21 September 2019

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Art Dubai 2019 day one

21 March @ 2.00 pm - 9.30 pm

AED 90

The region’s biggest art fair (and the world’s most internationally diverse, according to the organisers) returns to Madinat Jumeirah 20-23 March for its lucky 13th edition; expect works by more than 500 artists exhibited by 90+ galleries from 40+ countries. There’s a new structure to the show, with four main sections promising to offer visitors greater access and deeper engagement with artists and galleries from non-Western lands and showcasing “a truly international view of art”.

The meat of the fair remains Art Dubai Contemporary, 59 galleries now arranged across two halls. Art Dubai Modern is the smaller area for museum-quality works by 20th Century masters from the Middle East, South Asia and Africa; for this year it’s been moved from the Mina A’Salam to the main gallery halls alongside Art Dubai Contemporary. There are 11 galleries exhibiting under Art Dubai Modern.

Co-curated this year by São Paulo–based curator and artistic director of art space Pivô, Fernanda Brenner and Abu Dhabi-based Munira Al Sayegh, Residents – Art Dubai’s unique annual residency programme – was created for the 2018 fair.

For 2019 a dozen artists from Latin American galleries came to the UAE for residencies of between four and eight weeks at spaces provided by Bait 15, Dubai Design District, Tashkeel and Warehouse421. They immersed themselves in the life and culture of the Emirates to create new art for Art Dubai, works which merge their distinct artistic practice with their temporary surroundings.

Then there are the new sections. Curated by French-Cameroonian curator Élise Atangana, Bawwaba (Arabic for ‘gateway’) features 10 solo presentations by artists from, based in, or focused on the Middle East, Africa, Central and South Asia and Latin America. Addressing themes of global migration, socioeconomic structures and identity, it features works created within the last year or conceived specifically for the fair; it’s accompanied by a programme of talks. And UAE NOW, curated by Munira Al Sayegh (one of our 50 to Follow, naturally) highlights five of the country’s independent local artist-run platforms – Bait 15, Banat Collective, Jaffat el Aqlam, PAC (Public Art Collective) and Dafter Asfar. These provide an important counterpoint to both the public and the commercial arts sectors here, so props to Art Dubai for giving them some exposure …

The Campus Art Dubai artists (which this year are Dima Srouji, Augustine Paredes, Jumairy and Mohamed Khalid) get their own group show. Campus Art Dubai is the first and only programme of its kind in the UAE, an intensive six-month seminar and residency programme providing Emirati and UAE-based artists with the opportunity to develop their practices with training and mentorship and to show their work during Art Week.

Talks, tours and workshops have been an essential part of Art Dubai’s cultural programming since 2007. The headliner here is the Global Art Forum, an annual cross-disciplinary arts conference that has achieved genuine international recognition for combining original thinking and contemporary issues.

This year’s theme is ‘School is a Factory’ and uses panels and presentations from a wide range of contributors – from curators and critics to educationalists and entrepreneurs – to address some of the challenges and opportunities in education today. As usual the Global Art Forum is organised by Commissioner Shumon Basar, with editor/ writer Victoria Camblin and curator/writer Fawz Kabra as Co-Directors. It runs for two days (20-21 March), is open to the public (including non-ticket holders), and is free to attend.

The other conference is the day-long Art Dubai Modern Symposium on 22 March. Under the title ‘Cultural Hubs of Modernism’, it aims to map out the cultural shifts and trends instigated by modernity in four key cities in the Middle East and South Asia during the 20th century via a new 60-minute ‘masterclass’ format. Dr Nada Shabout, professor and founding president of the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art from the Arab World, Iran and Turkey, presents ‘Performing Modernity: Baghdad of the Mid-twentieth Century’; Dr Iftikhar Dadi, professor and co-director of the Institute for Comparative Modernitiés, discusses ‘Modern Art in Lahore’; Elvira Dyangani Ose, director of The Showroom, London, will lecture on Dakar; and Catherine David, deputy director of the National Museum of Modern Art at the Centre Georges Pompidou, delivers a session on Beirut.


One-day ticket AED 90 onsite, AED 60 online
Three-day ticket AED 150 onsite, AED 100 online

… but magpie readers can save 25 percent on advance tickets (that’s 25 percent off the one- or three-day pass, and you can buy any number of them). Go to the ticket info page here, click BUY TICKETS to get to the 800TICKETS page, click BUY NOW and enter the date you want. Go to the PROMO CODE box for one- or three-day passes and enter the code MAGPIE50 (it’s case-sensitive). Click the arrow and the price should change; enter the number of tickets you want and ADD TO CART. This deal is valid until 20 March.

Above: Art Dubai’s partner BMW is showing is Art Car project in the Middle East for the first time. On show is the 1989 BMW M3 Group A racing version created by Ken Done, painted in the Australian artist’s signature lively colours and brushstrokes


21 March
2.00 pm - 9.30 pm
AED 90
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Madinat Jumeirah
Dubai,United Arab Emirates+ Google Map