Abu Dhabi: The fourth edition of Abu Dhabi Art, a platform for modern and contemporary art held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, welcomes renowned art world personalities for its 2012 public programme.
Adel Abidin, Frank Gehry, Richard Armstrong, Jean Nouvel, Subodh Gupta, Bharti Kher, Stuart Haygarth, Abdulnasser Gharem, Ghada Amer, Mohammed Kazem and Marina Abramovic (for her first time in the Middle East), are just some of the names in town that week, reflecting the international calibre of Abu Dhabi Art and the capital as a cross-roads for the arts scene.
They will sit on more than 20 panels and interviews discussing topics such as the search for the centre of the Art World’, the vision and architecture of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and a panel about the complimentary roles played by non-profit and commercial entities in the region.
Encompassing exhibitions, film-screenings (in collaboration with the Sharjah Art Foundation), more than 10 live performances and book launches, the programme also introduces an exciting line-up of live music including Arab rock band Autostrad (Thursday 8 November) and electronic art-band Noise of Art (Friday 9 November) for its Abu Dhabi Art Plaza Evenings where visitors can take in Saadiyat Island’s charm.
Abu Dhabi Art also presents a unique Design Platform where, through a variety of new programmes, contemporary design and craft techniques come together as a celebration of both traditional skill and visionary thinking. A commissioned design work draws on the crafts of khoos (palm-frond weaving) and telle embroidery and is being developed in Abu Dhabi by Emirati artisans. UAE based artist UBIK joins other contemporaries, creating works and holding special design projects and workshops and storytelling performances.
Finally renowned Director of the Design Museum in London, Deyan Sudjic and writer Glenn Adamson will delve into greater detail about the role of craft in art and design and contemporary designer Stuart Haygarth will be working on commissions unveiled at Abu Dhabi Art.
Parts of the Design programme will be presented inside the remarkable art installation Chairs for Abu Dhabi’ by the Japanese artist Tadashi Kawamata. Constructed from hundreds of stacked chairs – a place for visitors to meet, rest, and learn about craft and design through a series of performances and displayed books.
As part of a programme tailored specifically to children, they can take part in several workshops and games as part of Art Zone (a dedicated space for children which welcomed 4,000 children in four days last year), including a game played with Tikkei (oversized Emirati cushions). Workshops offered alongside the Arts, Talks and Sensations exhibition to open during Abu Dhabi Art will also be held for children, teens and adults including making monochromatic paintings using unconventional techniques.
Other highlights of Abu Dhabi Art’s 2012 includes: Exhibition Art, Talks and Sensations curated by Fabrice Bousteau – brings together live performances and installations to create a sensory exploration through various elements of fine art. Focusing around the theme of ‘THE ISLAND’ for its fifth edition, visitors are invited to explore a new experience through the works of Marc Quinn, Camille Zakharia, Abbas Akhavan, Fabrice Hyber Camille Henrot and Subodh Gupta amongst others.
Abu Dhabi Art Community – A series of creative collaborations focused on connecting people to the Emirate’s growing cultural scene. This includes Art for All, a community art initiative held upon the instruction and leadership of Her Highness Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, the 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.
For the past three years, Sheikha Salama has supported Abu Dhabi Art as the Chair of the Host Committee. The Foundation launched Art for All, a series of community art programmes that aim to promote local Emirati artists, build new audiences and interest for art among the community, and increase awareness about Abu Dhabi Art amongst the general public.
The highlight of the Community Pavilion at Abu Dhabi Art will be an exhibition by emerging Emirati artists: Between Public and Private’ will include works by Alia Lootah, Dana Al Mazroui, Hamdan Al Shamsi, Maitha Demithan and Shamsa Al Omeira. A panel including these artists will also take place during Abu Dhabi Art.
Fair: The Modern and Contemporaries Galleries Sector includes 50 participating galleries showing works by international superstars such as Marina Abramovi?, Ghada Amer Anish Kapoor, Alexander Calder, Abdulnasser Gharem Bharti Kher, Subodh Gupta, Kader Attia, Farhad Moshiri, Timo Nasseri, Louay Kayyali, Yayoi Kusama, Ahmed Matter, Latifa Echakhch, Fateh Moudarres, Wael Shawky, Abdul Qader Al Rais, Lee Ufan, Hassan Sharif, Jeff Koons, Robert Rauschenberg, Raqib Shaw and Jacques Villegl?.
Beyond – the section designated to large scale installations includes Palestinian artist Ayman Yossri Daydban who will be shown by Athr Gallery (KSA), a huge structure by Tadashai Kawamata presented by kamel mennour (France) and a large work called The Bell’ by Gabriel Kuri from Sfeir -Semler (Lebanon/ Germany).
Signature – the section where solo shows by an emerging artist are exhibited, sees Galerie Janine Rubeiz presents DON’T FEED THE ARTIST, a live installation and performance by Mazen Kerbaj where he will be drawing and painting on-site, every day enclosed in a clear cube, observed by all, creating an exhibition within an exhibition.
Bidaya (meaning beginning’ in Arabic) is dedicated to one emerging gallery, welcomes CDA Projects from Istanbul who will be showcasing a range of artists including Adel Abidin and young Turkish artists such as Bur?ak Bing?l and Zeynep Kayan.