NEWS: Abu Dhabi Art curators revealed


The art is set to restart as capital culture fest Abu Dhabi Art is scheduled for a return in November, and with it a line up five world class curators – it has been announced.

The event, organised by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority (TCA), is the cornerstone of the local cultural landscape.

For its eighth edition, Abu Dhabi Art will present curated exhibition Gateway, which will anchor the capital within a shared cultural context by showcasing contemporary and modern art from regions that have been viewed as marginalised in the past.

And while the event will nurture the nascent UAE art scene with its combination of performance art, installations and talks, attention is turning to the event’s outstanding roll call of curators and their work behind the scenes.

Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe; exhibition views

Asian influences

At the head of the line-up for this year’s event will be Guggenheim senior curator Alexandra Munroe, who will be bringing some Asian flavour to the capital.

The award-winning art historian is known for her contributions to Asian art history, and the first organised retrospectives of artists including sculptor Lee Ufan and Yoko Ono.

Munroe will be bringing the work of avant-garde Beijing artist Gu Dexin to the capital with a large scale installation. The artist is known for his subversive exhibitions that explore the concepts of decay and perpetuity.

City on canvas

No stranger to the Abu Dhabi Art scene, French-born Fabrice Bousteau will be returning to mastermind the public art programme, Beyond, which aims to connect art with the urban fabric of the city through a series of large installations and sculptures.

His collaboration for the 2016 event will also see him curating a thematic group exhibition entitled (Re) Birth, which will include works from emerging and established artists.

As editor-in-chief for Beaux Arts magazine, art writer Bousteau is known for his attempts to engage the community and make art an immersive experience.

His 2015 collaboration with Abu Dhabi Art resulted in Bliss, which used Abu Dhabi’s rich culture as a backdrop for a series of live performances, interactive screenings and sound art installations.


Modern Arabia

Prominent French curator Catherine David will be bringing a taste of Middle Eastern modern art to the event, with a curated exhibition on regional art from the second half of the 20th century.

As the deputy director of the National Museum of Modern Art at Parisian art hub Centre Georges Pompidou, her interest in Arabic art lies in the exploration of representation, identity and breaking down Western stereotypes of Arabic culture.

Cultural connection

Reem Fadda from the Abu Dhabi Project of the Solomon R. Guggenheim exhibition will be leading a new initiative for the art show’s eighth year with Majlis Fann.

As a specialist on Middle Eastern art, Fadda will be curating a self-styled cultural salon with participation from over 100 regional and international culture vultures, including artists, collectors and museum directors.

The resulting interviews will be live-streamed across the world.

Beyond the gallery

Showing that art doesn’t just have to be about paint on canvas, performance art show Durub Al Tawaya returns for the 2016 edition of Abu Dhabi Art with Egyptian Tarek Abou El Fetouh at the helm once more.

At last year’s event, El Fetouh examined the way in which contemporary art can facilitate cultural exchange through a series of dynamic performances, taking art to the streets of the city beyond the confines of the exhibition hall.

Abu Dhabi Art will be taking place from 16th to 18th November at Manarat Al Saadiyat, Saadiyat Island. To find out more, visit:


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