Dubai, Madinat Jumeirah
This Year Art Dubai celebrated its 11th edition. It was my fifth year visiting Art Dubai, and to me the fair, and the entire Dubai art week is a breath of fresh air.
The fair featured 94 galleries from 43 countries, and being on the fair's VIP list was quite rewarding in so many ways. The activities, talks, discussions, presentations, and events are enough to keep one busy all day for five days!
I had the chance to ask the lovely, newly appointed Fair Director, Myrna Ayad about what she thought was a special aspect of this year's fair, and about the selection process of galleries and the art they showcase. "Among the most incredible aspects about Art Dubai 2017 was that our 11th edition being the fair's most globally diverse edition to date, with 94 galleries coming in from a record 43 countries".
"Galleries submit proposals which are reviewed by our Selection Committee, comprised of esteemed gallerists - Isabelle van den Eynde (namesake gallery), Ursula Krinzinger (Krinzinger Gallery), Andree Sfeir-Semler (Sfeir-Semler Gallery) and Glenn Scott-Wright (Victoria Miro) who review applications along with our Guest Curators Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath. We encourage gallerists to submit tightly curated proposals (galleries need to be at least 2 years old)" is what Myrna so kindly had to say.
One of the things I love about Art Dubai is the Art Dubai Modern section, and especially the fact that is located separately from the Contemporary sections. This classy and beautifully curated section showcased museum-quality works by the most renowned Modern artists in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa. I was, of course, super proud of the Jordanian representation by Wadi Finan Art Gallery showcasing non other than Princess Wijdan and Ahmad Nawash, two of my all time favorite Arab artists.
Emerging artists and trends are also plenty at the Contemporary sections, and between the Art Dubai Projects - focusing on performance arts, the Global Art Forum, and the Abraaj Group Art Prize, there is plentiful art going on.
I simply love the location and venue of the fair, and I love all the fine, fancy stuff that is in and around Art Dubai. Serious Arab collectors, fabulous Arab artists, and amazing Arab art add greatly to an otherwise global and international art scene.
According to my foreign collector friends and clients, at no point did they feel any restrictions or inhibitions that may be thought to be associated with an Arab country. At this fair, art is art! International, global, expressive art.
To add, the halls of the fair are easy to navigate, there is plenty to see and take in, and one can spend the entire afternoon or evening lounging around, having a bite out in the sun at the lovely venue terrace, enjoying a glass of wine, and then continuing to enjoy more art.