|Art Dubai closes with record attendance, Inclusion of Museum-Quality Artworks and forward-looking plans for Arts Development|
||The Middle East’s largest contemporary art fair attended by 22,500 UAE-based, regional and international guests, including curators, collectors, gallerists, artists, and 75 museum groups|
Now in its sixth year, Art Dubai’s mature roster of participating galleries has reached out to the arts scenes of East Asia, widening the fair’s existing reach across the MENASA region, Europe and the Americas, underscoring its role as a site of discovery. The impressive line-up of 75 galleries generated sales from international and regional institutions as well as established and first-time collectors.
For 2012, new names such as Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Arndt, The Pace Gallery and Alexander Gray Associates brought museum-quality artworks to Art Dubai alongside returning gallery heavyweights, the majority of which experienced strong sales, with Jeddah’s Athr Gallery selling out within half an hour of the fair’s exclusive Jumeirah Patron’s Preview on Tuesday, March 20. The fair also welcomed five galleries from Indonesia as part of its Marker section, curated by Alia Swastika.
“Now six years old, Art Dubai has a new maturity. In 2012, we reached out beyond our established base in the Middle East and South Asia, building new links for both the local arts scene and our visiting galleries, recognizing that it’s fundamental to always bring new blood into the fair,” said Antonia Carver, Fair Director, Art Dubai. “Looking ahead, we are aiming to develop our relationship with the African contemporary arts scene, reflecting on existing cultural links and shared histories.”
Art Dubai 2012’s ambitious offering of artists’ projects and dynamic programming generated a wealth of interest from an increasingly diverse audience base. The fair was opened by HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and visited by Art Dubai’s patron, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. HH Sheikha Manal bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum inaugurating the fair’s Ladies’ Day.
As a meeting point for some of the greatest minds of the art world, Art Dubai 2012 generated thought-provoking cultural discussion with the esteemed Art+Auction magazine referring to the fair as the ‘Davos summit of the art world’. This year, the fair played a key role in cultivating the intrinsic link between debate and artistic practice during the six-day Global Art Forum directed by writer and curator Shumon Basar, exploring the theme of ‘The Medium of Media’ and adding a series of commissioned research, exhibition and publishing projects to the programme.
For 2012, Art Dubai also introduced a more intimate series of presentations called Terrace Talks, which featured discussions with Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Michael Govan; Melissa Chiu, director of the Asia Society Museum; collector and patron Richard Chang; Lekha and Anupam Poddar of the Devi Foundation; and Chinese performance artist Zhang Huan, among an inspiring array of speakers.
“Art Dubai is a fair firmly rooted in the Middle East which has become a progressively global cultural platform. Going forward, we’ll be nurturing ongoing initiatives such as the Arabic Art Glossary being developed by Lara Khaldi, announced during this year’s Global Art Forum, in addition to year-round programmes including artists’ and curator-in-residence programmes and monthly education seminars. We hope these institutional elements will act as further catalysts, contributing to the arts and cultural infrastructure of the UAE and the wider region,” added Carver.
Held under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai
Over the last six years, Art Dubai, the leading international art fair in the MENASA (Middle East/North Africa/South Asia), has become a cornerstone of the region’s booming contemporary art community. In 2012, Art Dubai welcomed 22,500 visitors, including 75 international museums groups.
Art Dubai is held in partnership with Abraaj Capital and sponsored by Cartier. Madinat Jumeirah, on Dubai’s beachfront, is home to the event.