A new year is upon us and with it, a new season of art events and exhibitions is about to start.
This month marks the opening of a host of exhibitions at Alserkal Avenue and across Dubai. Highlights include Asad Faulwell at Lawrie Shabibi from January 9, who continues his series on Algerian women who fought during the war for independence from French occupation, and their largely forgotten legacy.
At Ayyam Gallery, also from January 9, do not miss the exhibition of abstract paintings by Syrian artist Thaier Helal.
Works by Kamal Boullata will be on show at Meem Gallery from January 16. He is a deeply philosophical artist from Palestine who bases his work on literary references. His show, titled Addolcendo, is a reference to a musical term denoting softness, which he reflects visually in his work with the contrast between sharp lines and the soft gradation of colour.
These shows will complete their runs in February, but there will be plenty more to take their place.
Photography gallery Gulf Photo Plus is hosting a week of workshops led by some of the world’s leading photographers, including conceptual photographer Ben Von Wong and documentary photographer Maggie Steber. GPP Photo Week runs from February 10 to 17.
There will also be several seminars, talks and creative panels, plus a screening of Hassan Hajjaj’s film Karima: A Day in the Life of a Henna Girl.
March is traditionally a big month for art and this year enthusiasts won’t be disappointed. The 13th Sharjah Biennial opens on March 10. Curated by Christine Tohme, it brings together some of the world’s most interesting artists whose installations and works will be on show all over the city. There will also be a strong programme of talks, with the event March Meeting running in tandem.
The following week, Design Days Dubai, which runs from March 14 to 17, will open in its new Dubai Design District home, with designers and galleries from all over the region taking part in shows, workshops, talks and mentorship sessions, along with site-specific installations.
Art Dubai begins for three days from March 15, with representatives from galleries, museums and institutions all over the world converging on the city for the region’s largest and most prestigious art fair.
This year is the first under new director Myrna Ayad, who took over in May. She and Pablo Del Val, the new international director, have scrapped the Marker section which focused on a specific geographical area, and have instead put more emphasis on the visitor experience.
The UAE’s affordable art fair, World Art Dubai, returns from April 12 to 15 at the World Trade Centre. With prices aimed at the general public rather than wealthy experts, it offers the perfect chance to pick up an original artwork and start or grow your collection.