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Around the World at Art Dubai: Solo and Two-Artist Exhibitions

By Ruba Al-Sweel

The 11th edition of Art Dubai, taking place from March 15-18 will showcase over 90 galleries among which a large number are solo and two-artist exhibitions. A move considered to give the visitors a bespoke and immersive experience into the world of the artists on view.

With a diverse range of mediums, fair-goers can expect an equally diverse line-up of exhibited artists, spanning the globe from east to west. Whether they flew in from Russia or just around the corner within the Middle East, the artists had one thing in common; boundless artistic expression that merits a solo/two-artist show.

Thukral & Tagra, Escape For The Dream Land, 2009. Courtesy of  the artists and Chatterjee & Lal gallery.

From Dubai, 1×1 Art Gallery, long serving as a celebratory platform for the South-Asian influence in the Emirates, will present a two-artists show with Bengali-Indian contemporary artist Chittrovanu Mazumdar and New Delhi-based Mithu Sen. With great suspense, Ayyam Gallery, based in Dubai and Beirut, will lift the curtains on never-before-seen works by Iraqi Multimedia artist Sadik Kwaish Alfraji in a solo exhibition of installations, works on paper, and video animations; Meem Gallery will be showcasing in a solo exhibition the pioneer of modern Arab art Dia al-Azzawi, highlighting recent works that are representative of his contemporary practice; The Third Line will be devoting its solo booth to the geometric works of Rana Begum, to honor her recent win of the 2017 Abraaj Group Art Prize; A collective by photographers Adrian Cortis & Jojakim Sonderegger will be on view at Dubai-based East Wing, complemented with a film on the process of shooting their photos. Sharing the booth will be French photographer Cédric Delsaux, where he’ll present his unique brand of mixing hyper-reality with fantasy.

Zineb Sedira, Walking the Red Line, 2016. Courtesy the Artist & Plutschow Gallery.

While Art Dubai has been home to returning artists and galleries, it is also welcoming new freshman galleries. Tehran-based Mohsen Gallery, will present 3D works by Mojtaba Amini, as well as photographs by Mehdi Abdolkarimi, using the medium to capture the intriguing yet intangible qualities of the world as he sees it; Sailing in from Chile, Santiago-based D21 Proyectos de Arte will exhibit the two-artist show of Claudia Hidalgo and Manuela Ovalle; Kasia Michalski Gallery in Warsaw presents a solo booth devoted to New York-based sculptor Daniel Boccato; Zurich-based Plutschow Gallery, comes with works by French-Algerian artist Zineb Sedira and Otto Piene.

Andrea Galvani, The End [Action #1] Still, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Revolver Gallery.

Flying in from Tbilisi, Georgia is Project ArtBeat, with works from Multidisciplinary visual artist Konstantin Mindadze and Brooklyn based visual artist Levan Miniashvili; flying in all the way from the capital of Peru are artists Elena Damiani and Andrea Galvani showcased by Revolver Galeria; São Paulo’s Vermelho will exhibit large-scale installations by Brazilian artist Jonathas de Andrade, and commissioned ‘on going action’ on the ground of the fair by controversial contemporary artist Iván Argote from Colombia. While Paris-born Turkish photography and video artist SARP will be front and center at a solo exhibition by Singapore-based Yavuz Gallery.

Mehdi Moutashar, Trois carrés dont un pivotant à 45°, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and Albareh Gallery.

In line with its tradition, Art Dubai honors its long-standing members such as Manama-based Albareh Gallery, with a duo presentation of Khartoum-born, New York based Mohammad Omer Khalil and Iraqi artist Mehdi Moutashar; Madrid-based Sabrina Amrani presents a solo booth by Tunisian photographer and filmmaker Nicène Kossentini; Mumbai returns with Chatterjee & Lal, devoting a booth to a collective by Thukral & Tagra; London-based Grosvenor Gallery, presents a solo booth of widely-acclaimed Olivia Fraser; In Situ – Fabienne Leclerc from Paris will showcase Lebanese duo Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige alongside South-African Athi-Patra Ruga, who constantly explores the confluence of fashion, performance and contemporary art.

Jonathas de Andrade, Procurando Jesus / Looking for Jesus,  2013. Courtesy of the artist and Vermelho Gallery.  

Selma Ferinani gallery, based in both Tunis and London, represents Tunisia within the fair’s Contemporary gallery halls with a two-artist show including Lebanese Pascal Hachem and Algerian Yazid Oulab; Zawyeh Gallery will have a booth devoted to the large scale paintings of Ramallah-based artist Rana Samara; Beirut will be representing through Galerie Janine Rubeiz’s solo show of works by Lebanese composer and visual artist Zad Moultaka and his famed “astres fruitiers” series; while Cairo will be present in Gypsum Gallery with its solo booth in the devoted to recent works by Ahmad Morsi, whose major retrospective in Sharjah will be on view in parallel.

Coming in from Russia is Moscow-based Artwin Gallery presenting Bakhyt Bubicanova and Ustina Yakovleva; while Galerie Iragui will showcase works by Petr Kirusha; and Antwerp-based NK Gallery will showcase works by Kirill Chelushkin.

Nicène Kossentini, The errant, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Sabrina Amrani Gallery.

While photography has been the popular medium of choice at this year’s fair, visitors will get the chance to marvel at delicate and intricate sculptors from galleries like Rome and Brussels-based MLF | Marie-Laure Fleisch, who’ll present works by colombian artist Santiago Reyes Villaveces, dubbed by the public a “cultural entrepreneur”, while Marlborough Gallery from New York, London, Barcelona and Madrid devotes a solo booth to Spanish architect, sculptor and painter Santiago Calatrava.

Bakhyt Bubikanova, Grass, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and Artwin Gallery.

Not unusual to the technosocierty that is Dubai, the fair houses teamLab, a collective, interdisciplinary creative group that brings together professionals from different fields of practice in the digital society. TeamLab will exhibit a large solo techy booth of three galleries joining forces: Martin Browne Contemporary from Sydney; Ikkan Art Gallery in Singapore; and Pace Art + Technology from Menlo Park.

Art Dubai’s mission in promoting artists is more palpable than ever in its attempt to showcase solo and two artist exhibitions, giving both the artists and viewers the creative environment to interact.

For more information on exhibiting galleries visit: https://www.artdubai.ae/galleries/

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