Art Dubai launches online programme for 2020

The massive art fair goes digital so you don’t need to miss a moment

Art Dubai launches online programme for 2020

Art Dubai is not letting anything stand in the way of expression, as it reconfigure the original programme with heaps of digital content to be enjoyed from the comfort of your sofa. Not sure where to start looking? Worry not, our quick guide will paint you a clearer picture of what to expect…

Where and when is it?
Art Dubai is gearing up for its 14th edition and years of informed and intelligent curation means the fair is now considered to be one of the most important events on the global art calendar. This year Art Dubai leaving behind its regular home at Madinat Jumeirah due to the current climate and moving online for 2020. Content for Art Dubai launches on Monday March 23 and will be developing over time. You can expect performance art and talks to appear online, too. Four digital gallery spaces during Art Dubai will explore Modern art, Contemporary art, Bawwaba – meaning ‘gateway’ in Arabic, which will present global artists who have produced works specially for the fair. The final one will be Residents, which will showcase solo artists from around the world who have partaken in a UAE-based residency and drawn inspiration from the country and produced works around the theme of ‘Africa’. These areas will host artworks from more than 500 regional and international artists. The postponed 14th edition of Art Dubai will now take place from March 17 to March 20, 2021, back at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai’s Umm Suqeim.

What’s it all about?
Art Dubai is a chance to celebrate art in the region and beyond, and maybe discover amazing new artists that you hadn’t heard of before – you might even be inspired to purchase some of their work. There’s much excitement around the ‘Modern’ gallery area, where Art Dubai will be presenting digital versions of one of the largest collections of modernist work ever seen in the region: showcasing 19 leading artists of the genre, from 11 countries in the MENASA region (Middle East, North Africa and South Asia). So if you fancy seeing something fresh, that doesn’t conform to the traditional ideals of art, these exciting and thought-provoking works span modernism from the 1930s to the 1970s.

What’s worth seeing?
There’s so much to see but be sure to click-on works from the local UAE galleries and also look into Middle East artists for a real flavour of what the regional art scene is all about. UAE galleries such as Ayyam Gallery, Carbon 12, Custot Gallery, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Leila Heller Gallery and Meem Gallery will all be participating in Art Dubai online this year. The Third Line contribute in the Contemporary section, presenting the exciting and bold work of Hassan Hajjaj. The artist who is based in London (with Moroccan origins) is known as the ‘Andy Warhol of Marrakech’ due to his vivid and uniquely composed portrait photography.

Is it all paintings?
It’s not all static art, this year’s live performances at Art Dubai also move online and will explore the theme of “art as a form of healing”. Get ready to enjoy an array of dances and live art that will demonstrate “a celebration of togetherness” exploring everything from communal celebrations, unity and the world around us.

What else is there to do?
Give your eyes a rest and put your ears into action by virtually attending one of the many talks and panel discussions. The theme of the talks this year is “Pretty Modern” based around a quote from artist Anjolie Ela Menon, who is famous for her work in 1950s Mumbai. Expect some intellectual chat from a mix of speakers including art historians, private collectors, art dealers, independent curators and scholars as they unpack, complicate, and challenge the nuances of modernism: how it’s communicated, the cultural overlaps the genre faces and much more, it will be truly mind-expanding stuff.

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From March 23.

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