists Zahoor ul Akhlaq (1941-1999) and Anwar Jalal Shemza (1928-1985), offered by Jhaveri Contemporary (Mumbai).

Presence from the African continent will include, among others, Nigerian artists Ben Osawe (1931-2007) and Muraina Oyelami (b. 1940), presented by Tafeta (London).

Programming

Through its year-round activity, educational initiatives and artistic programming, Art Dubai redefines what an art fair can be and has been a leading force in the development of the cultural landscape of the Middle East.

The fair’s critically acclaimed Global Art Forum is the largest talks programme in the Middle East and Asia and recognised as a leading international platform for engaging cultural debate. Featuring around 50 speakers from around the world, the forum returns in 2017 to Dubai and Sharjah under the theme Trading Places and focus on the trade of goods and ideas that shape – and reshape – the world. Conceived by Shumon Basar as Commissioner, with Antonia Carver and Oscar Guardiola-Rivera as Co-Directors, Trading Places took place at the Dubai Design District (13 January), across Sharjah (14 January), and at Art Dubai (15-17 March).

Each year, Art Dubai unveils the Abraaj Group Art Prize, the most significant art prize in the region. Curated by Omar Berrada, an exhibition by winning artist Rana Begum will be presented alongside works by shortlisted artists Doa Aly, Sarah Abu Abdallah, Raha Raissnia.

The Art Dubai Commissions programme has grown significantly since the fair’s last edition and will include site-specific works as well as a series of five specially commissioned performances, curated by guest curator Yasmina Reggad, and presented by international artists, Manuel Pelmuş, Lana Fahmi, Eglė Budvytytė and Iván Argote. One of the performances will be staged as a tribute to the recently deceased Emirati artist Hassan Sharif.

Further highlights of Art Dubai’s educational programming will include the fair’s Fellowship Programme, a network of exceptional writers and curators working in the Middle East, coming together for a week-long series of intensive workshops during Art Dubai; as well as Campus Art Dubai, an intensive six-month course giving artists, writers, curators and cultural producers the opportunity to develop their practices under the mentorship of world renowned curators.

Art Dubai is held in partnership with The Abraaj Group and is sponsored by Julius Baer and Piaget. Madinat Jumeirah is home to the event. The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) is a strategic partner of Art Dubai and supports the fair’s year-round education programme.

About Art Dubai

Art Dubai is a leading international art fair, welcoming the global art world to Dubai each year. The fair acts as a gateway to art from around the world and is the preeminent place to discover works from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. Art Dubai 2017 will feature 277 artists from over 40 countries, representing more than 60 different nationalities. With almost three quarters of galleries returning to the fair, Art Dubai 2017 will feature 90+ galleries from 43 different countries.

Mirroring its hometown Dubai, the fair embraces the city’s fast pace, ambition and quest for innovation. Art Dubai Contemporary features some of the world’s leading contemporary artists and galleries, exhibited alongside emerging talent and budding spaces from across the globe. Reflecting the fair itself, the selection committee for Art Dubai Contemporary is comprised of local and international specialists, ensuring the fair remains at the pulse for new trends from the region and beyond. The committee for Art Dubai Contemporary 2017 included returning members Ursula Krinzinger (Galerie Krinzinger) and Andrée Sfeir-Semler (Sfeir-Semler), who were joined by new members Isabelle van den Eynde (Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde) and Glenn Scott Wright (Victoria Miro). Independent curators Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath joined committee as guest curators.

With the appreciation of modern masters from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia gaining momentum internationally, Art Dubai Modern is the only platform worldwide for museum-quality works by masters from these regions, whose pieces are coveted by patrons and institutions alike. Art Dubai Modern works with a selection committee of leading scholars and curators in the field to ensure the quality of exhibited artwork, including Savita Apte, Iftikhar Dadi, Catherine David, Kristine Khouri and Nada Shabout.

The eleventh edition of Art Dubai takes place March 15-18, 2017.

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