Abu Dhabi Art announces its participating galleries for 2017 event

'We are delighted to welcome both new galleries to the fair and returning exhibitors', says director

Focus Beyond Penone, Sikander by Hassan Sharif. Courtesy Artist / Abu Dhabi Art
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Art Abu Dhabi, now in its ninth edition, has just announced its 2017 line up of 45 participating galleries from 18 countries.

It marks a return to a higher number of galleries from last year’s 36 participants under its new director, Dyala Nusseibeh. Galleries from Beirut, Istanbul, Paris, Salzburg, Beijing and New York, among others, will present works by emerging and established artists.

A new category, Solo Projects, encourages galleries to highlight work by a single artist. It will include recent works by the Egyptian artist Chant Avedissian, presented by Sabrina Amrani Gallery, and the Iraqi visual artist Dia Azzawi, presented by Meem Gallery.

Avedissian is known for his portraits of famous Egyptians like singer Umm Khulthum and former president Gamal Abdel Nasser. Azzawi is recognised as a pioneer of modern Arab art and was one of the founders of the New Vision group in 1969, that united artists on the basis of ideology instead of style.

Economic and social landscape will be explored in section called “Focus: Beyond Territory”, a curated Dr Omar Kholeif, the Manilow Senior Curator and Director of Global Initiatives at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

This section will feature works by Nalini Malani, an Indian artist influenced by her time as a refugee of the partition of India, presented by Jhaveri Contemporary, and Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, whose films and visual art explore representations of their native Lebanon.

“This year’s edition aims to uphold and drive Abu Dhabi Art’s reputation as a regional cultural powerhouse presenting world-class galleries, internationally renowned artists and emerging talent to the public,” said Nusseibeh, in a statement.

“We are delighted to welcome both new galleries to the fair and returning exhibitors. As Abu Dhabi Art grows and expands, it will continue to provide a platform from which cultural and artistic dialogue can be initiated, paving the way for the evolving art scene in the Emirate and the UAE.”

There will also be a series of talks on Gulf art histories, contemporary performance art, a street art programme and a section of site-specific works by three artists in Abu Dhabi city and Al Ain.

Abu Dhabi Art runs from November 8 to 11 at Manarat Al Saadiyat and other venues. For more information, visit www.abudhabiart.ae .