A drawing by Susanne Wenger, showing at Art Dubai 2019.
Being represented by London-U.K.-based Tafeta Gallery at the Art Dubai Modern, the 'Mbari' artists include Uche Okeke, Demas Nwoko, Muraina Oyelami, Jimoh Buraimoh and and an Austrian expatriate, Susanne Wenger. Nwoko, Oyelami and Buraimoh are the only living artists on the list.
The 13th Art Dubai, which holds from March 20-23 at its traditional venue, Madinat Jumeirah is also featuring works of two other Nigerians in the Contemporary hall: Victor Ehikhamenor and Marcia Kure.
Either showing under Africa-based gallery or that of the diaspora, African artists, in the past editions of Art Dubai have been on the increase. For the 13th edition, there are more galleries from North and Sub-saharan showing quite a number of artists from the continent. Ethiopia-based Addis Fine Art, which made its debut last year returns to the fair with Addis Gezehagn and Tadesse Mesfin. Making its debut this year is Valerie Atiss, Dakar, Senegal, which shows the works of Oumar Ball Ouattara Hyacinthe and Patrick Joel Tatcheda. Kure, based in the U.S, Shadi Ghadirian, Jalal Sepehr and Maimouna Guerresi are being shown by Officine Dell'Immagine; Cape Town-based SMAC shows Alexandra Karakashian and Gareth Nyandoro; Wanja Kimani is represented by Guzo Art Project; Mariane Ibrahim returns again with Zohra Opoku while Tyburn Gallery represents Ehikhamenor.
Art Dubai noted that Galerie Anne-Sarah Benichou (Paris) is showing large-scale monochromatic urban wall paintings by French-Moroccan artist Chourouk Hriech; Paris-based In Situ – Fabienne Leclerc with works by Cotonou; Benin Republic-born Meschac Gaba, explores constructions of cultural identity along with systems of trade as they relate to exchanges between Africa and the Western world.
French-Cameroonian curator Élise Atangana will curate the inaugural edition of a gallery section Bawwaba (Arabic for ‘gateway’) The new section will exhibit works by individual artists from, based in, or focused on the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, Central and South Asia.
Also announced on the list of what Art Dubai described as Guest Curators for the new sections of the 2019 fair are: Brazilian Fernanda Brenner and Emirati curator, Munira Al Sayegh. Brenner is founder and artistic Director of São Paulo-based contemporary art space Pivô and one of the most influential curators in Latin America. Brenner will co-curate the expanded Residents section of the fair, focusing on Latin America. Al Sayegh, a well-established name in the UAE art scene, will co-curate Residents and work with the Campus Art Dubai 7.0 cohort, who creates a body of work that will be exhibited during the fair.
The organisers explained that they selected 10 solo projects to shed light on the fair’s multi-geographical focus of the Global South, a term that has developed within the art world to include Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Central and South Asia. “I am delighted to curate the first edition of Bawwaba and look forward to working with artists who focus on critical thinking within the framework of the Global South,” Atangana said. “Mid-career and emerging artists will challenge their current practice and position to produce a broader plurality of critical voices through historical facts, social and economic issues, political frameworks, technology and spirituality.”