Abu Dhabi Art 2011




1 November, 2011: The third edition of Abu Dhabi Art, a platform for modern and contemporary art, today announces its diverse programme of exhibitions, film-screenings, performances and speaking platforms.

This year, Abu Dhabi Art will relocate to the heart of Saadiyat Island, where talks and discussions will include events with leading international artists, gallerists, collectors and curators including Larry Gagosian, Jeff Koons and Sarah Morris. Talk themes will include the impact of the UAE Venice Biennale Pavilion, and Abu Dhabi Art Talk: From Local Art Scene to Global Art World, will bring Peter Sloterdijk and Salah Hassan together to discuss Transnational Art & Artists.
The exhibition Emirati Expressions will present work by regional artists with Artistic Director and renowned international photographer, Stephen Shore. A series of publications focusing on contemporary art and the Arab world will also be launched during this year’s event including an Arabic version of Sarah Thornton’s Seven Days in the Art World.

Abu Dhabi Art’s Public Programme is an integral part of the Abu Dhabi Art platform designed to generate ideas between some of the world’s most influential artists, collectors, gallerists, writers and curators

Highlights include:


  • The Galleries Sector, welcoming around 50 of the world’s leading galleries, bringing a wide variety of 20th and 21st Century artworks to Abu Dhabi Art including works from Dia Al Azawi, Ai Weiwei, Abdul Qadar Al Rais, Adel Abdessermed, Shirazeh Houshiary, Chant Avedissian, Louay Kayyali, Timo Nasseri, Martin Creed and Anish Kapoor
  • The new UAE Pavilion (designed by Foster + Partners). All of the pavilion’s 30,000 components have travelled a 6,546-kilometre journey from Shanghai, China, where it was exhibited at Expo 2010 Shanghai, to Saadiyat Island especially for Abu Dhabi Art
  • Bringing art to the public arena, Beyond is a curated selection of open air works including Hassan Sharif, Parviz Tanavoli and Samir Khaddaje, around Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island’s exhibition center, next to the UAE Pavilion

  • Signature – an opportunity for galleries to present the work of one ‘unknown’ artist to the international markets in the capacity of a solo presentation – including Zena Assi recently described by Christies as a rising contemporary artist of international reach and Jason Bereswill who returns for the third year
  • Indian gallery Volte, from Mumbai, is this year’s choice for Bidaya, Abu Dhabi Art’s designated sector that showcases emerging galleries
  • Art, Talks and Sensations, curated by Fabrice Bousteau, presents an innovative mix of visual art, large-scale installations and live performances that will engage through a multisensory experience. Centred on the theme of ‘the island’, the exhibition will feature works by Bharti Kher, Fabrice Hyber and Ilya and Emilia Kabakov
  • Half and half, a satellite variation on the exhibition ‘Second Time Around’ curated by Vasif Kortun (Director of Programs and Research, SALT, Istanbul) for the Pavilion of the United Arab Emirates at the 54th International Art Exhibition/ la Biennale di Venezia and presented under the UAE Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development and with the support of the Emirates Foundation for Philanthropy and Abu Dhabi’s Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC). Using ‘half’ of the exhibition scenography created for the UAE’s National Pavilion by Istanbul based firm Superpool, ‘Half and Half’ presents works by the three featured artists from the UAE Pavilion in Venice; Abdullah Al Saadi, Lateefa bint Maktoum and Reem Al Ghaith, and offers the Abu Dhabi Art audience an experience of the National Pavilion on display in Venice. Both exhibitions are developed and presented under the leadership of Commissioner, Dr. Lamees Hamdan.
  • Abu Dhabi Art Conversations: Is a series of moderated discussions with leading art-world professionals from around the world. Participants this year include, among others, Adel Abdessemed, Ramin Hearizadeh, Rockni Heareizdaeh, Isabella van den Eynde and David Zwirner. These speakers will share insight into their creative and professional processes, discuss their careers and formative backgrounds, present current bodies of work, and introduce new projects and ventures
  • Abu Dhabi Art interviews: Is a new series of public programmes for Abu Dhabi Art, consisting of swift and informal 15-minute interviews with artists, gallerists, collectors and curators participating in or attending Abu Dhabi Art.  Given the casual nature of the forum, which will be located in the midst of Manarat Al Saadiyat, where the Abu Dhabi Art Cafe, Book Store, and other collateral events will take place, audiences are encouraged to drop-in when they can, or stay for several interviews with some of the most exciting and interesting speakers in the fair
  • Design Studio: Featuring the works of fashion, furniture and interior designers who will also be delivering Design Workshops. The UAE’s very own shoe designer Sultan Al Darmaki who recently had a design acquired by the Victoria & Albert Museum will be one of these designers. This year’s brand has also been designed by a group of Emirati designers with memorabilia being produced for Artyfact, Abu Dhabi Art’s retail store

  • Abu Dhabi Art Film Screenings: A look at contemporary art and culture through a cinematic lens, including a presentation and film by British Artist Sarah Morris and a programme that explores contemporary Arab cinema developed by Abu Dhabi Film Festival in collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art, New York and Arte East.
  • Educational Workshops: Increased due to popular demand last year, visitors of all ages can participate in the creative process.
  • Art Zone: For the first time, a state-of-the-art space dedicated to arts activities for children from 0 to 14 and families
  • Abu Dhabi Art Library: An incredible selection of books from the Al Noor Library from their private collection of books on modern and contemporary art from the Middle East to Abu Dhabi Art. The library houses a collection of more than 8,000 books, journals and auction catalogues relating to Islamic and modern and contemporary Middle Eastern art, as well as an image archive of over 17,000 images related to the subject.
  • Emirati Expressions: A new exhibition featuring works of art by 10 Emirati photographers collaborating with one of the world’s most renowned photographers, Stephen Shore as well as visiting photographers Tarek Al-Ghoussein and JR.

The above is open to everyone.

Abu Dhabi Art 2011, organised by Tourism Development & Investment Company and Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, is proud to announce principal sponsor Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, and Dolphin Energy, associate sponsor for the second consecutive year. Abu Dhabi Art Majlis & VIP Programme will be sponsored by BVLGARI, and the Abu Dhabi Art Library Sponsor is PF Emirates.

For further information and the latest updates on Abu Dhabi Art, visit www.abudhabiartfair.ae, join us on the Facebook group Arts Abu Dhabi and follow us on Twitter at ArtsAbuDhabi.

For more information, please contact:

Brunswick Arts

Email:                        ada2011@brunswickgroup.com

Regional:             Tarek Abougabal

                        +971 (4) 446 3292

International:            Damian Chandler /Amy de Leusse

                        +44 20 7936 1273 / + 33 1 53 96 83 91

Opening Times

Wednesday 16 November, 15:00 – 22:00

Thursday 17 November, 15:00 – 22:00

Friday 18 November, 14:00 – 22:00

Saturday 19 November, 14:00 – 22:00

Abu Dhabi Art Venue

UAE Pavilion and

Manarat Al Saadiyat,

Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi,

United Arab Emirates


Manarat Al Saadiyat

Manarat Al Saadiyat is open from 10am daily

For more information please visit www.abudhabiartfair.ae


 Notes to editors:

Organised exclusively by TDIC (Tourism Development & Investment Company) and ADACH (Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage), Abu Dhabi Art is  presented under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

Abu Dhabi Art 2010 exceeded expectations, with acclaimed exhibitions and talks, as well as the boutique fair that attracted the participation of 48 of the world’s most prominent and innovative galleries from 47 countries displaying a wealth of museum-quality work. This attracted more than 17,000 visitors who congregated to celebrate the new annual platform for modern and contemporary art in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

About TDIC

The Tourism Development &Investment Company (TDIC) is a master developer of key cultural, residential and tourism destinations in Abu Dhabi. The principal goal of its cultural programme, up to and including the creation of the Saadiyat Cultural District – the world’s largest single concentration of premier cultural institutions – is to establish an international platform in the UAE for arts and culture. Unprecedented in scale and scope, the Saadiyat Cultural District will include museums such as Zayed National Museum, Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi.

Education is essential to create opportunities for the local and regional community. TDIC’s mission is to engage the community in the capital’s urban, cultural and artistic development and help build professional skills and knowledge in the community through a dialogue with representatives from the world’s leading cultural organisations.

Alongside the Saadiyat Cultural District project, TDIC presents a diversified programme of art exhibitions, events and talks to further engage audiences in the arts including public discussions with many of the world’s greatest artists, curators, scholars and museum leaders.

Already, TDIC has shown a series of path-breaking exhibitions: the first Middle East showing of the great Nasser D. Khalili collection of Islamic arts; the first Middle East retrospective of the work of Pablo Picasso, and the first comprehensive survey exhibition of the contemporary art of the United Arab Emirates. Other exhibitions held to great acclaim are Talking Art: Louvre Abu Dhabi; The Guggenheim: The Making of a Museum – embracing 50 masterpieces from the Solomon R. Guggenheim foundation collection; Disorientation II: The Rise and Fall of Arab Cities in collaboration with the Sharjah Art Foundation; the first edition of Abu Dhabi Art in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Authority for Arts and Heritage (ADACH); and most recently, A Story of Islamic Embroidery in Nomadic and Urban Traditions – a collection of majestic embroideries from Central Asia and North Africa. As part of the ongoing cultural programming dedicated to developing awareness and understanding of art and culture prior to the launch of the Saadiyat Cultural District; Manarat Al Saadiyat was launched to bring the vision of the island alive. Located on Saadiyat Island, this artistic venue will house international exhibitions from around the world. The first phase of the building included Arts Abu Dhabi Gallery, a permanent space for exhibitions and educational programmes organised by TDIC. 


The Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) is the institution in charge of conserving and promoting the heritage and culture of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. It was established in October 2005 as an authority of the Government of Abu Dhabi.  ADACH is an organization with far-sighted aspirations – to harness the pride of the people of the UAE through the development of its cultural heritage, and to be the leading cultural development organization in the region acting as a catalyst for reviving and promoting Arab identity and cultural values.

Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank

Ala’a Eraiqat, CEO of ADCB, said:”ADCB is proud to be part of this strategic partnership with TDIC by sponsoring the Abu Dhabi Art 2011, which represents another milestone of our longstanding relationship with TDIC. The festival embraces Abu Dhabi’s culture and visualizes it in a modern, contemporary way. Over the last few years it has become a prominent feature on the international art calendar and a platform to showcase and support artists from the region.  Abu Dhabi is currently experiencing an artistic renaissance and is emerging as a recognized cultural destination; therefore, ADCB in support of the spirit of art will continue uphold the cultural and artistic activities taking place in the emirate.

“Abu Dhabi Art 2011 demonstrates just how important ambition is. The event enables Abu Dhabi to support its local artists’ ambitions to paint, promoting these ambitions through an auspicious event. At ADCB we understand how important it is to appreciate and support people’s ambitions in order to build a better future for the region. We hope many ambitions are realized during the festival whilst others are being created. Long Live Ambition!”

Dolphin Energy

Dolphin Energy Limited of Abu Dhabi, UAE began gas production in July 2007. This unique strategic energy initiative involves production and processing of natural gas from Qatar’s offshore North Field, and transportation of the processed gas by subsea pipeline to the UAE.

The overall investment in wells, sealines, processing plant, export pipeline and receiving facilities has made this one of the largest energy-related ventures ever undertaken in the Middle East. Dolphin Energy’s overall objective is to create long-term economic wealth for GCC citizens, far into the future.


Since 1884, BVLGARI has been synonymous with Italian style in jewellery, its unique contemporary aesthetic rooted in the classical Greek and Roman world. Sotirio BVLGARI’S shop on Via Dei Condotti in Rome became a meeting place for the international elite, aristocrats, artists, writers and the movie royalty of the Dolce Vita as well as Hollywood’s golden era made BVLGARI a favourite destination. 

Innovative artistry and precious materials blend harmoniously in pieces that are as timeless as the tradition from which they were born. The BVLGARI spirit continues to inspire with its unique vision of perfection. Today BVLGARI is a global and diversified luxury brand with a product and services portfolio of jewels, watches, accessories, fragrances, skincare, hotels and resorts featuring exceptional quality, an innovative style and impeccable service. 

PF Emirates

PF Emirates Interiors is a Joint Venture between Mubadala Development Company and Poltrona Frau Group, Italy’s premium furniture group. PF Emirates is able to deliver what can be described as Interiors of Distinction, combining design, function, quality, and the best materials available, to create interiors that are simply timeless. 

(information kindly provided by Abu Dhabi art)

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