Art Dubai announces 2022 gallery list and new section dedicated to digital art

This year the fair returns to Madinat Jumeirah and will take place from March 11 to 13

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 01 APRIL 2021. Art Dubai 2021 at DIFC. Galerie Nathalie Obadia. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Amith Passela. Section: Sport.
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Art Dubai has announced its list of participating galleries for its 15th event, taking place from March 11 to 13.

This year’s fair – which returns to its home in Madinat Jumeirah after staging a tented version in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) last year – will have organisers diving deeper into the digital and crypto art space with the launch of Art Dubai Digital, a new section dedicated to digital art and NFTs.

Chris Fussner, director of the Tropical Futures Institute in Cebu in the Philippines, is curating the section, bringing galleries such as Postmasters from New York, whose programming in digital art stretches back to the 1980s, and Emergeast, a young digital platform from the region founded in 2014.

In total, Fussner’s selection includes 16 galleries and platforms presenting artworks in a physical format for visitors.

A number of the fair’s programmes are also putting blockchain at the centre. The current Campus Art Dubai, for example, will be a Blockchain Edition featuring an eight-week course that will support 12 artists from the UAE and abroad who are working in digital art.

During the fair, a Crypto Media Lab will be set up, serving as a “gathering space” for businesses and exchanges working in cryptocurrency and digital assets, according to organisers.

The annual Global Art Forum (titled This is the Picture), commissioned by writer and curator Shumon Basar, will delve into the world of NFTs, gaming, the metaverse and the concept of Web 3.0, which looks at how a new decentralised form for internet services, websites and applications that are based on blockchains.

Art Dubai Digital marks the fair’s fourth gallery section, with the others categorised into contemporary, modern and Bawwaba, the last focusing on works created in the past year or made specifically for the fair.

A total of 100 galleries are participating at Art Dubai 2022, 30 of which are included in the fair for the first time. Of the 40 countries represented in the list, more than half belong to the Global South, a region that the fair’s organisers have been incorporating into its programme as it markets itself as the primary marketplace outside of the western art fair circuit.

The contemporary section features 77 galleries (15 joining the fair for the first time), including newcomers FORO.SPACE from Bogota, rhizome from Algiers and Window Project from Moscow.

Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, the modern section highlights Middle Eastern, South Asian and African artists from the 20th century in solo booths. The artists include Bibi Zogbe, a Lebanese painter known for her floral canvasses, whose works will be presented by Agial Art Gallery from Beirut, and Rabin Mondal, a pioneering modern artist from India, represented by DAG World from New Delhi.

Meanwhile, the Bawwaba section comprises 10 solo shows, including presentations by Tarq from Mumbai, Nature Morte from New Delhi and Rele Gallery from Lagos, all exhibiting at the fair for the first time.

For 2022, Art Dubai is continuing its Gallery Support Programme, launched in 2021. The scheme allows certain galleries to pay for booth fees based on the sales they made during the event.

Art Dubai will take place from Friday to Sunday, March 11 to 13, with previews on Monday and Tuesday, March 9 and 10, at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. More information is at artdubai.ae

Updated: March 08, 2022, 11:39 AM