Islamic art features strongly at this year’s event and showcases contemporary works by artists with roots in the Middle East
Art is no longer the exclusive domain of the wealthy. As the affordable art sector continues to witness a strong upwards trend, World Art Dubai is filling a gap in the regional market for original, quality pieces at every price point.
World Art Dubai returns in its third edition and brings together regional and global artists and galleries who will be showcasing one-of-a-kind, accessible and affordable artworks. Amid a burgeoning art scene, and part of the Dubai Art Season, the event takes place from 12 – 15 April 2017 at Dubai World Trade Centre.
Supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, the event showcases an impressive collection of more than 3,000 paintings, prints, sculptures and photographs ranging from USD 100 to USD 20,000. Spanning across 9,000 sqm of inspiring exhibition space, the third edition will include new segments as well as dedicated spaces for galleries, solo artists and group shows representing art and culture from all over the world. More than 35 international galleries representing 120 emerging and established talents will attend the event, with country pavilions from Europe, Japan, Ukraine and USA.
The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) Art Market report released this month states that global art sales have increased to USD 45 billion, demonstrating a “stable and resilient market, experiencing positive growth”. Art fairs, both global and local, “are the most important point for acquiring new buyers, which is the largest concern of art dealers and galleries,” according to the report.
Recent global auction data reveals that half of all affordable art transactions are concluded below the USD 1,200 mark, and the works themselves are subjected to a strict vetting process by auction houses. In addition, the worldwide art market has seen a 210% growth over the last past decade with art fair sales accounting for USD 8.7 billion of all global gallery sales .
“World Art Dubai is essentially bridging a gap in the Middle East and UAE market for affordable art and complements the existing art scene in Dubai. The event reflects the city’s growing prominence as a leading cultural and artistic hub with local, regional and international galleries and artists offering a spectacular array of artworks,” said Trixie LohMirmand, SVP, Exhibitions and Events Management, Dubai World Trade Centre
“Part of Dubai’s official art season, our affordable art platform is a unique proposition which offers access for everyone to be able to own unique and original art at affordable prices. From young and emerging artists to established names, the event will host a diverse collection of contemporary art work for every budget.”
Alongside eager members of the public who will make their first foray in purchasing original artworks, the show will also see private collectors, curators, corporate art dealers, museum directors and interior designers scouting for emerging talent and unique pieces at attractive prices.
Among the new features at World Art Dubai this year is ‘Exhibition Islam’, which includes contemporary works by artists from or with roots in the Middle East drawing inspiration from their own cultural traditions. Artists may use techniques and incorporate imagery and ideas from earlier periods to build creative links between the past, present and future. ‘Exhibition Islam’ will feature contemporary Islamic artworks by artists from Iran and the Arab world.
The TEFAF Art Market report states that there is a substantial interest in Islamic Art, expressed through the extensive collections of dedicated and mainstream museums, and impressive pieces sold through various auction houses.
Renowned Egyptian artist Mohamed El Banna specialises in Islamic calligraphy and will be showcasing his affordable pieces at World Art Dubai. Commenting on the growth of this sector he said: “Over the years the Islamic art market has been welcoming many artists who are drawn to the diverse range of Islamic cultural traditions, and art lovers who recognise its strong investment potential.”
“Nowadays you will find several contemporary artists taking the lead towards a new vision of this art. From Morocco to India, you can enjoy countless beautiful pieces of ancient Islamic Art, which is inspiring many of today’s contemporary artists. Beside paintings and fine art, you will easily discover Islamic architecture adorned with ornaments and calligraphy to enrich the detailing and the beauty of the buildings. You will also find Arabic letters used in fashion and jewellery in the past few years.”
Held on the opening night of the show, and new to the event, is the ‘Wearable Art Fashion Show’, showcasing the creative efforts of the region’s top fashion students. Other show highlights include the Creative Learning Workshops offering a range of arts and crafts masterclasses, Live Painting, Installation Park, Art Talks and the Ripe Contemporary Design & Craft Market. The hugely popular ‘Art for Every Wall’ segment will again offer a selection of contemporary one-of-a-kind art below AED 3,000.
The Artists Awards ceremony will recognise art and talent at the show in four categories: Local Artist, International Artist, Gallery and Special Needs.
New galleries participating include Sconzi Gallery from the UAE, Art Gallery Adriana from Vienna, Trade Art Gallery from Italy, Rare Mandi from India and In and Out Gallery from Korea. Returning to an eager Middle Eastern audience are Cross Border Gallery, Gnani Art Gallery, Signet Contemporary, Art Mudra Art and Plus Gallery.
Entry to World Art Dubai is AED20 for a daily pass, and tickets can be purchased onsite during the fair at the welcome desks. Show timings are 6pm-9pm on 12 April and 2pm-9pm on 13, 14 and 15 April. Children of 16 years and under are admitted free of charge, upon showing a student ID.