The fair’s first edition under its new Director Myrna Ayad

Art Dubai announced the programme and gallery line-up for its eleventh edition, taking place March 15-18, 2017 at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai. Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, this year will mark the fair’s first edition under its new Director Myrna Ayad. Continuing its mandate to offer unrivalled access to art from across the globe, Art Dubai 2017 will grow its already extensive programming and has announced its strongest and most international gallery participation to date.

Art Dubai 2017 will feature 90+ galleries from 44 countries, reinforcing its position as the most global of art fairs and the preeminent platform to discover new artists, galleries and emerging trends. With 25 galleries attending the fair for the first time and almost three quarters of galleries returning, both the Contemporary and Modern sections of Art Dubai 2017 were heavily oversubscribed.

“We are delighted to welcome new galleries and countries presenting for the first time, alongside lots of returning friends of the fair and it’s fantastic to be working with the team to drive forward what has always been the cultural powerhouse of the region. Art Dubai continues to spearhead the cultural development of the local and regional landscape, and in addition to the four days of the fair, Art Dubai is consistently present internationally, supporting and partnering with institutions, galleries and patrons, and hosting events in recognition of our combined efforts”, said Myrna Ayad, Fair Director.

image Ola Kolehmainen, Hagia Sophia 537 IV, 2014, C-print, 228 x 180 cm / Courtesy of Galleri Brandstrup


Art Dubai Contemporary 2017 will feature 77 galleries spread across its two gallery halls; including a selection of 30+ galleries focusing on solo or two-artist exhibitions, showing alongside collective presentations by galleries with multi-artist shows; highlighting the revamped sections within the halls.

With a strong representation of returning galleries as well as several new additions, this year's line-up features a number of galleries from Europe and North America. Returning galleries include Marianne Boesky Gallery (New York), Galerie Daniel Templon (Paris, Brussels), Carlier | Gebauer (Berlin), Galleria Franco Noero (Torino) Victoria Miro (London) and In Situ-Fabienne Leclerc (Paris), which will be joined by first-time participants Marlborough Gallery (New York, London, Barcelona, Madrid) and Waddington Custot (London).

The number of galleries participating from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia reaffirms Art Dubai's role as a cornerstone of the regional art scene. In addition to 12 galleries participating from the UAE, Art Dubai is delighted to welcome again Athr Gallery (Jeddah), Chatterjee & Lal (Mumbai), Dastan’s Basement (Tehran), Experimenter (Kolkata), Selma Feriani Gallery (Tunis), Gypsum Gallery (Cairo) and Zawyeh Gallery (Ramallah) as well as newcomers Ab/Anbar and Mohsen Gallery from Tehran. Reflecting its global reach, Art Dubai 2017 will feature its highest ever number of galleries from South America, with galleries from Peru and Uruguay attending for the first time. Exhibiting galleries will include Piero Atchugarry Gallery (Montevideo), Revolver Galeria (Lima), D12 Proyectos de Arte (Santiago) and Vermelho (Sao Paulo).

image Kamrooz Aram, Untitled, 2016, Oil, wax and pencil on canvas, 213.36 x 182.88 cm / Courtesy of the Artist and Green Art Gallery

image Mohammed Kazem, Fixing Nothing, 2015, Stainless steel bolts and nuts and aluminum, 120 x 120 x 9 cm / Courtesy of Galerie Dr. Dorothea van der Koelen

image Olivia Fraser, Breathe, 2016 / Courtesy of Grosvenor Gallery

image Burçak Bingöl, Temporary Permeable, 2016, Ceramics, wall paper, 290 x 180 cm / Courtesy of Galeri Zilberman


With the Modern section now in its fourth edition, Art Dubai is the only platform dedicated to showcasing museum-quality works by modern masters from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. In 2017, Art Dubai Modern will feature 14 galleries from 13 countries. This selection of galleries will present leading artists from the Middle East including Agial Art Gallery (Beirut), exhibiting the ‘icon of Arab graphic arts’ Mustafa Al Hallaj (1938-2002), ArtTalks (Cairo) presenting Egyptian modernist Mamdouh Ammar (b. 1926), as well as Gallery One (Ramallah) showing Palestinian-born Sliman Mansour (b. 1947). Shirin Gallery (Tehran, New York) will showcase works by Iranian artists Hadi Hazavei (b. 1940) and Houshang Pezeshknia (1917-1972).

Pieces by leading modernists from India and Pakistan will be exhibited by Grosvenor Gallery (London), which will present works by recently deceased artist Sayed Haider Raza (1922-2016), a pioneer of Indian Modernism, and Pakistani artists Zahoor ul Akhlaq (1941-1999) and Anwar Jalal Shemza (1928-1985), offered by Jhaveri Contemporary (Mumbai). Presence from the African continent will include, among others, Nigerian artists Ben Osawe (1931-2007) and Muraina Oyelami (b. 1940), presented by Tafeta (London).

image Art Dubai Modern, exhibiting solo and two-person shows of modern masters of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, 2016 / Courtesy of The Studio Dubai

image Art Dubai Modern, exhibiting solo and two-person shows of modern masters of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, 2016 / Courtesy of The Studio Dubai

image Art Dubai Modern, exhibiting solo and two-person shows of modern masters of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, 2016 / Courtesy of The Studio Dubai

image Art Dubai Modern, Artspace (Dubai, London) in Art Dubai Modern, exhibiting solo and two-person shows of modern masters of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia, 2016 / Courtesy of The Studio Dubai


Through its year-round activity, educational initiatives and artistic programming, Art Dubai redefines what an art fair can be and has been a leading force in the development of the cultural landscape of the Middle East.

The fair’s critically acclaimed Global Art Forum is the largest talks programme in the Middle East and Asia and recognised as a leading international platform for engaging cultural debate. Featuring around 50 speakers from around the world, the forum will return in 2017 to Dubai and Sharjah under the theme Trading Places and focus on the trade of goods and ideas that shape – and reshape – the world. Conceived by Shumon Basar as Commissioner, with Antonia Carver and Oscar Guardiola-Rivera as Co-Directors, Trading Places will take place at the Dubai Design District (13 January), across Sharjah (14 January), and at Art Dubai (15-17 March).

Following the resounding success of The Wedding Project in 2016, Art Dubai’s ‘The Room’ will feature its second project, Green Sea Gardens, in 2017. New York-based Moroccan artist Meriem Bennani will create an imaginative country for the fair. An immersive installation by day and gala by night, the exhibition will explore the possibilities of merging traditional and futuristic dreamscapes and the dinner events will be opulent journeys through a fictional country, complete with its own gastronomy, architecture, fashion, technology, brands, and music.

Each year, Art Dubai unveils the Abraaj Group Art Prize, the most significant art prize in the region. Curated by Omar Berrada, an exhibition by winning artist Rana Begum will be presented alongside works by shortlisted artists Doa Aly, Sarah Abu Abdallah, Raha Raissnia.

image Dina Danish, Installation View: 'Stop, Sun! Continue, Sun!', 2014 / Courtesy of The Studio Dubai

The Art Dubai Commissions programme has grown significantly since the fair’s last edition and will include site-specific works as well as a series of five specially commissioned performances, curated by guest curator Yasmina Reggad, and presented by international artists, Manuel Pelmuş, Lana Fahmi, Eglė Budvytytė and Iván Argote. One of the performances will be staged as a tribute to the recently deceased Emirati artist Hassan Sharif.

Further highlights of Art Dubai’s educational programming will include the fair’s Fellowship Programme, a network of exceptional writers and curators working in the Middle East, coming together for a week-long series of intensive workshops during Art Dubai; as well as Campus Art Dubai, an intensive six-month course giving artists, writers, curators and cultural producers the opportunity to develop their practices under the mentorship of world renowned curators.

The eleventh edition of Art Dubai will take place on March 15-18, 2017.

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