By PAUL LASTER, November 2019
One of the premier art fairs in the Middle East, where the contemporary art scene conitues to grow year by year, Abu Dhabi Art returned to Manarat Al Saadiyat for the 11th edition with 53 exhibitors selected by a group of invited guest curators, including Paolo Columbo, Omar Kholief and Jerome Sans.
Running from November 21 to 23, this year’s fair highlighted galleries from China and India—including Chambers Fine Art, ShanghART and Nature Morte—and attracted galleries as far away as New York, such as Lehmann Maupin and Salon 94, making the journey to present artists from their stables.
The fair is one of the high points of the fall season for galleries in the MENA region, with several galleries participating from Dubai’s celebrated Alserkal Avenue—including Carbon 12, Elmarsa, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Leila Heller Gallery, Lawrie Shabibi and The Third Line—and others, like Agial Art Gallery, Hafez Gallery and Zawyeh Gallery, coming from Beirut, Jeddah and Ramallah, respectively.
Standout pieces included Faig Ahmed’s surreally woven carpets at Sapar Contemporary, Huma Bhabha’s sci-fi inspired heads and figures at Salon 94, Johan Creten’s sexually suggestive ceramic sculptures at Leila Heller Gallery, Zhao Zhao’s embroidered images of bullet-riddled constellations at Chambers Fine Art, Mohamed Melehi’s colorful silkscreen abstractions at Lawrie Shabibi and Baya’s patterned portrayal of women in nature at Elmarsa.
Scroll through the images below to see the rest of our picks. WM
Paul Laster is a writer, editor, curator, artist and lecturer. He’s a contributing editor at ArtAsiaPacific and Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art and writer for Time Out New York, Harper’s Bazaar Arabia, Galerie Magazine, Sculpture, Art & Object, Cultured, Architectural Digest, Garage, Surface, Ocula, Observer, ArtPulse, Conceptual Fine Arts and Glasstire. He was the founding editor of Artkrush, started The Daily Beast’s art section, and was art editor of Russell Simmons’ OneWorld Magazine, as well as a curator at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, now MoMA PS1.
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