Abu Dhabi Art 2017 Announces Roster of Artists and Curators
By Gigi Wong
On May 30, Abu Dhabi Art announced the roster of artists who will participate in this year’s edition of the art fair, which will take place from November 8 to 11, 2017. Abu Dhabi Art organizes yearlong program in the Emirate by mounting art installations and exhibitions, as well as organizing talks to boost public engagement in the arts in the United Arabs Emirates.
This year, the fair will feature newly commissioned works by artists from all over the Arab world in its Beyond section, which is an annual exhibition that showcases large-scale sculptural works and installations at and around the fair. The artists who will present works in the Beyond section are Manal al-Dowayan, Nasser al-Salem and Magdi Mostafa. This announcement underscores Abu Dhabi Art’s strong emphasis on diversity by featuring artists from Saudi Arabia and Egypt who work in various mediums, with different materials.
Abu Dhabi Art’s Beyond section will unfold further in the launch of a new initiative titled “Beyond: Emerging Artists.” The project will be managed by prominent Emirati artist Mohammed Kazem along with Beirut- and Dubai-based curator Cristiana de Marchi. Together, they will select three emerging artists in the UAE and produce a tailor-made project with the winners, who will be commissioned by Abu Dhabi Art to create works for a two-month exhibition inaugurated during the fair.
The accompanying programming of the fair will be headed by curators based in the UAE who organize exhibitions that explore themes that have prevailed in Middle Eastern artistic discourse in recent years, such as the representation of women in Saudi Arabia, as well as the relationship between tradition and progress. Maya Allison, founding director and chief curator at the New York University Abu Dhabi Art Gallery; Munira al-Sayegh, curator and programs officer at Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; and Omar Kholeif, senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago will coordinate a series of talks and exhibitions that focus attention on the country’s younger artists by offering a platform to present their works to a wider group of audience.
The decision to focus on Emirati artists and curators was made by Abu Dhabi Art’s new director Dyala Nusseibeh, who aims to highlight the reinvention of Islamic art explored through diverse media and artistic practice. By presenting a diverse group of Arab artists and curators at the fair, Nusseibeh intends to examine the boundaries of Islamic art across various mediums.
Abu Dhabi Art will take place from November 8 to 11, 2017.
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