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Art Dubai Unites a Diverse Cast of International Visitors with Record Numbers of Institutional Visitors

Art Dubai has long been dubbed the most global fair in the world and it is certainly a meeting point for art professionals and collecting communities from all over the world.


This year’s Art Dubai, March 20-23, sees a record number of international institutional representatives confirmed to attend the fair, with more than 130 from around the globe. This includes museum directors and curators from some of the world’s leading museums, as well as independent professionals working in key non-profit organisations and biennales that are delivering some of the most cutting-edge exhibitions globally. As such, the opportunities for ideas to blossom and perspectives to be exchanged is ripe.

With this in mind, Art Dubai 2019 has set up the inaugural Curators Ideas Exchange Programme, a dedicated session introducing attending international curators to the institutional and grassroots conversations on the ground in the UAE. The session will offer key UAE institutions and independent spaces with a platform to present and highlight their varied missions and programmes. Jameel Arts Centre, Tashkeel, NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery, Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and the soon-to-open Ishara Art Foundation will be invited to introduce themselves to their international counterparts, with the aim to foster long-term dialogue across continents and enable collaborative initiatives in the future. In addition, the participants of UAE NOW will have a chance to showcase the independent, artist-run platforms operating across the Emirates to a wider audience.

Art Dubai 2018, Photo Credits: Photo Solutions

Attending representatives include museum leadership from the UK, the USA and France, such as the Tate and Serpentine Galleries (London), Guggenheim and MoMA (New York), LACMA (Los Angeles), the Pompidou (Paris) and LUMA Arles. Crucially, especially given the focus that Art Dubai 2019 is placing on the Global South, this representation also extends outside of the more developed art markets to key regional institutions across Africa, South Asia and Australasia. These include Zeitz MOCAA and Norval Foundation (Cape Town), Centre for Contemporary Art (Lagos), Kiran Nadar Museum (New Delhi), M Woods Museum (Beijing), Queensland Art Gallery (Brisbane), MACAN Museum (Jakarta), and MACAAL (Marrakech), among others.

In terms of non-profit representation, there will be a focus on Kunsthalles from southern Europe. The artistic director of Kunsthalle Athena (Athens) will be in attendance, as will the curators from Kunsthalle Lissabon (Lisbon), who have also been invited by Art Dubai this year to curate the fair’s performance programme. Curators of current and upcoming biennials are also on the list of attendees. These include Anita Dube, at the helm of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale; and Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, the curatorial duo behind the UAE’s National Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. At the fair there will also be an exclusive showcase of the upcoming India Pavilion at the Venice Biennial, which will revisit the legacy of Mahatma Gandhi through diverse art forms, curated by Kiran Nadar Museum of Art.

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