I have been planning madly for Dubai Art Week trip since last November, so much to see in one week! SIKKA ART FAIR launched today, Art Nights in Al Serkal and DIFC plus Design Days Dubai opening are all on Monday and finally Art Dubai. Last year, I came up with an idea of Eye Catching Galleries in Art Dubai , it was not easy because you see hundreds of artworks! However, I’ve done it.
This year is the 3rd I attend Art Dubai and 2nd year as Press representing Al Mahha Art. I thought why don’t I share with you my pre-recommendations of participating galleries in Art Dubai as some are galleries we see regularly in art fairs in the Middle East, some are keyplayers in the scene and most are recognisable galleries internationally. My question is “they are already on top, how will they beat that and what will the present new and outstanding in Art Dubai?” Trust me the last thing I want to see is something I saw million times before!
From San Francisco to Kolkata, India… 22 Contemporary Galleries and 4 Modern you must see in Art Dubai.
By the way, courtesy of information and description below are to Art Dubai, I just selected my list and no order preferences… it’s in random order!
1. Agial Gallery
Featuring artists: Ayman Baalbaki, Oussama Baalbaki, Tagreed Darghouth, Omar Fakhoury and Mireille Kassar
(Beirut, Lebanon) Founded in Beirut in 1990, Agial Art Gallery specialises in the promotion of modern and contemporary art from the Arab world. The two-storey gallery hosts its permanent collection in its lower level while its ground floor is home to monthly exhibitions. One of the largest in the region, the permanent collection of Agial ranges from modern pioneers to the most promising, young talents. www.agialart.com
2. Athr Gallery
Featuring artists: Ibrahim Abumsmar, Dana Awartani, Ayman Yossri, Daydban, Basmah Felemban, Hazem Harb, Musaed Al Hulis, Ahmed Mater, Nasser Al Salem, Jowhara Alsaud and Saddek Wasil.
(Jeddah, KSA) Founded in January 2009 in Jeddah, Athr Gallery supports a range of emerging and established contemporary Saudi and Arab artists working across various media. The gallery is actively involved in educational projects through public lectures and forums. www.athrart.com
3. Ayyam Gallery
Featuring artists: Athier, Ammar Al Beik, Samia Halaby, Nadim Karam, Safwan Dahoul & Sama Alshaibi.
(Damascus, Dubai, Beirut, Jeddah, London) Founded by collectors and cousins Khaled and Hisham Samawi in Damascus in 2006, Ayyam Gallery sought to nurture Syria’s dynamic contemporary art scene. Expansion into Beirut and Dubai enabled Ayyam Gallery to broaden its roster of artists from Syria to those from the wider Middle East region, such as Nadim Karam, Safwan Dahoul, Samia Halaby, Sadik Alfraji, Afshin Pirhashemi and Khaled Takreti. Ayyam Gallery has established itself as one of the foremost exponents of Middle Eastern contemporary art to the international community. In 2013, Ayyam Gallery opened two new spaces in London and Jeddah. It’s Damascus space currently functions as a studio and creative haven for artists who remain in the war-torn city. www.ayyamgallery.com
4. Bolsa de Arte
Featuring Artists: José Bechara, Saint Clair Cemin, Marcos Chaves, Francisco Faria, Ananda Kuhn, André Lichtenberg, Shirley Paes Leme, Teresa Poester, Carlos Vergara & Nelson Wilbert.
(Porto Alegre / São Paulo, Brazil) Since its inception in 1980 in Porto Alegre, Bolsa de Arte Gallery has specialised in contemporary art, representing some of the most important names in the Brazilian art market while offering an open space for emerging young talents. www.bolsadearte.com.br
5. Carbon 12
Featuring artists: Olaf Breuning, Bernhard Buhmann, André Butzer, Rui Chafes, Gil Heitor Cortesao, Sara Rahbar, Anahita Razmi & Michael Sailstorfer.
6. Pilar Corrias
Featuring artists: Tala Madani, Elizabeth Neel, Shahzia Sikander.
(London, UK) Pilar Corrias opened in London in 2008 in a space created by Rem Koolhaas. The gallery presents internationally-established artists alongside key representatives of a younger emerging generation. www.pilarcorrias.com
Featuring artists: Abdulaziz Ashour, Mouna Karray, Farah Khelil & Mourad Salem.
(Tunis, Dubai) Elmarsa was founded in 1994 in Tunis and aims to promote artists from the Arab world and beyond. Through an array of mediums including painting, sculpture, photography and installation, the gallery engages with artists who emphasize a shared sense of humanity and emotion, highlighting a variety of coexisting attitudes and strategies in contemporary art.www.galerielmarsa.com
8. Gallery Etemad
Featuring artists: Shahriar Ahmadi, Mohsen Ahmadvand, Morteza Ahmadvand, Abbas Kiarostami, Mehrdad Mohebali & Ramtin Zad.
(Dubai, Tehran) Established in 2002, Etemad Gallery seeks to showcase regional and international artists from its Dubai platform. The gallery is committed to promoting a wide range of emerging and established artists practicing in varied techniques and forms, from figurative to abstract minimalism. Etemad Gallery’s programme has a highly curatorial approach which is reflected in the gallery’s exhibitions which highlight the diversity and depth of many selected artists. www.galleryetemad.com
Featuring artists: Hajra Waheed
(Kolkata, India) Established in 2009 in Kolkata, Experimenter showcases a broad range of contemporary practice from the Subcontinent and attempts to touch upon the politics of borders, the fast-paced economic and social development in the region, and the futility of utopian ideologies which modern societies strive to achieve. www.experimenter.in
10. Isabelle Van den Eynde
Featuring Artists: mentalKLINIK, Lara Baladi, Abdelkader Benchamma, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Fred Eerdekens, Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Mohammed Kazem, Aisha Khalid, Farshid Maleki and Hassan Sharif.
(Dubai, UAE) Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde was founded in Dubai in 2006 with a dynamic programme of emerging and mid-career artists. Today the gallery remains committed to nurturing its artists and providing them with exhibition platforms throughout their careers. By maintaining this creative dialogue, the gallery presents challenging and innovative contemporary artwork that promotes the visual expressions of its artists from the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia and Iran. www.ivde.net
11. Green Art Gallery
Featuring artists: Shadi Habib Allah, Nazgol Ansarinia, Kamrooz Aram, Zsolt Bodoni, Seher Shah.
(Dubai, UAE) Representing a multi-generational mix of artists, Green Art Gallery’s program is focused on contemporary artists from the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, Turkey and beyond, working across different media, traditional and new, who employ a research-based approach. Artists represented include Turkish artist Hale Tenger, Iranian artist Kamrooz Aram and Palestinian artist Shadi Habib Allah. The Gallery has continued to grow and in 2012 added Pakistani artist Seher Shah, Venezuelan artist Alessandro Balteo Yazbeck and Hungarian painter Zsolt Bodoni to the artist roster. www.gagallery.com
12. Alexander Gray Associates
Featuring artists: Siah Armajani, Heidi Bucher, Luis Camnitzer, Harmony Hammond & Hassan Sharif.
(New York, USA) Alexander Gray Associates, a contemporary art gallery and advising firm, opened in 2006, establishing a profile for high-quality exhibitions focused on mid-career artists who emerged between the 1960s and 1990s. These diverse artists are notable for their spheres of influence that cross generations, disciplines and political perspectives. Alexander Gray Associates is a member of the Art Dealers Association of America. www.alexandergray.com
13. Grey Noise
Featuring Artists: Murad Khan Mumtaz, Alyssa Pheobus Mumtaz, Sara Salman, Hossein Valamanesh & Michael John Whelan.
(Dubai, UAE) Grey Noise is a contemporary art gallery representing a selection of artists, with a focus on work from South Asia, the Middle East and Europe. The gallery provides emerging and established artists with a platform for ambitious projects engaged in dialogue with the international art community. Through active partnership with curators, galleries, art fairs and museums worldwide, Grey Noise aims to promote new and often experimental streams of thought in art and culture. www.greynoise.org
14. Leila Heller Gallery
Exhibiting Artists: Shiva Ahmadi, Reza Aramesh, Gordon Cheung, Nir Hod, Rachel Lee Hovnanian, Leila Pazooki & Hadieh Shafie.
(New York, USA) Leila Heller Gallery, founded in 1982 in New York, is known for an active and innovative exhibition schedule from international contemporary artists to modern masters, specialising in artists from the Middle East. For over 25 years, the gallery has had a long standing commitment to creating links between Eastern and Western culture through art. www.leilahellergallery.com
15. Rose Issa Projects
Exhibiting Artists: Farhad Ahrarnia, Ayman Baalbaki, Graham Day, Hanieh Delecroix & Keyvan Saber, Ali Omar Ermes, Monir Farmanfarmaian, Parastou Forouhar, Hassan Hajjaj, Nermine Hammam, Behruz Heshmat, Youssef Nabil & Hossein Valamanesh.
(London, UK) Rose Issa founded her project space in 2008 and has been an independent curator, writer and producer for more than 30 years, advocating visual art and film from the Arab World, Iran and Turkey. The gallery showcases upcoming and established artists primarily dealing with the visual aesthetics and the social, political and poetical landscapes of their cultural background. www.roseissa.com
16. Gallery Wendi Norris
Featuring Artists: Yorgo Alexopoulous, Kelly Barrie, Val Britton, Sean Cordeiro & Claire Healy, Sherin Guirguis & Julio Cesar Morales.
(San Francisco, USA) Located in the San Francisco Bay area, Gallery Wendi Norris was founded in 2003. The gallery presents a pioneering contemporary and modern agenda, focusing on the global art market. The gallery provides a trans-cultural experience, working with, and supporting, a range of private clients, museums, significant art fairs and not-for-profit art organizations. www.gallerywendinorris.com
17. Galerie Polaris
Featuring Artists: Khaled Jarrar & Bouchra Khalili.
(Paris, France) In 1990, Galerie Polaris was one of the first galleries to open a new space in the area of Rue St. Claude, Paris. Since its inception, the gallery focuses on showcasing emerging contemporary artists from around the world, such as Yto Barrada, Khaled Jarrar and Stéphane Couturier. www.galeriepolaris.com
18. Sfeir-Semler Gallery
Exhibiting Artists: Etel Adnan, Yto Barrada, Taysir Batniji, Anna Boghiguian, MARWAN, Rabih Mroué, Timo Nasseri, Walid Raad / The Atlas Group, Marwan Rechmaoui, Wael Shawky, Mounira Al Solh, Rayyane Tabet & Akram Zaatari.
(Hamburg, Germany. Beirut, Lebanon) Since its opening in Hamburg in 1985 and in Beirut in 2005, Sfeir-Semler Gallery has become a preeminent gallery for contemporary art in the Arab world, nurturing the development of major artists from the Middle East and North Africa. The gallery provides a space for large-scale exhibitions and dynamic curatorial projects. www.sfeir-semler.com
19. Galerie Daniel Templon
Featuring Artists: Jitish Kallat & Kehinde Wiley.
(Paris, France) Galerie Daniel Templon was founded in 1966 by one of the pioneers of contemporary art in Paris. Many artists, now a part of art history, have exhibited at the gallery, including Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, among many others. Galerie Daniel Templon continues to represent and promote artists with individual personalities and radical artistic practices, presenting a dialogue between traditional contemporary art, and the cutting edge experiences of younger artists. www.danieltemplon.com
Featuring Artists: Maitha Demithan & Ruben Sanchez.
(Dubai, UAE) Established in 2008, Tashkeel is a contemporary art organisation based in Dubai committed to facilitating art and design practice, creative experimentation and cross-cultural dialogue. Placing the artist at the core, Tashkeel supports the UAE’s creative community through studio facilities, artists’ residencies, international fellowships, a programme of exhibitions, events and professional workshops. www.tashkeel.org
21. The Third Line
Featuring Artists: Hayv Kahraman & Farhad Moshiri.
(Dubai, UAE) The Third Line is a Dubai based art gallery that represents contemporary Middle Eastern artists locally, regionally and internationally. The Third Line also hosts non-profit, alternative programmes to increase interest and dialogue in the region. www.thethirdline.com
22. Sabrina Amrani Gallery
Featuring Artists: Marlon de Azambuja, Amina Benbouchta, Zoulikha Bouabdellah, Waqas Khan & UBIK.
(Madrid, Spain) Sabrina Amrani Gallery showcases international visual artists with a focus on North Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. Established and emerging artists of many nationalities come together in the gallery’s space.
Art Dubai Must See Modern Galleries
1. Albareh Art Gallery
Exhibiting Artists: Rashid Al Khalifa & Nasser Al Yousif.
(Manama, Bahrain) Established in 1998, Albareh Art Gallery is a leading art gallery in Bahrain, nurturing a variety of artistic expressions from across the Gulf and beyond. Since the outset, the gallery has been committed to promoting promising talents from the region and targeting global audiences through curated exhibitions, with an emphasis on originality and conceptual strength. www.albareh.com
2. Shirin Gallery
Exhibiting Artist: Ardeshir Mohassess
(New York, USA. Tehran, Iran) Shirin Gallery is an art gallery committed to establishing an international context for the broad range of contemporary art practices within Iran and its surrounding regions. The gallery’s current programming is focused on the historical link between Iran’s modernist movements and contemporary art practices today. With branches in New York and Tehran, Shirin Gallery exists as a transnational platform for curatorial and pedagogical projects that foster artistic activity and exchange among emerging and established artists. In Tehran, the gallery exhibits its permanent collection showcasing respected Iranian artists as well as presenting bi-weekly exhibitions by upcoming talents and established artists. Shirin NY, located in the Chelsea Gallery District, furthers Shirin Gallery’s commitment to cultural exchange by exhibiting the Middle East’s rich artistic history within the US.
3. Lawrie Shabibi
Exhibiting Artist: Nabil Nahas
(Dubai, UAE) Founded in March 2011, Lawrie Shabibi is an art gallery housed in a 3000 square foot warehouse in Dubai’s Al-Quoz industrial district. The gallery’s mission is to promote the works of innovative contemporary artists mainly from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. The program’s focus to date has been to support mid-career and emerging artists by holding a regular program of exhibitions, participating in art fairs and publishing catalogues. Lawrie Shabibi regularly engages the community by organizing public programs such as artist talks and screenings, both at the gallery and at not-for-profit spaces in Dubai.
4. Karim Francis
Exhibiting Artists: Hamed Abdalla & Adam Henein.
(Cairo, Egypt) Located in downtown Cairo, Karim Francis gallery was opened in 1995 to showcase the Egyptian contemporary art scene. While continually discovering, supporting and promoting the achievements of Egypt’s artists, past and present, Karim Francis gallery aims to highlight contemporary Egyptian artists, in a variety of styles and mediums–including painting and sculpture–by presenting their work locally, regionally and internationally.