All that you wanted to know about Art Dubai but were afraid to ask
Art Dubai has announced the list of participating galleries in its 2023 edition taking place at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai (March 3 — 5, 2023), with previews on March 1-2.
One of the leading global platforms for art and artists from the Middle East and Global South, Art Dubai’s 16th edition will present over 100 galleries from 43 countries across four gallery sections: Contemporary, Modern, Bawwaba and Art Dubai Digital.
The 2023 fair will also include 30 first-time participants and over 60 per cent of the gallery programme is drawn from the Global South, to reaffirm the fair’s position as a leading marketplace for art from this region.
Art Dubai’s Artistic Director Pablo del Val said that “Art Dubai is a global fair, and the strength of the applications we received for our 2023 edition reflects Art Dubai’s increasing importance as the region’s premier art event, the gateway to the Global South and the maturing of the art market here in Dubai.
“Dubai is rapidly developing into a global financial and technology hub — the city is booming, and is a place that generations of people from all over the world call home.” Art Dubai Contemporary presents cutting-edge contemporary art from 72 galleries from 33 countries, with particular focus on art and artists from the Global South.
The fair welcomes 16 first-time exhibitors, including Art: Concept (Paris), Barakat Contemporary (Seoul), First Floor (Harare), kó (Lagos), Piedras (Buenos Aires), Shrine Empire (New Delhi) and Barbara Thumm (Berlin).
More South Asian and African galleries than ever before are being represented, and 12 galleries are returning to Art Dubai after a break.
They include Albareh Art Gallery (Manama), Ruth Benzacar Galería de Arte (Buenos Aires), Chemould Prescott Road (Mumbai), Taymour Grahne Projects (London), GVCC (Casablanca), October (London), and Project 88 (Mumbai).
AD’s 2023 edition features 21 Dubai-based galleries — more than ever before — reflecting the continued growth of Dubai’s artistic ecosystem and the emirate’s increasing importance as a global creative and cultural hub.
The fair also sees the return of Art Dubai Digital, which was launched at the fair’s 2022 iteration. It is the physical section of Art Dubai and provides an annual 360-degree snapshot of the digital art landscape, building bridges between the art and technology worlds, and exploring how artists utilise new, immersive technologies to collapse the boundaries of the traditional art world. The Art Dubai Digital programme also features an extensive talks and education programme.
Curated by Singapore-based educator and arts writer Clara Che Wei Peh, Art Dubai Digital welcomes galleries with innovative new media programmes, as well as digital platforms building virtual art spaces, alongside artist collectives, Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs) and traditional bricks and mortar galleries that challenge and push forward new models for artistic production. The selection is drawn from across six continents, showcasing Art Dubai’s commitment to presenting global perspectives and diversity, inviting audiences to look beyond traditional art centres, and mapping out the key agents and platforms leading the way.
It must be remembered that Art Dubai was the first art fair to initiate a dedicated digital section and to build a new home for artists working across a broad spectrum of digital mediums.
Highlights for 2023 includes Quantum Art (Los Angeles); Window Project (Tbilisi); Afrofuturism (Ikoyi, Lagos); Galleria Continua (San Gimignano, Beijing, Les Moulins, Havana, Rome, Sao Paulo, Paris, Dubai); NFT Asia (Singapore); Unit London; and Dubai-based UAE NFT and Morrow Collective.
Bangkok-based Vipash Purichanont curates the Bawwaba section. Meaning ‘gateway’ in Arabic, Bawwaba features artworks made in the past year or specifically for Art Dubai, and comprises solo presentations by 11 artists hailing from across the Global South.
Across a variety of mediums, from painting and tapestry to filmmaking and performance, the section explores how contemporary artists from the Global South bring forth concerns within their worlds, from socio-cultural issues such as the tension between rapid urban development and traditional values, the legacy of colonisation on environment, human relationships in the age of hyperconnectivity, or personal concerns around the meaning of language and void.
Participating galleries and artists include Circle Art Gallery (Nairobi) with Dickens Otieno; Parliament (Paris) with Achraf Touloub; Silverlens Galleries (Manila/New York) with Gregory Halili; Yeo Workshop (Singapore) with Maryanto; and Hunna Art Gallery (Abu Dhabi, Sharjah) with Moza Almatrooshi.
The 2023 edition of Art Dubai Modern is curated by Paris-based critic and curator Mouna Mekouar and Italian art historian Lorenzo Giusti (director, GAMeC, Bergamo) and features solo presentations by the region’s Modern masters, projecting Art Dubai’s commitment to curatorial scholarship and art historical research.
The selection focuses on the pioneers of contemporary art in the MENASA area, whose works are retrospectively playing a key role in today’s art.
Art Dubai Modern will be accompanied also by a talks programme, held in collaboration with Dubai Collection, which will examine the life, work and influences of leading 20th century artists from the Middle East and Africa.
Art Dubai is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The event is held in partnership with A.R.M. Holding. The fair is sponsored by Swiss Wealth Management Group Julius Baer and Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) is the strategic partner.
Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer
Gulf today written