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4th Abu Dhabi Art festival attracts International audience

11-11-2012 09:52 BJT

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By CCTV correspondent Lourda Sexton

The 4th Abu Dhabi Art festival is now ongoing. The four-day event has attracted over 15,000 visitors, as well as leading galleries from across the world representing 400 artists. CCTV correspondent Lourda Sexton reports on the fair and the Abu Dhabi art audience.

Saadiyat island - Abu Dhabi’s cultural district opened it’s door to 50 galleries representing 400 artists.

With a range of contempory and modern artworks on display. As well as public programmes and talks. Now in it’s 4th year, the local art audience is much more educated.

James Lavender, Associate Director of Hauser & Wirth, said, "We do different presentations each year. Last year we did a single artist, we showed Louise Bourgeois. This year we’ve got 4 artists so it’s a different contextual presentation and each year it seems that the audience are more educated. They are familiar with artists we are bringing. There seems to be more energy here throughout the year. Coming as we did last year and in previous years. It seems year on year we see more discerning eyes."

As with all leading art fairs, a dedicated section to emerging artists is on display. Entitled bidaya, meaning beginning in Arabic.

A fitting title, for the 8 emerging artists been showcased by Turkey’s CDA Projects. With work on display including painting’s, self portraits and video installations.

Moiz Zilberman, founder/partner of CDA projects, said,: "This is the emerging markets space, what is it like exhibiting the art work here?

"This is our first year at Art Abu Dhabi. We are exhibiting more emerging artists. They have awarded us the Bidaya gallery. So far so good. The interest is unbeleiveable. The questions, I am always very careful about the questions, Curious about them. I have been asked many questions about the art works themselves. So I can say it’s better than expected."

Alongside this, museum quality pieces are on display. With more collectors and museum representatives attending for the first year.

With first time exhibitors happy with the results.

Alicia Luxem, Assistant Director of Galleria Continua, said, "Some of them yes, alot of them are reserved. We are waiting for confirmations. For now, it’s gone pretty well. We are waiting to see as it’s our first exhibition in Abu Dhabi so we are excited to see how it turns out."

Design formed a big part of this year’s event.

With the fair aiming to showcase the rich heritage of UAE crafts. Marrying together traditional skills by local emirati women with the vision of british designer Stuart Haygarth.

Designer Stuart Haygarth said, "I was invited by TDIC, the cultural department of the government to work with local artisans. I think that beacuse Abu Dhabi is a quickly changing city, they are really keen to hold onto their heritage so they wanted me to work with local artisans. The craft I choose is called khoos, it’s the weaving of palms and I was invited to work with local artisand to produce a contempory piece of work."

With Abu Dhabi set to become home to the Louvre museum, the Guggenheim museum and the Zayed National Museum by 2017. The eyes of the art world are watching.

Sexton said, "While it is still a relatively young fair. It has attracted leading figures in the art world and heavyweight galleries. Highlighting that Abu Dhabi is really positioning itself as an art and cultural hub in the region.


Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source:

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