Art Dubai, where anything goes, gets off to a colorful start

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The fair’s 13th edition runs from March 20-23 and features 92 Contemporary and Modern galleries from 42 countries. (Arab News)
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Art Dubai 2019 welcomes more than 500 artists representing 80 nationalities. (Arab News)
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Art Dubai 2019 welcomes more than 500 artists representing 80 nationalities. (Arab News)
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Art Dubai 2019 welcomes more than 500 artists representing 80 nationalities. (Arab News)
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Art Dubai 2019 welcomes more than 500 artists representing 80 nationalities. (Arab News)
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Art Dubai 2019 welcomes more than 500 artists representing 80 nationalities. (Arab News)
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Art Dubai 2019 welcomes more than 500 artists representing 80 nationalities. (Arab News)
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Art Dubai 2019 welcomes more than 500 artists representing 80 nationalities. (Arab News)
Updated 20 March 2019

Art Dubai, where anything goes, gets off to a colorful start

DUBAI: Art Dubai, the largest art fair in the Middle East, got off to a colorful start on Wednesday and more than 92 galleries showcased their chosen artists in the city’s Madinat Jumeriah.

The fair’s 13th edition runs from March 20-23 and features 92 Contemporary and Modern galleries from 42 countries, as well as a bevy of galleries from the UAE.  There are also a number of events going on around the city, as part of Art Week, including Art Nights at the Dubai International Financial Center, which took place on Tuesday. 

You can read more about Art Nights, and see the wild and wonderful art on show, here

Highlights include new gallery section Bawwaba, showcasing art from the Global South; UAE NOW - the first section of its kind - spotlighting local independent artist-run platforms and subcultures, their place in the UAE’s evolving landscape and contribution to creating new ways of thinking, theory and artistic movements and the Contemporary section — two gallery halls presenting work from 59 galleries from 34 countries by some of the most notable contemporary artists working today. It will make you smile, smirk and everything  in-between.

Art Dubai 2019 welcomes more than 500 artists representing 80 nationalities across its four gallery sections: Art Dubai Contemporary, Art Dubai Modern, Bawwaba and Residents.

We take a look at six of our favorite artists and pieces here.

The diversity on show is notable, with galleries from Latin America placed next to booths from Beirut, Saudi Arabia and London.

Pablo del Val, Artistic Director of Art Dubai, said: “Art Dubai continues to develop original content to redefine what an art fair can be and contribute to the UAE and wider region’s cultural landscape. We represent an art world that is truly global and inclusive, rooted in artistic discovery and the promotion of new and alternative perspectives, community building, idea generation and cultural exchange. Geographies, galleries and artists, art typologies and thematics that are not often seen side-by-side, or even as part of the same conversation, will converge at the fair. We hope that new discoveries will be made and new synergies formed.”

It’s a melting pot of artistic expression and media, with sculptures, canvases and the odd video installation vying for space in the crowded halls.

There is a distinct focus on contemporary art, so if you’re into museum-worthy paintings, this may not be your cup of tea, but if you are willing to experiment, it’s the perfect spot to question the boundaries of art.

Battery-operated imaginary animals careened across the floor in one booth, while a fine spider’s web of black string formed an origami-like sculpture in another — anything goes at Art Dubai, as long as it’s not too risqué.

But, why tell you when we can show you? Scroll through the photo gallery to find out more about the art on show here.  


Highlights from the Najd Collection set to auction at Sotheby’s

Forty works from Najd Collection will be auctioned at Sotheby’s on October 22. (Courtesy: Sotheby’s)
Updated 16 September 2019

Highlights from the Najd Collection set to auction at Sotheby’s

Here are some highlights from the Najd Collection, from which 40 works will be auctioned at Sotheby’s on October 22. 

Osman Hamdy Bey

Sotheby’s bills the Najd Collection as “one of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled.” Before the auction, all 155 works will be travelling to New York, LA, Dubai and Paris for public viewing, including Bey’s “Koranic Instruction,” seen here.

Eugène Fromentin

Fromentin’s dramatic 1864 oil painting,“Windstorm on the Esparto Plains of the Sahara” — in which a storm menaces a group of horsemen with no shelter in sight — is expected to sell for between $490,000-$730,000. Fromentin was a French painter and writer best-known for his works featuring the land and people of Algeria. 

Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant

“The King of Morocco Leaving to Receive a European Ambassador” is typical of the French painter and etcher’s work. Benjamin-Constant was well-known in his day (he received a state funeral in France in 1902), but has largely been forgotten since, perhaps because his work was so traditional.