The fair might be over, but there a number of exhibitions included in Abu Dhabi Art's programming are still on view at Manarat Al Saadiyat. More than 50 galleries participated this year, with works presented across three key sections: the annual Focus and Gateway exhibitions, along with the introduction of New Horizons, which split into two presentations of Indian and Chinese contemporary art. The sections were curated by the likes of Jerome Sans, Paolo Colombo, Omar Kholeif and Ashwin Thadani.
As part of the fair's aims to go beyond its commercial scope and become a platform for artists, Abu Dhabi Art will keep a number of exhibitions open to the public until February 2020. Here are a few to see.
Al Burda Endowment Exhibition
Al Burda has collaborated with the fair to showcase the works of the 10 contemporary artists that were granted the Al Burda Endowment this year. Founded by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, Al Burda aims to support Islamic art and foster its development in the context of the contemporary art in the region and beyond. They launched their endowment programme last year and selected 10 artists from around the world to produce works for the initiative.
The results are a variety of installation works that fuse traditional forms of Islamic art with modern styles and mediums. Artists include Ammar Al Attar, who presents the malid or mawlid performance through VR; Ebtisam Abdulaziz, who has ventured into her first three-dimensional textural painting; and Aisha Khalid, whose textile installation, which visitors can enter, was one of the highlights of the show. Inspired by Persian carpets, Khalid has created the effect of embroidery of fabric using thousands of dressmaker pins.
Beyond: Emerging Artists
Found objects, urban relics and industrial materials dominate the Beyond: Emerging Artists presentation this year. Curated by artist trio Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh and Hesam Rahmanian, the programme features the Emirati artists Ayesha Hadhir, Rawdha Khalifa Al Ketbi and Shaikha Fahad Al Ketbi, whose artistic practices are linked by their focus on the UAE's lesser-known landscapes.
Inside the Manarat Al Saadiyat auditorium, the artists have created another world where seemingly out-of-use items, such as old couches, doors, traffic and construction materials, take on other lives as objects of memory and unusual symbols of forgotten histories and heritage. During the fair, the artists activated their installations through performance that gave audiences an insight into their process.
Gateway: Fragments, Yesterday and Today
In this remarkable exhibition put together by curator Paolo Colombo, objects from the Al Ain Museum are in dialogue with the works of contemporary artists such as Kamrooz Aram, Lamya Gargash, Nima Nabavi, Hamra Abbas, Oliver Beer, Kiki Smith and Farah Khelil.
The show looks at how these anthropological objects still resonate with the narratives of today's artists. Visitors can see how certain forms and motifs have travelled through millennia, and understand how the labour of art has changed through the years.
The three exhibitions are on view until Saturday, February 8 at Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Cultural District, Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi; more information available on abudhabiart.ae