As Art Dubai enters its second decade under the new leadership of director, Myrna Ayad, there are several changes afoot.
The first, most notable difference at the 11th edition, due to open next March, is the Marker section – an area of the fair dedicated to art from one specific geographic area – has been removed.
Pablo del Val, the director of exhibitor relations at Art Dubai, who joined the team last year after being part of the organisation team of Latin America’s leading art fair Zona Maco, explains the decision shows the fair is maturing.
“Marker was crucial for educating our visitors and the public on these specific regional areas but also on the different ways you can approach an art project,” he says. “After 10 years, we feel we have accomplished that and also covered all the important geographical areas. The kind of international focus and energy that the section created is also very much present and repeated in the gallery halls, so we have not lost that.”
As with previous years, the forthcoming fair will feature over 90 galleries from 44 countries and act as an important platform for discovering new artists.
The contemporary section will see galleries spread across two halls but in a new format, with a special section given to over 30 galleries who focus their booths on solo or two-artist exhibitions.
“It is a completely different approach,” says del Val. “When a gallery goes with one or two artists, it is a way of getting in touch with an audience in a more genuine way. Making visitors understand the universe of an artist or two artists in dialogue can be a fantastic experience so we are going to highlight these spaces as you enter the fair. It is a different ethos and not so focused on the commercial aspect.”
Ayad, who is set make her directorship debut with the upcoming fair, says the shake-up is in line with her aim for Art Dubai to “spearhead the cultural development of the local and regional landscape”.
• For more information go to www.artdubai.ae