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In 2014 Art Dubai launched a gallery section presenting museum-quality art from the 20th century – Art Dubai Modern. The aim of the section is to foreground solo or two-artist presentations featuring influential modern masters from the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa, with the area of focus expanding over time. The section brings together artworks from the early 1950s to the 1990s that reveal a great variety of distinctive artistic languages by a usually underrepresented selection of artists.

Comprising between 10 and 15 galleries, this curated section affirms Art Dubai’s role as a fair of discovery and diversity, growing its reach through history as well as geography, and always focusing on quality and a curatorial approach. Galleries participating in Art Dubai Modern are carefully selected yearly by invited international curators who are specializing in the modernist practices of the region.

The section provides a platform for discourse that opens up the multiple facets of modernism, gives visitors the opportunity to make links between modern and contemporary practice and identifies the ways in which artists working across this region and in very different cities and contexts are in dialogue.

The Art Dubai Modern network of programmes also includes thought-leadership offerings such as The Dubai Collection, the Modern and Collector Talks taking place at the fair, as well as tours and educational initiatives year-round.