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Abu Dhabi Art returns this year as a virtual fair

Staff Reporter/Abu Dhabi
Filed on October 15, 2020


Curators of the 12th edition of Abu Dhabi Art.

12th edition to run as a virtual fair from November 19-26 with a strong public programme hosted on an interactive platform

The 12th edition of Abu Dhabi Art will take place from November 19-26 as a virtual fair, the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi has announced.  

An interactive digital edition of Abu Dhabi Art will bring together galleries and artists from across the world in a number of curated gallery exhibitions and sectors. For the first time ever, six guest curators will work with galleries and artists to present work online, each with a different geographic focus. Integrating live-stream video interviews with artists, curators and gallerists, the 2020 digital fair will also host a public performing arts programme, presented alongside a number of engaging projects for the public. 

Saood Al Hosaniacting undersecretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, said: "Abu Dhabi Art has always been a notable player in our emirate's growing cultural landscape. It continues to play a significant role in fulfilling Abu Dhabi's ambition to become an artistically conscious city of global relevance. For the fair to take place at this time is more important than ever and a testament to our commitment to developing the art scene. Abu Dhabi Art is adapting to the new reality that the world is facing and will play an instrumental role in supporting the culture sector at this critical period by offering a platform of encounters for galleries, artists, curators and collectors and by continuing to provide rich content and interactive experiences to the wider community. 

For each of the new gallery sectors at the fair, Abu Dhabi Art has invited an internationally renowned curator to highlight works from a number of different geographies. Looking at different contemporary art scenes from around the world, the sectors will encompass 'The Day After', a sector dedicated to contemporary art from across the African continent curated by Simon Njami; 'Contemporary Korean Art', looking at contemporary art from South Korea, curated by Sung woo Kim; the 'India Today' section, looking at the Indian subcontinent, curated by gallerist Ashwin Thadani; as well as 'A Picture Held Us Captive', a section on contemporary artists represented by UAE galleries, curated by Nada Raza. Rose Lejeune, associate curator for the Delfina Foundation's Collecting as Practice programme in London, will curate this year's performing arts programme, adapting to the digital format.

Dyala Nusseibeh, director of Abu Dhabi Art, added: "This year we have invited numerous leading curators to work with galleries and their artists across existing and new gallery sectors for the fair, enabling diverse and compelling curatorial frameworks to emerge. After what has been an exceptionally difficult year for the global art world, we are committed to supporting galleries that have been exhibiting with Abu Dhabi Art for years while continuing to develop new markets. In line with our capacity to invest in and provide meaningful curatorial content for every iteration of Abu Dhabi Art, this year will continue to see exhibition formats for our galleries brought together through the insights of guest curators."

The fair will also feature, 'Beyond: Emerging Artists' by Maya El Khalil, a curated selection of new work by emerging artists from across the UAE, highlighting Abu Dhabi Art's commitment to supporting emerging artists in the development of their work.

A Talks Programme will also be available online, offering a series of stimulating cultural talks featuring some of the art world's leading figures, which aim to engage audiences in discussions related to the complex history of the UAE and contemporary art practice in the country and around the world.


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