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Published: November 25th 2009
Sculptures at Pace Wildenstein Gallery, AD art fair
November 19-22...The international art world rolled into Abu Dhabi!
"Abu Dhabi Art" :
Held at the stunning Emirates Palace, over four days, we were treated to an array of high class international galleries. Highlights included, Sean Scully, Gerhard Richter, David Mach, Miro, Jeff Koons, Dennis Hopper photographs, Alexander Calder, who had a whole gallery as well as outdoor sculptures, photographer/film doco, JR, Louise Bourgeois, Fernando Botero plus many more!
Prominent artists/ designers/ gallery directors/ curators/and academics...headed a series of panel discussions & lectures on collecting/ artist profiles/ Guggenheim Abu Dhabi/ Museum patronage/ interpreting art/ and Art in the Middle east.
Speakers included, Jeff Koons, exhibiting & a patron of the fair, Larry Gagosian, owner of Gagosian Gallery, Richard Armstrong, Director Guggenheim Museum, Stefan Edlis & Gael Neeson, Collectors Chicago, Jack Persekian, director Sharjah Bienale, Reindert Falkenberg, art historian & Dean Arts & Humanities NYU Abu Dhabi, Anthony d'Offay, founder anthony d'Offay Gallery, and Jean Nouvel, architect Louvre Abu Dhabi amongst others......
So some very intersting and informative talks & debates were held... an absolute treat for art starved Abu Dhabi expat artists like myself!
Galleries included Gagosian, White Cube, Hauser & Wirth, Jerome de Noirmont, Paris,
Maeght, Pace Wildenstein, Waterhouse & Dodd, Galerie Gmurzynska, Zurich, Tony Shafrazi Gallery, NY, Acquarella Galleries NY, L&M Arts, NY,and Richard Gray Gallery Chicago.
As wonderful as it is for the art fair to be held in Abu Dhabi, it is a little ironic that normally there are only a handful of art galleries in the whole city, with very limited opportunities for artists to exhibit and partake in a dialogue of art. I am hoping that soon there will be an art school established here along with decent art supplies available to the artists trying to make their work here, art studios, and generally an art community of both artists and art lovers!
With the plans for The Guggenheim (Frank Gehry) & Louvre (Jean Nouvel) to be established here on Saadiyat Island in the coming years, ...Abu Dhabi is starting to prepare/ encourage/ educate and stimulate its art appreciative audience and art makers. Lets hope the art world can infiltrate Abu Dhabi from grass roots upwards!
I was very impressed with the content & professionalism of the art fair, and brilliant Wings Party.
"Art, Talks & Sensations"...an experimental gathering of artists/ performers and musicians. It was
Reinterpretation of the Mona Lisa commisioned by The Louvre
curated by Fabrice Bousteau, and was a mix of artworks, performance art, bands, DJ's & discussions with artists/ architects/ designers/philosophers.
This exclusive art party was held on the beach behind the stunning lit Emirates Palace on the first night. Entering through a tunnel maze of photo portraits, the party began. Wandering performers with huge white balloons tied to their heads added to the surreal feel of the night. Dramatic lighting led us onto a platform extending into a private theatre set up on the beach.
We were treated to a chat from Yoko Ono, Rajastan Roots...wild beats!, a compelling doco/photo footage from photographer JR & NY experimental band Coco Rosie, & of course eating/drinking/dancing...the usual stuff of parties. The stage was set for a series of performances after which we were led onto the beach for amazing fireworks which shrouded the Emirates Palace in a dramatic cloud of smoke & colour.
If this all wasn't enough...also currently at The Emirates Palace until Feb 4th 2010, is "The Making of The Guggenheim" exhibition. An overview of their collection including major works by Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, Kandinsky, Hans Hoffman, Joan Mitchell, Rothko, Pollock, Klee, Willem de Kooning plus
many more, great to see!
"Spectrum" an exhibition of contemporary and traditional Indian art is also on at The Emirates Palace. The contemporary sculptures were impressive! Check it out if you are in town.
Not to be left out... one of the most stunning and impressive pieces here is in the entrance foyer of The Emirates Palace.
"The Funeral of Mona Lisa", by Yan Pei-Ming, is a commissioned piece by The Louvre, to respond to a work of art in their collection. It was first hung in The Louvre in Spring 2009, in its 18th century galleries, and now sits in a more contemporary setting here. It is a series of painterly, flowing, light and airy canvases, minimally toned down in greys & whites,...a series of portraits of The Mona Lisa, the artist and his father, dealing with mortality & grief, laying the Mona Lisa to rest...as the artist says.
For any artists working in Abu Dhabi, check out www.abudhabiartists.ning.com an artists info/networking website.
Also, my gallery websites are www.timolsengallery.com & www.flg.com.au &
my art blog is www.kathrynryan.blogspot.com (more to be added soon to this site)
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