Focus On Emirati Visual Arts At Abu Dhabi Art

Posted November 8th, 2012 under Arab World, Art Fairs, News

Abu Dhabi Art
Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF), one of the leading cultural foundations in the Middle East and Arab world, will join world renowned artists, galleries, collectors and academics in the fourth edition of Abu Dhabi Art until 10th.

ADMAF has made a strong foray into the field of visual arts since its inception in 1996, closely supporting the Emirati visual arts movement. At the 4th edition of Abu Dhabi Art, ADMAF continues to break new ground in fostering local talent and creativity in the visual arts by celebrating its broad programme of initiatives and events including the Nationals’ Gallery, the recent establishment of the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award and the emphasis on visual arts in the annual Abu Dhabi Festival, among many others.

ADMAF Founder H.E. Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo highlighted the importance of empowering local artists. “Fostering the arts, education, culture and creativity is the mission that ADMAF has upheld for 17 years. With its consistent commitment to the arts, ADMAF plays a key role in the development of the capital’s cultural scene. With its tireless dedication, ADMAF supports career development, giving Emirati artists an international voice. And with its unwavering determination, ADMAF is empowering the visual arts profession across the UAE.”

Launched in Abu Dhabi Art in 2010, The Nationals’ Gallery (Riwaq Al Fan Al Emirati) is the Emirati artists’ resource and register that aims to give established and emerging Emirati visual arts practitioners a wider voice by providing access to opportunities, information, and guidance. In just two years, The Nationals’ Gallery has engaged with more than 80 Emirati artists and held over 34 exhibitions of Emirati visual art supporting a range of artists from photographers and painters to sculptors and mixed-media professionals. At Abu Dhabi Art, ADMAF will be exhibiting a range of works by the plethora of artists supported by The Nationals’ Gallery.

In the commitment to incubating the nation’s visual arts community and in collaboration with long standing cultural partners Christo (of Christo and Jeanne-Claude) and the New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Institute, ADMAF recently announced the establishment of the Christo and Jeanne-Claude Award, designed to encourage and celebrate the creation of new artwork in the UAE. Applicants are encouraged to create artwork that, in the spirit of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s work, can be publicly exhibited and enjoyed. The award is open to full-time students currently enrolled in higher education institutions within the UAE and residents who have graduated from a UAE university or college in the past five years. The winning artist will be awarded USD 5,000 for the production of the proposed work, and additional funds will also be made available to support a tour of the solo exhibition in a number of locations.

Further cementing the vision to position Abu Dhabi as an international cultural capital, ADMAF is also showcasing Christo’s vision for The Mastaba, a 150-metre high sculpture that was first conceptualized by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in their first visit to Abu Dhabi in 1977. The artists’ proposed project for the UAE will be in the form of a colossal mastaba, a trapezoidal tomb used in ancient Egypt. Copies of ‘The Mastaba’, a book documenting the idealization of the project and highlighting Christo’s special relationship with the UAE and ADMAF, will be present at ADMAF’s stand during the Abu Dhabi Art Fair.

Abu Dhabi Art 2012
The fourth edition features 50 of the world’s most exciting galleries representing 400 artists and includes top art world players participating in its public programme.

“The calibre of art, galleries and leading figures from the art world at Abu Dhabi Art this year further confirms the vision for the Saadiyat Cultural District and Abu Dhabi’s role as a cultural destination,” said His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, the organisers of the event.

“Abu Dhabi Art’s diverse programme ensures that visitors of all ages and interests are immersed within a colourful, engaging few days. Our vast and growing audience will enjoy unprecedented access – seeing works of art, meeting artists and attending a rich public programme, that fascinate the senses and advance current cultural debate,” he added.

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Image: Artworks by Daniel Buren and Anish Kapoor (a speaker at Abu Dhabi Art) pictured ahead of Abu Dhabi Art 2012 public opening (7 November) on Saadiyat Island / Courtesy of Abu Dhabi Art