Art Dubai’s largest-ever edition is to take place from March 1 to 5, 2023

Art Dubai announces details for its 16th edition

Calling all art aficionados in the UAE. Art Dubai has just announced full program details for its 16th edition, taking place at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai from March 3 to 5, 2023.

Art Dubai 2023’s gallery program will feature over 130 presentations from more than 40 countries and six continents, across four sections: Contemporary, Modern, Bawwaba (featuring exclusively new work), and Art Dubai Digital, and will include more than 30 first-time participants.

It was founded in 2007. Art Dubai’s Executive Director Benedetta Ghione commented: “Art Dubai has always tried to reframe what an art fair can be, and this year’s expanded program fully reflects our role as a meeting point for the region’s creative industries, both commercial and not-for-profit. As an innovative public-private partnership, we have been an incubator of talent, a catalyst for the creative economy here in Dubai, a convener of great minds, and an entry point to this vibrant ecosystem for the wider cultural sector.”

Further highlights of the 2023 program include artwork premières by some of the art world’s most exciting names, and a series of 10 newly commissioned performance works by artists from across South Asia. Produced in partnership with Art Dubai’s galleries and several leading South Asian cultural organizations, these new site-specific works will comprise daily performances and food-based experiences, exploring themes of community, celebration, hope, and connection.

Continuing the fair’s long-standing commitment to dialogue, diverse voices, and the development of Dubai’s cultural infrastructure, the 2023 program will feature more than 50 sessions in an ambitious daily conference, talks, and education program. Highlights include the 16th edition of Art Dubai’s flagship Global Art Forum, the first Dubai edition of Christie’s Art+Tech summit, a series of Modern and Collector talks developed in partnership with Dubai Collection, and a new event in partnership with the Art Business Conference, focusing on sustainability.

Art Dubai is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) is the fair’s, strategic partner. Madinat Jumeirah is the home of Art Dubai.

Art Dubai’s Artistic Director Pablo del Val commented: “As the global art fair landscape shifts, Art Dubai continues to play an important role in profiling and supporting the cultural ecosystems of the Global South and the program this year fully reflects this region’s growing importance, energy, and vibrancy. One of our strongest ever gallery line-ups, complemented by an expanded commissioning and thought-leadership program, highlights the breadth of discourse that is happening here, and offers a glimpse into the past, present, and future of this important region.”

Not-for-profit Programming

At the center of the fair’s not-for-profit program is Art Dubai Commissions, a platform that invites artists to produce site-specific works at the fair, supporting artistic production by local and international artists.

Taking place in a purpose-built space, the 2023 Commissions program will comprise daily performances and food-based experiences that will explore themes of community, celebration, hope, and connection.

Featured artists will include Prajakta Potnis, Rathin Barman, Gunjan Kumar, Anoli Perera and Tayeba Begum Lipi, and others. The program is developed in close collaboration with several of Art Dubai’s exhibiting galleries and leading institutions that are playing a key role in supporting artists and artistic production in South Asia. Partners on this ambitious project include Durjoy Bangladesh Foundation in collaboration with Britto Arts Trust, Ishara Art Foundation, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Kochi-Muziris Biennale, and Samdani Art Foundation.

Art Dubai 2023 marks the 10th edition of Campus Art Dubai (CAD), Art Dubai’s flagship initiative to develop the region’s future cultural leaders and a core component of the fair’s extensive year-round education program. CAD was the first program of its kind in the region, developed to provide existing and aspiring members of the region’s cultural and creative community with educational and professional opportunities. The 2023 edition will feature two concurrent strands. The first strand, CAD Public Art, aims to build sector knowledge and capacity in the rapidly developing field of public art commissioning.

The second, CAD 10.0 Professional Development, will expand to include placements at both Art Dubai and other leading UAE cultural institutions, including Alserkal Avenue and Art Jameel in Dubai, and Abu Dhabi’s independent platform for emerging artists 421 who, in the second year of collaboration with Art Dubai, will present a group exhibition curated by UAE-based artist and researcher Dania Al Tamimi. Featuring artworks that pose the question: Does time move through you, or do you move through time?, the exhibition will explore time as “the binding element of the biography of objects, the active archive of lives, and the solidifying catalyst of experiences”.

Launched as a new physical fair section in March 2022, Art Dubai Digital provides an annual 360-degree snapshot of the digital art landscape, with the ambition of building bridges between the world of art and technology and exploring how artists are utilizing new, immersive technologies to collapse the boundaries of the traditional art world. Curated by Singapore-based educator and arts writer Clara Che Wei Peh, the expanded 2023 edition of Art Dubai Digital welcomes a selection of participants with innovative new media programs, a range of digital platforms building virtual art spaces alongside artist collectives, new institutional models, and more traditional bricks and mortar galleries. Together, these platforms are challenging and pushing forward new models for artistic production and support.

First-time presentations at Art Dubai Digital 2023 will include Lian Foundation, established by a private collector, patron, and expert in Blockchain Technology Fiorenzo Manganiello; 6529 with their decentralized Open Metaverse project; and UAE First Immersion, a presentation of new artworks by some of the leading names in crypto art, produced after they visited the UAE for the first time in November 2022, presented in collaboration with MORROW Collective. The presentation will feature new works by artists including Coldie, Colborn Bell, Monaris, Bryan Brinkman, Kirk Finkel, and Raphael Torres, and the works will be made available first to collectors at Art Dubai 2023.

Conference and Thought-leadership Programme

Each year, Art Dubai invites leading artists, curators, technologists, and thinkers to the city to exchange ideas, and this year’s program will expand significantly, to include more than 50 sessions across the five days of the fair. Art Dubai’s celebrated transdisciplinary conference Global Art Forum, commissioned by Shumon Basar, will explore the theme ‘Predicting the Present’ and consider the central question: if it’s the end of history and the end of the future, what happens next? Speakers will include Lukas Amacher, Head of Art, Dialectic and 1of1 works; Sumayya Vally, Principle of counterspace, Architect of the 2021 Serpentine Pavilion and Curator of the 1st Islamic Biennale in Jeddah; and Chiara Costa, Head of Programmes at Fondazione Prada.

Presented in partnership with Dubai Collection, Art Dubai’s 2023 edition will also feature a series of Collector and Modern Talks. The Collector Talks will focus on the collectors and patrons who are driving the development of art scenes across the Global South and supporting the redistribution of cultural centers across the world. Sessions will focus on emerging trends in both traditional and digital collecting across the region, and what it means to be an arts patron in a place that is developing and implementing new institutional models. Panelists will include noted collectors Qinwen Wang, Fiorenzo Manganiello, and Teo Yang. Accompanying Art Dubai’s Modern section will be a series of Modern Talks that will invite guest speakers to explore topics of 20th Century artists and art forms from the Middle East and North Africa, hold critical discussions on current trends in collecting across the region and the decolonization of our art-historical canon.

This year, Christie’s will host its first regional Art+Tech summit in partnership with Art Dubai. Established in 2018, the sixth iteration of the summit – in conjunction with Christie’s annual summit in New York – aims to bring together regional and global leaders, innovators, artists, and visionaries to foster meaningful dialogues on the intersection of art and technology. Blending east and west by bringing in both regional and global voices, the one-day conference will survey trends, hear from artists who are incorporating technology in their practices, and explore current challenges and future opportunities to collaborate. Confirmed speakers will be announced shortly.

In first, Art Dubai is pleased to be collaborating with the renowned Art Business Conference on a special session at the fair, focused on exploring topics of sustainability in the art world.

Partner Programming

The third edition of the A.R.M Holding Children’s Programme has been developed by Swedish artist Jacob Dahlgren. Entitled The Flag Project and suitable for children of all ages, this program of immersive workshops will commence at Art Dubai before expanding to over 90 schools and 8,000 children over two months in what is the UAE’s largest cultural education program. Using everyday craft materials and scrap fabrics, participating children will be invited to think creatively about their environments, collaging together designs that will later be sewn and transformed into flags in an extension of the artist’s ongoing project Signs of Abstraction.

The leading Swiss wealth management group Julius Baer has renewed its long-standing partnership with Art Dubai for a further five years, until 2027, and will première a major new commission by internationally acclaimed new media artist, director, and pioneer in the aesthetics of data and machine intelligence, Refik Anadol. Glacier Dreams is inspired by the beauty and fragility of the world’s glaciers and will be unveiled as a series of multisensory artworks over multiple chapters. The work will debut in the Julius Baer lounge at Art Dubai and is the first activation of Julius Baer’s new NEXT initiative, which is designed to foster collaboration between forward-thinking artists and institutions committed to new forms of cultural production.

Returning fair partner Boghossian’s presentation at Art Dubai will present a selection of the houses’ newest and most exquisite high jewelry creations in a ‘cabinet of curiosities’ that takes center stage at its installation. A collaboration between Danish Kufstudios and Lebanese designer Nada Debs, the booth display will highlight the dialogue between cultures and the extraordinary beauty that can result from multicultural influences. Alongside the one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces will be a retrospective display documenting the evolution of Villa Empain, headquarters of the philanthropic Boghossian Foundation, from its beginnings in the 1930s to the present day.

First-time fair partner Guerlain will premiere a new iteration of its iconic Bee Bottle, with the release of Guerlain X Maison Matisse’s The Art of Happiness. Visitors to the booth will also be invited to explore a unique collection of Guerlain’s most coveted fragrances, including collaborations with Jon One, Tarek Banaoum, Li Hongbo as well as the Dubai-based jewelry designer Nadine Kanso, who will preview her latest creation Rêve D’Amour. This one-off display of exceptional pieces will be supported by a series of photographs and stories about each item. In Art Dubai, Digital Guerlain will show the interactive AR work “De Nectar at d’Ambroisie”. Created by the young artist Constance Valero, it is a tribute to the life and its tenacity, an ode to the supremacy of organic functioning.

Maison Ruinart will present a series of images by photographer Matthieu Gafsou, entitled “Cette constante brûlure de l’air “(This Constant Burning of the Air), which evoke contemporary concerns about the environment and biodiversity. Taken in France during the intense heat of summer 2022, at first glance the images show banal scenes of light-hearted tourists, arcadian landscapes and a welcoming town, before becoming apparent the artist has stained them with crude oil to represent the burning heat experienced at the time. By using a hydrocarbon as a pigment, the artist reveals what is invisible and expresses the paradox of our times: everything seems so normal, yet our environment is brutally changing.

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