Held under the patronage of and inaugurated by UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Art Dubai welcomed nearly 18,000 international and regional visitors during a four-day event.
72 galleries took part in Art Dubai 2010 and the majority experienced strong sales, with buyers including members of the royal family, major international and regional museums and established and new collectors from the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and the US. A number of participating galleries, including Athr Gallery from Jeddah, Galerie Christian Hosp and Caprice Horn, both from Berlin, traffic from Dubai and Priska C. Jushka from New York sold nearly all of their available works at Art Dubai.
“Art Dubai, this year, has yet again provided a powerful platform for a cultural and artistic dialogue between the east and the west. The participation of art galleries from both global and regional centres of art, representing over 30 countries, made it an enriching experience for everyone who attended the event. We have been very encouraged by the increased participation of Emirati artists, which points to the growing vibrancy of the art scene in the UAE. The rise in public attendance, greater participation from the global art world and the enhanced diversity of exhibited works also contributed to create a truly unique event this year,” said HE Ahmed Humaid Al Tayer, Governor of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
“In its fourth year Art Dubai has matured into a highly regarded art event on the world stage shown by the diversity of the work, the significant increase in attendance, strong sales from institutional and private buyers and the greater involvement of Dubai’s art community during the week of the fair,” said John Martin, co-founder of Art Dubai.
Attendees at Art Dubai were able to join the Global Art Forum to see artists in conversation such as El Anatsui, whose piece was in high demand by the fair’s thousands of visitors, as well as the winning pieces of the 2010 Abraaj Capital Art Prize and specially-commissioned artworks and video installations curated by Bidoun Projects.
Art Dubai 2010 included sales highlights such as:
• The sale of Pakistani artist Sadquain Naqqah’s The Three Graces by Grosvenor Vadehra Gallery for $200,000.
• The purchase of Snow White Without the Dwarves by Ghader Amer for $160,000.
• New York-based Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery’s sale of a Reza Derakshani’s piece for $80,000
• Saudi Arabian artist Abdulnasser Gharem’s work, shown by Berlin-based Galerie Caprice Horn, which sold for $50,000.
“I think Art Dubai is a great barometer for where the Middle Eastern art market is heading,” said Hisham Samawi from Ayyam Gallery (Damascus, Dubai). “People seem ready to buy and build their collections, and that has us excited about the rest of the year.”
London’s Fabio Rossi of Rossi & Rossi said, “The fair is finding its footing and its direction. There is certainly a bigger audience. The standard is high. All of these parallel events, such as the Art Park and the Global Art Forum bring a deeper level to the fair. It is not just about selling work, but about making it accessible to everyone.”
Rami Farook of traffic (Dubai) said, “There is a lot of excitement, especially from the public. I think attendance has grown by at least 50%.”
Thousands of Art Dubai visitors took the opportunity to view Van Cleef & Arpels’ exhibition The Poetry of Time, covering almost a century of watchmaking creativity and expertise. Alongside the business of buying art, some of the region’s youngest creative types joined family workshops organised by child education programme START to develop their own works in aid of regional children in need of arts-related therapy.
Gallery applications for Art Dubai 2011 are now available on http://www.artdubai.ae/2011/application/index.php. Applications must be submitted no later than 30 June 2010.
Art Dubai is a subsidiary of the Dubai International Financial Centre and is held in partnership with Abraaj Capital and sponsored by Van Cleef & Arpels. Madinat Jumeirah (www.jumeirah.com) is home to the event and HSBC is the official banking partner of Art Dubai.
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