Abu Dhabi Art 2012 closes with unprecedented number of visitors, collectors, strong sales and cultural icons
- United Arab Emirates: Saturday, November 17 - 2012 at 15:26
- PRESS RELEASE
The fourth edition of Abu Dhabi Art brought together 50 of the world's top galleries, notable cultural icons, collectors and visitors from across the globe, and firmly established Saadiyat Island and Abu Dhabi's legacy as the cultural destination of the future.
In another noteworthy panel featuring Richard Armstrong, Director of Solomon R Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi revealed a selection of works already acquired, including a major sculpture by Algerian Rachid Koraichi, a work by Jacques Villeglé and a sculpture by Subodh Gupta. Not surprising that during Abu Dhabi Art, two of Koraichi's works were sold in the modern and contemporary galleries section: La Memoire d'un ange and La Memoire d'un ange II.
Modern masters were well appreciated at Abu Dhabi Art and sale highlights included Fateh Moudarres' Untitled from Meem Gallery and Shaker Hassan Al Said's Untitled from Agial Gallery. Thaddaeus Ropac's curated booth showing two artists sold works by Farhad Moshiri - Woman on the Verge and Pill.
A huge demand was seen for contemporary artists with sales of: Subodh Gupta's Cascading Water from Hauser & Wirth; Anish Kapoor's Untitled 2012 and Marina Abramovic's REST ENERGY, both from Lisson Gallery; an untitled work by Keith Haring from Galerie Enrico Navarra; as well as Lee Ufan's Dialogue from Kamel Mennour Gallery.
Fang Lijung's 2011-2010 from Hanart TZ Gallery was one of many sales representing the interest in Abu Dhabi for top Asian works. UAE artists Najat Makki and Abdul Qadar Al Rais sold several works at Hunar Gallery, as did EOA Project's Abdulnasser Gharem. Etel Adnan's Homage to Ink Pot (shown in Documenta) from Galerie SFEIR-SEMLER was snapped up during the fair, as were works by Galerie Janine Rubeiz's Mazen Kherbaj, who featured in the DON'T FEED THE ARTIST installation from the fair's Signature section. Other sales included a Roy Lichtenstein work shown by Edward Tyler Nahem, Yayoi Kusama's Pumpkin at Ota Fine Arts and Fabrice Hyber's Nuancier/verts (an artist also showcased in Abu Dhabi Art's Arts, Talks & Sensations exhibition that will run until 6 January) shown by Jerome de Noirmont. Galleria Continua's artwork by Moataz Nasr Eqra also found a buyer at Abu Dhabi Art.
A central point of attraction for thousands of Abu Dhabi Art visitors was Tadashi Kawamata's Chairs for Abu Dhabi, an installation of hundreds of stacked chairs and part of the Beyond section of the fair (known for its display of large-scale works), which sold.
Abu Dhabi Art was officially opened by Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women's Union, the Supreme Chairperson of Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council of Motherhood & Childhood and His Highness Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan Vice-Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and National Security Advisor in the presence of many other dignitaries.
Her Highness Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, Chair of Abu Dhabi Art's Host Committee and founder of the Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, who has a personal passion for art and has been a supporter of the arts for more than 30 years, bought works this year as did Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan.
New relationships and more of a diversity of collectors were reported by galleries this year including museums, corporate collectors and private collectors flying in from all over, particularly the region. Public programmes were full to capacity, education workshops were oversubscribed and children and school groups came to Abu Dhabi Art in droves.
"More collectors and visitors combined with quality art, performances and music made for a vibrant atmosphere at Abu Dhabi Art this year," said His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, the organisers of the event. "The quality of the 2012 edition and the positive feedback received, firmly establishes Abu Dhabi Art on the international art circuit and as a cultural hub linking east and west," he said.
Abu Dhabi Art had the distinct honor of hosting titans of art and culture for a series of rare conversations amongst other cultural idols. Pioneer performance artist Marina Abramovic's first visit to the Middle East culminated with a fascinating talk by the artist discussing her 40-year career and the profound impact of her visit to the Arabian Desert. Subodh Gupta and Bharti Kher, considered two of India's most important contemporary artists, spoke together for the first time in an illuminating discussion on their shared passion for addressing social and political issues in their country through their work. Anish Kapoor elaborated on his three decade career which has included groundbreaking installations at the Grand Palais in Paris, Tate Modern in London and the Guggenheim in Bilbao, New York and Berlin. Egyptian artist Ghada Amer and conceptual Saudi artist Abdulnasser Gharem led an intimate and engaging dialogue about their complex relationships with their families, their respective homelands and their profound desire to inspire the next generation of young artists. Contemporary artist Pascale Marthine-Tayou from Cameroon spoke about his work as deliberately mobile, elusive and linked to the idea of travel.
An expanded Design programme at Abu Dhabi Art highlighted an understanding of the innate aesthetics of the UAE through the study, exploration, experimentation and promotion of the roots of Emirati creativity - a design language based on transient states, freedom of movement, mobility, and constant change. It comprised of a series of distinct workshops and discussions highlighting centuries-old traditional crafts reinterpreted by visionary Emirati artisans and contemporary artists, informal conversations by leading art personalities and a daily spoken-word performance.
Exhibition Art, Talks & Sensations, curated by Fabrice Bousteau, explored the theme of The Island / A Game of Life through a series of avant-garde performances and installations featuring works by artists Subodh Gupta, Camille Henrot, Fabrice Hyber, Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Matthieu Orlean and Camille Zakharia. Another exhilarating highlight of the week was a performance by the London-based electronic music collective Noise of Art as well as Jordanian rock-band Autostrad, which both took over the main stage at Manarat Al Saadiyat to the delight of the many visitors and fans in attendance.
Abu Dhabi Art was held in the Saadiyat Cultural District on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi. Its Principal Sponsor was Bulgari and Associate Sponsors were Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Dolphin Energy.
Abu Dhabi Art was visited by members of the Host Committee as well as some members of its circle of collectors; Her Highness Sheikha Mariam Bint Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Her Highness Sheikha Osha bint Shakhbout Al Nahyan, Her Highness Sheikha Khawla bint Ahmed Al Suwaidy, Her Highness Sheikha Alyazia bint Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Her Highness Sheikha Shaikha bint Suroor Al Nahyan, Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Suroor Al Nahyan, Her Highness Sheikha Fakhra bint Saeed Al Nahyan, Her Highness Sheikha Alyazia bint Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Her Highness Sheikha Osha bint Nahyan bin Muabrak Al Nahyan, Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Mubarak Al Nahyan, Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Her Highness Sheikha Maitha bint Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Her Highness Sheikha Mariam bint Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Her Highness Sheikha Shamsa bint Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Her Highness Sheikha Alyazia bint Saif Al Nahyan for their support.
Abu Dhabi Art was open to the public from November 7 - 10 2012.
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