Curated By Art Dubai
Over the course of three days, Art Dubai is hosting a vast selection of artworks from more than 400 artists representing 40 countries, spanning across various sections including Contemporary, Modern, Bawwaba, and Digital. Alongside these impressive exhibitions, there are artist-led workshops designed specifically for children aged between five and seven, as well as a diverse range of talks, educational programs, conferences, and installations. With so much on offer, there’s something to captivate and inspire every visitor.
Here are a few highlights:
At Art Dubai Contemporary, galleries hailing from different corners of the globe come together to showcase an eclectic mix of artistic talent.
The Selection Committee for Art Dubai Contemporary 2023 are:
Andrée Sfeir-Semler, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut/Hamburg
Priyanka Raja, Experimenter, Kolkata/Mumbai
Ursula Krinzinger, Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna
Filipe’s work is pure alchemy – a perfect fusion of diverse techniques and mediums that give birth to powerful and intricate masterpieces. With a mix of drawing pens, pencils, digital photography, and paper origamis, he creates a dazzling array of colors, messages, and modern symbols that captivate the senses.
“In Gold We Trust” is a striking and deeply ironic critique of the luxury industry, private jetsetters, and the frenzy surrounding crypto and real estate. Since representing his country, Mozambique, at the Venice Biennale 2019, Filipe has emerged as one of the most intellectually profound and influential African artists of our time.
The Third Line
In Mother of Glass, the shape of a woman in a dress emerges from a fractured surface resembling stained glass, a medium of reflection, transparency and transcendency. Her facelessness is sourced from a haunting recurring figure in the artist’s dreams. She holds the room – a sarcophagus of sublimation, a dream figure reincarnated in female form. Unattainable, mysterious, yet self-possessed. The matriarch is found in the temple of her skirts, both mother and muse in constant transformation.
Yazan Abu Salameh explores the production and consumption of cement in the Palestinian case under occupation. He places high-rise buildings in a “Gift Box” or burry them in the ground using mixed media on canvas. In his works, he protests and rejects what has become of the Palestinian towns as a result of occupation; the loss of public and green spaces. Abu Salameh uses a variety of mediums and presents circles that act as a magnifying glass, or perhaps an indication of an unstoppable process of urbanization.
Gabonese artist, architect and writer Naïla Opiangah showcases two new works, titled Tread Lightly (2023) and Les Dupes et Les Chanceux (2023).
The pieces included are a testament to Rami’s versatility, to work across various mediums and subjects; the booth features large & tiny mixed media works such as: “Enlightened” (2020) and “resting” 2020. The booth itself acts as an exploration of the potential of what an art fair booth can be. Farook rethinks the materials and utility that compromise a booth as new ways of seeing; incorporating unconventional materials and furnishings to alter its ambiance.
This particular section will showcase solo exhibitions that are dedicated to specific time periods or themes, highlighting artists whose work from the 1950s to the 1990s has played an influential role in shaping the contemporary artistic landscape. These retrospective shows offer visitors the opportunity to delve deeper into the historical context and cultural significance of these important artists and their work.
Art Dubai Modern 2023 is co-curated by Mouna Mekouar, art critic, curator and art historian, and Lorenzo Giusti, curator and Director of GAMeC, Bergamo (Italy).
The Third Line
Farmanfarmaian is best known for her mirror mosaic sculptural works, whereby fragments of reverse- painted, reflective glass are arranged into compositions that reflect Islamic geometry. Derived from the Iranian decorative technique aineh-kari, which dates back to the sixteenth century, the artist pushes beyond the craft to explore the forms of the medium and experiment with the infinite possibilities of creation the geometrical forms allow her.
Barnor’s portraits are renowned for capturing the unique sense of self-assurance and distinct fashion trends that characterized life in both London and Accra across several decades. Although it took some time for his work to receive the international acclaim it deserved, today Barnor’s meticulous documentation of a newly-independent Ghana and the vibrant cultural scene of “swinging Sixties” London is regarded as an unparalleled and invaluable historical record of those transformative times.
Bawwaba, an Arabic term meaning gateway, acts as a doorway to exploration of art created either within the last year or specifically for the fair. It offers visitors a carefully curated selection of current artistic trends across a broad range of geographic regions known as “The Global South”, featuring ambitious solo artist presentations.
Art Dubai Bawwaba 2023 is curated by Vipash Purichanont, independent curator and lecturer at Silpakorn University.
Hestia Art Residency & Exhibitions Bureau
Jangadas series, by Brazilian artist Domingos de Barros Octaviano, are inspired by nomad fishermen of Brazil`s coastline. They deconstruct the motif of jangada, a traditional fishing boat (a sailing raft) made of wood used in the northern region of Brasil by jangadeiros – raft fishermen. The paintings bring abstract compositions rich in meaning, also being complemented by material such as beeswax that emphasizes honey as a prime matter of creation.
Created in 2020, this painting best represents M.Smart’s signature eclectic phantasmagoria and the bold compositions that straight up serve their delirious atmospheres to the audience: a clownish-looking stunt performer- perhaps one of the artist’s painterly doppelganger? -seems engaged in a part-heroic, part-ludicrous, and ultimately unspecified act of daredevilry. His long arms “valiantly” keep the huge black tires apart to keep the horizon open.
A recurring subject in Touloub’s paintings and watercolours is a vision in which two figures, observed from behind, pass a third figure walking in the opposite direction. This nocturnal encounter takes on the appearance of an electric hallucination, amplified not only by the treatment of the bodies whose attire blends with the lines of the landscape but also by the juxtaposition of colours that together produce a vibratory texture. This encounter also acts as an allegory of perception, pointing to the challenging process when we, the artwork’s witnesses, take an unknown path guided by intuition.
Gregory Halili began this body of oil-on-capiz works with his memories of the Mariposa, a butterfly species endemic to the Philippines that he had frequently seen as a child. He has not seen a single one since moving back home from the US.
Halili thinned down these capiz shells to allow for the paintings on the reverse to be seen on the other side, creating otherworldly images shrouded in veils that were etched with utmost precision.
This is a painstakingly etched acrylic on canvas work that sheds light on the rampant development of palm oil plantations in South Kalimantan. Indonesia is the largest exporter of palm oil, accounting for 68% of the world’s palm oil production. Deeply concerned about geo-political and environmental issues around Southeast Asia, particularly his home country Indonesia, Maryanto creates evocative monochrome paintings, drawings, and installations that remind us of underlying power hierarchies that invisibly demarcate our lands. In this project at Art Dubai, the artist Maryanto has created several works that bring public awareness to the widespread use of the fruit of palm oil.
In this painting, Zico Albaiquni has placed the pillars of the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum in the middle-ground to frame the painting. The museum, initially known as “The Victoria and Albert Museum, Bombay,” opened on May 2, 1872. The idea of establishing a museum in Mumbai, India, was first proposed in 1850 during preparations for the first ‘Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of all Nations’ to be held at London’s Crystal Palace in 1851. The establishment of new museums throughout the British Empire was catalyzed by ‘The Great Exhibition,’ which intended to showcase the industrial arts and crafts of the British Empire’s colonies to promote trade for these products worldwide. The replicas of art objects and raw materials sent from the Bombay Presidency to the 1855 Paris Universal Exhibition formed the nucleus of a new museum located at the Town Barracks in Fort, which was known as the ‘Government Central Museum.’
The second edition of Art Dubai Digital is set to make a comeback, featuring an even broader range of disciplines and practices that will engage with each other at the intersection of art, design, music, fashion, and world-building. Through this exciting initiative, visitors will be able to deepen their appreciation and understanding of new media and cultural movements. This promises to be a highly enriching experience that will offer a fresh perspective on the ever-evolving landscape of contemporary art.
Art Dubai Digital 2023 is curated by Clara Che Wei Peh, curator, arts writer, and educator.
Art In Space
“369” by Krista Kim and Grammy-nominated artist Maejor is an immersive experience in 360 format that pushes the boundaries of experiential art. Debuting as part of programming at Art In Space (Dubai), this artwork combines a subwoofer floor with surround sound and aromatics to create an all-encompassing sensory experience for viewers.
The visuals of “369” are a close-up journey of the sun and moon, merging to form a solar eclipse created in collaboration with Efren Mur, and the musical component, composed by Maejor, integrates Tesla theory of 369 resonance.
When seeing the 6529 Open Metaverse for the first time I viewed these with Punk6529 in our museum district and they took my breath away. It was a transformative moment in seeing the power of NFTs which is why I was excited to feature 3 works from this series in the 6529 Fund at Art Dubai. We see Deslauriers as a master of generative art which is clear when you see the outputs of his code. – Sarah Scribner, Ambassador 6529 Museum District
This is a statement from the artist about this series: “Stratified landforms constructed from many small strokes of colour. The hash of each token describes a coordinate within a multidimensional generative space, locating a unique composition that lies along one of many possible longitudes.”
AFROFUTOURISM: FOREVER. FEMALE. FORWARD.
The Divine Symbolism of Igbo Women is a honoring continuum. The the past, present and future are in unison; and history is an endless cycle revolving around these three realities of human existence. This ongoing series of work is the inception of the depths of exploration of one’s identity and beauty through community, culture and creativity.
One of the highlights of Aorist x AKTHR collaboration will be the unveiling of Andres Reisingers’ latest work, “Take Over” -a new thought-provoking digital art installation series that challenges the notion of “reality”. This project uncannily converges the physical and digital realms, proposing a new and democratic understanding of their possible interactions. Transcending physical geographical boundaries, the new series takes place in major international capitals all over the world, including New York, Paris, Tokyo and London, proposing a pink-lead enveloping experience to be enjoyed as a community. Presented exclusively for Art Dubai Digital, Reisinger has now taken over Dubai, producing a series of 12 works that are available at aorist’s marketplace.
A Shared Room is presented by curator-led online arts platform, The Upside Space. We present distinct and unique voices across digital and fine arts – works that appear unsettling and alienating at first but urge us to think differently. Traditional works reinterpreted in a contemporary idiom and others that project a speculation of an equitable shared future. One of my personal favorites and a piece I deeply resonate with is from the artist Zimbiri from Bhutan. She explores the use of traditional Bhutanese paint (saa-tshen) and imagery to present the vision of a “stripped- down tiger” as a metaphor for letting go of possessions, ambitions, and ego.
– Priti Mahajan
Curated by Art Dubai
Location: Mina a’Salam, Jumeirah Beach Rd, Al Sufouh 1, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Duration: March 1 – March 5