Abu Dhabi Art gears up for November return

This year, 50 local, regional and international galleries will participate in the art fair

Abu Dhabi Art returns this year as a fully physical fair, with various curated sections at Manarat Al Saadiyat in November.

Fifty galleries are participating this year, 14 of which are new. London art space Rossi & Rossi will have a presence, as will The Third Line, the veteran Dubai gallery that is returning to the fair for the first time since 2018.

“We are delighted to welcome a diverse line-up of new participating galleries alongside many of our regular exhibitors,” said Dyala Nusseibeh, the fair’s director.

“After a year of forced hiatus, it comes as no surprise that participating galleries have brought together exceptional presentations in their booths, which range from solo shows that reposition modern art masters from the region to young galleries who are bold enough to show exciting emerging artists.”

The fair’s wide geographical spread is evidenced this year by the number of regional galleries taking part, such as Agial Art Gallery from Beirut, Hafez Gallery from Jeddah, and Khak Gallery from Tehran; local ones, such as Lawrie Shabibi and Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde; and those coming from East Asia, such as Artside Gallery, Gallery Lee & Bae and Gallery Tableau, all from South Korea.

The non-commercial programming is back as well, including an exhibition named Kind of Blue, after Miles Davis's seminal album. It explores how contemporary art can reflect the melodies and rhythms of jazz.

“Kind of Blue is about mood – an illustration of the times we are facing through jazz as a universal language of music,” the curator, French writer Simon Njami, said.

The galleries participating in this section are Afriart Gallery from Uganda, Galerie MAM from Cameroon, Primo Marella Gallery from Italy, and Sabrina Amrani from Spain.

Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, recently announced as co-directors of the prestigious art space Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, will curate Beyond: Emerging Artists, with new works by Emirati artists Hashel Al Lamki, Maitha Abdalla, and Christopher Benton from the US. The show will run past the end of the fair and remain up until December 4, 2021.

The second Beyond strand, Beyond: Artist Commissions, will this year include new commissions by Palestinian-British artist Aya Haidar, Palestinian artist Hazem Harb, pioneering Emirati artist Najat Makki, Pakistani-British artist Rasheed Araeen and Richard Atugonza, a young artist from Uganda.

Rose Lejeune has put together the fair’s Performing Arts Programme for the second year (and the first in-person). The British curator, who specialises in performance, has commissioned Parisian duo Louise Herve & Clovis Maillet, Palestinian artist Mays Albaik, Iraqi architect and furniture designer Rand Abdul Jabbar, and Russian artist Super Taus for the programme, which will take place at Manarat Al Saadiyat and Umm Al Emarat park.

Abu Dhabi Art will run from Wednesday, November 17 to Sunday November 21. More information is at abudhabiart.ae

Updated: November 4th 2021, 9:04 AM