Abu Dhabi Art 2023 Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Abu Dhabi Art, an influential platform anchored in the WANASA region art scene, is welcoming galleries across the globe for the 15th edition of the fair, taking place from 22 to 26 November 2023 at Manarat Al Saadiyat in Abu Dhabi.

New and returning galleries have submitted proposals via the Abu Dhabi Art website for the upcoming 2023 edition. Exhibitors applied to sectors including Modern & Contemporary, which is open to Modern and Contemporary galleries who have been operating for at least seven years; Special Projects, where galleries which have been operating for at least three years can present solo or two-artist exhibits; and Emerge, where galleries present artworks under USD 3,000.

Alongside these is the Focus sector, showcasing galleries which have been invited to participate with specific artists chosen by a guest curator. The 2022 fair featured its largest and most diverse gallery line-up to date, with 80 galleries from 28 countries presenting more than 900 artworks by 300 artists from around the globe.

Abu Dhabi Art Fair

Abu Dhabi Art has also announced the selection of Emirati artist Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, who represented the United Arab Emirates at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in 2022, as this year’s visual campaign artist. As in previous years, a selection of works by the artist will be used to create a global campaign for the fair, enabling a wide international audience to discover his works while also forming the overall visual identity for the fair in November. Ibrahim’s works reveal his own form of language – inscriptions, lines and abstract forms that are reminiscent of ancient cave drawings – marking time and memory through meditative repetition. 

Dyala Nusseibeh, Director of Abu Dhabi Art, said: “We are already building on the diversity and depth of booth presentations at the fair for the upcoming edition, together with our galleries and guest curators.  Visitors will discover contemporary artists from around the world, consider the context of the UAE hosting COP28 this year and the relationship of certain artists to the environment, whilst also encountering a platform for further research on Modern WANASA artists. The contribution of Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim as our visual campaign artist sets the tone for Abu Dhabi Art 2023 from the outset, as he has an extraordinary relationship to the landscape around him and to nature, one that has evolved in the fullness of time to represent a connection to the UAE that is both singular and collective, local and global in its resonance. As we look forward to our 15th edition in November, our visual campaign signposts the way for a fair that has taken root in the community in lasting ways.”

As one of the foremost artists in the UAE today, his appointment as this year’s visual campaign artist is a continuation of an on-going relationship with the fair, from his role in creating a special commission for the fair’s exhibition Gateway in 2017 to curating Abu Dhabi Art’s Beyond: Emerging Artists programme in 2018, as well as having a solo booth at the fair with his gallery Lawrie Shabibi in 2020.

Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim

As one of the most important platforms for art, Abu Dhabi Art has tremendous value and visibility for local and global artists and art lovers. Having personally participated in its exhibitions since its inception and seen its growth over the years, I have always believed in its prominence and distinction. The same can be said of the organisers, who champion a community of culture and position it prominently as one of the most important international art exhibitions worldwide. Abu Dhabi Art is a pillar of the local and international art community and we are proud, as its host to welcome Abu Dhabi Art visitors to our city of culture.

Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim

Previous artists who have participated in the art fair’s annual visual campaign were Farah Al Qasimi (2022); Ayesha Hadhir, Rawdha Khalifa Al Ketbi and Shaikha Fahad Al Ketbi (2021); Ebtisam Abdulaziz (2019); Monira Al Qadiri (2018); and Tarek Al-Ghoussein (2017).

Abu Dhabi Art Fair

About Abu Dhabi Art

Abu Dhabi Art expands beyond the notion of a traditional art fair, in placing strong emphasis on a diverse public engagement programme, including art installations and exhibitions, talks and events that take place in different locations throughout the year. The culmination of this year-long programme is the Abu Dhabi Art event in November, which provides an important sales platform for participating galleries whilst also offering these galleries an opportunity to showcase ambitious installations and site-specific works by their artists to a wide audience.

For more information, please visit abudhabiart.ae

Abu Dhabi Art Fair

About the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) drives the sustainable growth of Abu Dhabi’s culture and tourism sectors, fuels economic progress and helps achieve Abu Dhabi’s wider global ambitions. By working in partnership with the organisations that define the emirate’s position as a leading international destination, DCT Abu Dhabi strives to unite the ecosystem around a shared vision of the emirate’s potential, coordinate effort and investment, deliver innovative solutions, and use the best tools, policies and systems to support the culture, creative and tourism industries.

Abu Dhabi Art Fair

DCT Abu Dhabi’s vision is defined by the emirate’s people, heritage and landscape. We work to enhance Abu Dhabi’s status as a place of authenticity, innovation, and unparalleled experiences, represented by its living traditions of hospitality, pioneering initiatives and creative thought. For more information, please visit dctabudhabi.ae

About Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim

Image Courtesy of National Pavilion UAE La Biennale di Venezia.
Photo by Mohamed Somji of Seeing Things

Emirati artist Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim  is part of the UAE’s first generation of contemporary artists from the late 1980s, an avant-garde scene that included Hassan Sharif, Abdullah Al Saadi, Hussein Sharif, and Mohammed Kazem. Ibrahim’s work has been inspired by a lifelong relationship with the environment of Khorfakkan, his place of birth, with the Gulf of Oman on one side and the Hajar Mountains on the other. This deep connection to his local environment repeats itself throughout his studio practice, whether through his installations, drawings or objects, and the materials he has worked with for over three decades. His hand made objects are shaped like primitive tools, bones or parts of trees and appear to have been unearthed from some ancient den, rather than handcrafted. His works on paper reveal his own form of language – inscriptions, lines and abstract forms that are reminiscent of ancient cave drawings – marking time and memory through meditative repetition. 

Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim is represented by Dubai based Gallery Lawrie Shabibi. For more information, please visit lawrieshabibi.com/artists/159-mohamed-ahmed-ibrahim/

Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, Untitled, 2022, Acrylic on canvas, 152 x 183 cm

For more information on the art fair, please visit abudhabiart.ae or follow Abu Dhabi Art on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to access the latest information.