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The eighth edition of Art Dubai took place March 19-22, 2014, at Madinat Jumeirah, and celebrated the fair as an essential meeting point in the art world; offering the opportunity to engage with the most comprehensive line-up of artists from across the region and the world.

image: Art Dubai 2014 Patron’s Preview. Courtesy of Getty Images for Art Dubai 2014.
Over the past eight years, Art Dubai, the leading international art fair in the Middle East and South Asia, has become a cornerstone of the region’s fast-growing contemporary arts community and home to a select yet diverse line-up of globally-sourced galleries. In 2014, Art Dubai features more than 85 galleries from 36 countries presented in three programmes: Contemporary; Modern (devoted to masters from the Middle East and South Asia) and Marker, a curated section of art spaces from Central Asia and the Caucasus. Art Dubai’s extensive not-for-profit programme included a dynamic roster of commissioned projects, artists’ and curators’ residencies, an exhibition of works by winners of the annual The Abraaj Group Art Prize and the thematically-curated talks programme, the Global Art Forum.
Art Dubai’s contemporary halls featured a diverse selection of over 70 galleries — from the world’s most established to dynamic young artspaces across 30 countries. An international fair with its roots in the Gulf, Art Dubai featured painting, sculpture, installation, photography and video by more than 500 artists.
Grey Noise
image: Hossein Valamanesh, Ricefield, 1997. Various rice in wax, 85 x 149 x 2 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Grey Noise Gallery, Dubai.
New in 2014, Art Dubai Modern was devoted to Middle Eastern and South Asian art from the twentieth century; the programme included 11 galleries presenting solo and two-person shows of influential modern masters, as well as research projects, talks and tours. Art Dubai Modern was advised by a curatorial committee of eminent curators and historians: Savita Apte, Catherine David, Kristine Khouri and Nada Shabout.
Grosvenor Vadehra
image: Rasheed Araeen, One Summer Afternoon, 1968. Painted wood, dimensions variable. Courtesy of Grosvenor Gallery.
Art Dubai’s curated, thematic programme of emerging artspaces. Following last year’s spotlight on West Africa, Marker 2014 looked to Central Asia and the Caucasus, and was curated by the artists Slavs and Tatars. Through the scope of portraiture, the works celebrated the complexities of faith, identity and language in these regions and their immediate relevance not only to the Muslim world, but to a global audience. The programme was accompanied by a set of new artists’ books published by onestar press, and daily talks and tours.
Valery Ruppel
image: Valeriy Ruppel, From the series Do Not Believe Kipling. East-West. Mutually Beneficial Cooperation, 2013. Object, assemblage, wooden Vienna chair, toshok (Kyrgyz carpet), textile and appliqué, 80 x 120 x 70cm. Courtesy of Asia Art+.
Abraaj Group Art Prize:
Founded in 2009, The Abraaj Group Art Prize is the only prize in the Middle East and South Asia that awards artists on the basis of submitted project proposals. The five selected artists worked with a guest curator; their completed works were revealed in a special exhibition at Art Dubai. Winners of The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2014 were Abbas Akhavan, Kamrooz Aram, Bouchra Khalili, Basim Magdy and Anup Mathew Thomas. The 2014 Guest Curator was Nada Raza.
Nada Raza
image: Nada Raza, Guest Curator. Courtesy the Abraaj Group Art Prize
Global Art Forum:
Featuring commissioned projects and research, as well as live talks, the Global Art Forum brought together a diverse line-up of participants, including artists, curators, musicians, strategists, thinkers and writers. Titled ‘Meanwhile… History’, the Global Art Forum 2014 created a timeline of turning points in history – significant decades, years, days, minutes or seconds that shifted an understanding of the world. Commissioned by Shumon Basar with codirectors Omar Berrada and Ala Younis, the Forum was a journey through known and unknown histories, of critical change and secretly seismic moments. The Global Art Forum ran over 5 days at Katara Art Center, Doha, March 15-16 and at Art Dubai, Mina A’ Salam, Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai, March 19-21, 2014. The Forum Fellows programme returned in 2014 with a focus on curating, led by Tirdad Zolghadr. The commissioned projects inspired by the Global Art Forum were presented in Forum Forum.
Global Art Forum
image: Global Art Forum 8, 2014. Hans Ulrich Obrist, Adam Szymczyk, Okwui Enwezor and Catherine David. Courtesy of Art Dubai 2014
Text courtesy of Art Dubai

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