By Tajudeen Sowole
Over 90 galleries from 40 countries participating in Art Dubai from March 16-19 2016 confirm the strength of the art fair as one of the leading spots for global art market. Over five hundred artists who represent 70 nationalities are estimated to show at the yearly Art Dubai event.
The 2016 edition of Art Dubai has been described as "the most geographically diverse to date," featuring galleries from new entrant countries including Georgia, Ghana, Lithuania, Oman, Palestine, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.
Interestingly, the yearly art fair has sustained the Modern and Contemporary segmentations of the event, confirming the dynamic texture of art appreciation. On the list for Contemporary includes 73 galleries from 35 countries while Modern has 16 galleries from 12 countries across the world. The yearly gathering of artists has been described as "the leading international art fair in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia."
From Africa, participants include Nubuke Foundation, Accra, Ghana; Gypsum Gallery, Cairo, Egypt, GVCC, Casablanca, Morocco; and Selma Feriani Gallery, Tunisia/ London, showing in the Contemporary space. Among the list of participants in the Modern section are Thought Pyramid, Abuja, Nigeria, showing Osogbo artists Twin Seven Seven and Rufus Ogundele; Elmarsa, Tunis, Tunisia/ Dubai displaying works of Yahia Turki; Le Violon Bleu, Tunis representing. Hedi Turki and Rafik El Kamel.
On the contents of the exhibits, the works are said to be of "rare" pieces by Middle Eastern, African and Asian modern masters as well as that of most notable contemporary artists across the world.
“This year marks the tenth edition of the fair, and this anniversary encourages us to reflect on the dramatic growth of the art market and arts scenes of the Middle East, South Asia and Africa over the past decade,” explains Antonia Carver, Fair Director. “Art Dubai acts as a catalyst and focal point, locally and for the wider region, and the diverse nature of our programming reflects the central role played by the fair.”
The tenth edition includes galleries that have exhibited continuously at the fair for most of past decade. The galleries, it has been noted, have evolved with the fair, "and contributing to the growth of the wider market."
Some of such galleries include: Agial Art Gallery (Beirut), Elmarsa (Tunis, Dubai), Galleria Continua (San Gimignano, Les Moulins, Beijing, Havana), Galerie Krinzinger (Vienna), Sfeir-Semler Gallery (Hamburg, Beirut), Grosvenor Gallery (London), Kalfayan Galleries (Athens, Thessaloniki) and The Third Line (Dubai).
On the increasing popularity of the Fair, the organisers boasted, for example that "the increasing number of galleries from India solidifies the fair’s role as a point of convergence for wider regional markets." Galleries from India include Chatterjee & Lal (Mumbai), Chemould Prescott Road (Mumbai), Experimenter (Kolkata), Jhaveri Contemporary (Mumbai) and Gallery SKE (New Delhi / Bangalore) returning for the 2016 Contemporary edition and Lakeeren, Project88 and Sakshi Gallery—all from Mumbai—joining the lineup.
Art Dubai is held in partnership with The Abraaj Group and is sponsored by Julius Baer, Emaar and Piaget. The Dubai Culture and Arts Authority is a strategic partner of Art Dubai, and supports the fair’s year-round community programming.