Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Office, the 14th edition of Abu Dhabi Art Fair will open to the public at Manarat Al Saadiyat at 5pm on Wednesday 16 November and will run until Sunday 20 November. Entry to this year’s fair is free of charge, and tickets can be booked upon pre-registration via the Abu Dhabi Art website.
Organised by the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), the fair returns with its largest and most diverse line-up to date. There are 80 galleries from 28 countries representing more than 300 artists from around the globe and presenting over 900 artworks. This year’s edition will feature 33 new galleries joining from Colombia, France, Tunisia, Italy, Nigeria, South Korea, Italy, Morocco, Turkey, the UAE and beyond, as well as a rich, curated fair programme experience.
Abu Dhabi Art this year welcomes esteemed art historian Rachida Triki, gallerist Jade Yeşim Turanlı, and arts journalist Riccarda Mandrini as guest curators and collaborators for galleries at the fair. Dr. Omar Kholeif will curate My Life in the Metaverse, as part of Abu Dhabi Art’s Gateway programme, and the Artist Commissions in Cultural Sites programme includes new works by Abdullah Al Saadi, Marinella Senatore, Shilpa Gupta and Conrad Shawcross. As part of the year-round programmeBeyond: Emerging Artists, three UAE-based emerging artists, Majd Alloush, Sarah Al Mehairi and Mohamed Khalid, have created new commissioned works to be exhibited at the fair.
Abu Dhabi Art will also host CookBook Abu Dhabi, an exceptional culinary art experience featuring renowned chefs Kasper Kurdahl, Maksut Askar, Ivan Brehm and Sahar Parham Al Awadhi and artists Caique Tizzi, Greta Alfaro, Hicham Berrada and Emeka Ogbah.
Highlights of Abu Dhabi Art Fair 2022 include:
Focus: New Tomorrows: Art historian, Professor of Philosophy, and curator Triki is the guest curator of this year’s Focus section, under the theme New Tomorrows. The section will spotlight galleries and artists from North Africa and explore the artistic evolution of the region. Abu Dhabi Art has also appointed gallerist Turanlı, of Pi Artworks, and journalist Mandrini as guest curators for the fair, each bringing in a number of new galleries. Turanlı will focus on galleries and artists from Türkiye, including first time exhibitors Dirimart and Galeri Nev İstanbul, whilst Mandrini will bring together galleries from around the world with diverse programmes, including Mazzoleni, P420 and Dep Art Gallery.
Gateway: Dr. Omar Kholeif, author, curator, broadcaster, and cultural historian, has curated My Life in the Metaverse, the fair’s 2022 Gateway exhibition, which will be on display at Manarat Al Saadiyat from 16 November 2022 to 22 January 2023. My Life in the Metaverse is a multi-disciplinary exhibition that spans a variety of media, including sculpture, painting, photography, installation, video, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs), with a journey through a simulation guided by Dr. Kholeif’s alter ego, Dr. O. My Life in the Metaverse features works by internationally renowned artists, many of whom will be presenting new commissions, as well as those who have never shown in the UAE before. The artists include Sophia Al Maria, Cory Arcangel, Cream Projects, Simon Denny, Celia Hempton, Paul Heyer, Haroon Mirza, Farhad Moshiri, Trevor Paglen, Nam June Paik, Heather Phillipson and Andy Warhol.
Beyond: Emerging Artists: Three UAE-based emerging artists, Majd Alloush, Sarah Al Mehairi and Mohamed Khalid, have created new commissioned works to be exhibited at the art fair in November. Each artist has brought their unique perspective to explorations of the notions of borders, home, man-made territories, and geographical mapping.
Artist Commissions in Cultural Sites: Abu Dhabi Art has commissioned four artists to create new public installations, to be placed in sites of historical significance across the emirate, as part of this year’s Artist Commissions in Cultural Sites programme. The 2022 commissions include new works by Abdullah Al Saadi, Marinella Senatore, Shilpa Gupta and Conrad Shawcross. These works will appear in Al Ain and at Al Hosn as well as the home of Abu Dhabi Art, Manarat Al Saadiyat. The installations will be revealed to the public on 16 November, the first day of the fair, and will remain on view until 22 January 2023. The works are site-specific and thoughtfully placed in locations to create a dialogue with their surroundings, bridging the gap between the historic and contemporary.
In & Around: This year, seven established artists will be exhibiting their work as part of the programme In and Around: Shaikha Al Mazrou, Lawrie Shabibi; Ngozi-Omeje Ezema, Kó; Abdulla Al Saadi; Marinella Senatore, Mazzoleni; Conrad Shawcross, Galerie Isa; Farah Al Qasimi, The Third Line; Slimen El Kamel, La La Lande; Farid Belkahia, Le Violon Bleu. They will be joined by three art students who participated in the Christo and Jeanne-Claude award.
Farideh Lashai: Afloat Over Undulations: Abu Dhabi Art presents an exhibition showcasing the concluding artworks of the prominent Iranian artist, the late Farideh Lashai (1944-2014) via six video installations. The works incorporate her artistic life: as an abstract painter, playful experimenter with new technologies and intellectual who excelled in bringing her aesthetic genius closer to her role as a writer, thinker, and translator.
Farideh Lashai: Afloat Over Undulations presents a seamless balance between her conceptual and historical thinking and the ever-present beauty of colour and brushstrokes to narrate the political conditions during and beyond Farideh’s time. The videos follow the journey of the protagonist, a playful animated rabbit, through different times and landscapes, bringing lightness and innocence to these complicated periods. Farideh also pays homage to Charlie Chaplin and Umm-Kulthum in the video installation, El Amal (The Desire), at the entrance to the exhibition room and her works are accompanied by the artist’s Persian best-seller, The Jackal Came, whose English translation will soon be published.
The exhibition is curated by Saam Samiee, in collaboration with the Photography Studio, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Farideh Lashai Foundation, Basel Switzerland and Leila Heller Gallery. The exhibition is made possible thanks to the generous loan of artworks from HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa alongside Mohammed Afkhami Collection, Maryam Massoudi, Farhad Bakhtiar Bakhtiari, Mana Jalalian and the estate of Farideh Lashai.
Abu Dhabi Art Pavilion: View the winning student design for a pavilion created for Abu Dhabi Art at the entrance to the fair.
Are We Microcosm?: An art and tech display led by MORROW collective and supported by FBMI.
The Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award: In its 10th edition, the winning artwork will be revealed at Abu Dhabi Art this year.
Educational Programme: Abu Dhabi Art is offering stimulating art workshops, artist-led masterclasses, tours in English and Arabic and competitions for all ages. Placing a strong emphasis on accessible public engagement, this year’s diverse line-up of programming and events includes talks, performances, workshops and tours, organised at Manarat Al Saadiyat as well as sites where this year’s commissions are located, some led by artists and curators. Prior booking is necessary for tours.
Talks Programme: There will be daily in-depth discussions led by art and culture experts revolving around topics such as creating museum collections in the region, art in North Africa, women in art, digital art and NFTs, art empowering society, and notable personalities in art.
Performances: Visitors will also be able to enjoy interactive musical experiences, experimental projects and performances by SHABAKA, NOON, Ammar 808 & the Electro Tambura Ensemble, and more.
Abu Dhabi Art is open to the public from the 16 – 20 November 2022. For more information about Abu Dhabi Art’s 2022 programme, and for registration, please visit abudhabiart.ae. Tickets to the fair are free with advance registration via the website.
Organised by Abu Dhabi Culture and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Art 2022 partners include Mohamed Hilal Group, Charles Zuber, Abu Dhabi Culinary, Etihad Airways, Premier Motors, EDITION Hotel Group and Saadiyat Rotana.