Art Dubai 2018: Big diary date for art curators, collectors and enthusiasts

Amba Sayal-Bennett, Tumnus, (2017) in the Contemporary Hall. (Photo courtesy: Carbon 12)
Updated 20 March 2018

Art Dubai 2018: Big diary date for art curators, collectors and enthusiasts

DUBAI: Art lovers, curators, collectors and enthusiasts are rejoicing as the biggest and most globally diverse art fair is set to open from March 21 to 24 at Madinat Jumeirah. Under the patronage of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Art Dubai’s lineup this year will feature a record 104 galleries from 47 countries. Art lovers can enjoy unique and new contemporary artists and a significant contingent of returning galleries.
Founded in 2007, it’s become one of the leading international fairs in the arts calendar and features a great range of galleries in one setting. Imagine a compiled list of the most prominent art galleries from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Kolkata, India to Turin, Italy and more, all in one fair over three days. This year will feature new first-time participants from Iceland, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan alongside the returning 77 galleries.

Jesús Bubu Negrón, Ethnographic Abstractions (2016) in the Contemporary Hall. (Photo courtesy: Henrique Faria)

Jesús Bubu Negrón, Ethnographic Abstractions (2016) in the Contemporary Hall. (Photo courtesy: Henrique Faria)tion

“For our 2018 edition, we will be launching Residents, a pioneering and unique platform that brings together different energies, synergies, geographies and artistic practices which aren’t usually seen together in one place,” said Pablo del Val, Art Dubai’s artistic director.
Art Dubai’s halls are divided into three main halls, Contemporary, Modern and, for the first time, Residents.
Art Dubai’s Contemporary’s diversity is signified by its strong representation from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Galleries include Selma Feriani Gallery (Tunis, London), Gypsum Gallery (Cairo), Artwin Gallery (Moscow), Artside Gallery (Seoul), Gallery One (Ramallah), the Athr Gallery Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and Gallery 57 from Accra, Ghana, among others.
The artists range from household names to new, up-and-coming artists with a wide range of artistic media: painting, drawing, installations, photography and more.
Art Dubai’s Modern will feature a record-breaking 16 galleries exhibiting artists from 14 countries. Participating galleries will present renowned Modernists from the Middle East such as Gebran Tarazi, Abdel Hadi El-Gazzar, Hamed Abdalla and others. Leading Modernists from South Asia include Zahoor ul Akhlaq, Anwar Jalal Shemza and M.F. Husain, while notable African Modernists will include Mohammed Naghi, Reinata Sadimba, Ernesto Shikhani and more.

Zohra Opoku, Debie, (2017) in the Residents Hall. (Photo courtesy: Zohra Opoku and Mariane Ibrahim Gallery)Caption

Art Dubai’s Director Myrna Ayad said: “It’s very exciting for us to witness the growing appreciation of modern masters from the region and we are pleased to be the only platform in the world to showcase these museum-quality pieces in our largest ever Modern section, which has been the most oversubscribed to date. Serving as an educational platform and theoretical framework for the works on show, Art Dubai Modern will be accompanied by our second annual Modern Symposium at the fair this year.”
For its 12th edition, Art Dubai is presenting a gallery to showcase its 11 solo gallery presentations by artists who took part in their residency program. The program’s aims are to support artists by giving them a platform to develop their practice and create new bodies of work, inspired and influenced by their stay in the UAE. Their work will be presented by the artists’ respected galleries in a special exhibition accompanied by a range of public events and open studios hosted by the residency spaces.
Art Dubai aims to create a dialogue, engage socially in matters of art and, more importantly, educate on the significance of art in our everyday lives. Dubai is an international melting-pot and a capital for art creators, curators and directors from all over the world to meet and present their finest to the public, all in one place.

Jules de Balincourt, Valley Pool Party (2016) in the Contemporary Hall. (Photo courtesy: The artist and Victoria Miro Gallery)Caption

Lack of spirit leaves World War II saga hanging midway

Roland Emmerich’s just-opened “Midway” comes nowhere close to the 1950s and 1960s war adventures. (Supplied)
Updated 14 November 2019

Lack of spirit leaves World War II saga hanging midway

CHENNAI: Movies on World War II have delighted cinema audiences for years. Nobody can forget the daring Allied escape in the 1965 “Von Ryan’s Express” with Frank Sinatra and Trevor Howard driving a train through Nazi-occupied territory.

There were others in that decade and earlier such as David Lean’s “The Bridge on the River Kwai” about British prisoners of war building a railway in malaria-infested Burma (now Myanmar). These were great classics, but recent efforts have not been as memorable.


Roland Emmerich’s just-opened “Midway” comes nowhere close to the 1950s and 1960s war adventures. Despite audiences still being thirsty for WWII sagas and a star-studded cast (Patrick Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Mandy Moore, Ed Skrein and Nick Jonas), the film is unmoving, mainly because of the shallow characters. If the dialogues are stiff, the dramatic potential – including the relationship among the men – appears to have been left midway.

The film begins with Japan’s December 1941 air attack on the US naval base in Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, which dragged America into the conflict, and the flick follows America’s revenge mission culminating in the June 1942 Battle of Midway.


For the US, it was a victory against all odds giving them control of the Pacific’s Midway atoll. It was also a major triumph of human spirit, but the film does not quite capture it.

Most of the exploits relate to real-life fighter pilot Dick Best (Skrein), whose devil-may-care attitude earns him the title “cowboy.” His wife Ann (Moore), the only female character, urges him on but seems a washed-out figure. However, there is plenty of action in the air with dog fights, bombings and pilots ejecting from burning planes high above the ground.


For fans of singer Jonas, his small but significant part may appeal. He is sailor Bruno Gaido whose spontaneous and heroic action during a Japanese raid earns him promotion.

“Midway” plays at three levels, including one about Japanese military officers, and was shot in Hawaii and Montreal with a lot of computer graphics thrown in. The camera work (Robby Baumgartner) is impressive, but somewhere the soul is missing, and the characters fail to come across as real people.

Despite this, the film opened atop the North American box office last weekend with a reported $17.5 million in ticket sales.