Abu Dhabi Art 2015 Galleries and Programme of Art, Talks and Performances Revealed

Abu Dhabi, September 16 2015: Abu Dhabi Art presents a selection of the world’s leading modern and contemporary art galleries alongside a dynamic programme of performances, talks and sensational experiences taking place at Manarat Al Saadiyat from November 18 – 21. Held under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Abu Dhabi Art is organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi).

Abu Dhabi Art will once again bring together leading artists, galleries, art historians, curators, museum directors, and collectors from across the world to engage in a diverse range of discussions and events that celebrate the cultural diversity of the UAE and the region.

“With Abu Dhabi’s cultural landscape maturing year on year, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority is proud to host the return of Abu Dhabi Art’s 2015 edition,” said His Excellency Mohammed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman, TCA Abu Dhabi. “This seventh edition presents a strong series of initiatives that bring world-class art, performances and experiences to the heart of the Emirate.”

“We look forward to welcoming the international arts community to Abu Dhabi Art once again this year,” says Rita Aoun-Abdo, Executive Director, Culture Sector, TCA Abu Dhabi. “Abu Dhabi Art celebrates the evolving cultural landscape and ever-changing contemporary art scene, and engages with the local community in a spirit of creative experimentation and intellectual discovery.”

Abu Dhabi Art offers two overarching sectors: a public programme that connects with the wider community through a dynamic performing arts programme, talks and collaborative community initiatives; and an art fair which includes an array of renowned and emerging exhibiting galleries as well as other initiatives that help support up-and-coming artists and galleries.

Abu Dhabi Art returns with 40 established galleries from Europe, Asia, North America and the Middle East. Showcasing exceptional artworks from emerging artists alongside celebrated and iconic pieces by the world’s foremost artists, galleries will continue to exhibit under the five established sections of the fair: (1) Modern, Contemporary and Design Galleries; (2) Signature, galleries presenting their emerging artists; (3) Beyond, the section for large-scale installations, sculptures and site specific commissions by selected artists; (4) Bidaya, highlighting one emerging gallery; (5) Artists’ Waves, an artist-led exhibition.

Abu Dhabi Art’s series of talks and panel discussions returns this year with some of the art world’s leading figures, who will engage audiences in a discourse about the complex historic and contemporary art scene in the UAE.

A panel discussion featuring Richard Armstrong, Museum Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation; Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum; curators from the Louvre; moderated by Anna Somers Cocks, The Art Newspaper Founder and CEO, and introduced by the philosopher Peter Sloterdijk will explore the concept of museums in the 21st century. The discussion will highlight the narratives and discourses of the Saadiyat Cultural District museums, and their public outreach programmes and initiatives that connect with the wider city and communities of the United Arab Emirates and the region.

Abu Dhabi Art’s Bliss, is a programme of live and interactive performances curated by Fabrice Bousteau and inspired by the context and dynamism of the city of Abu Dhabi. The concept will include screenings of JR’s exceptional film Les Bosquets, inspired by French ghettos and the New York City Ballet, which brought together well known artists including Pharrell Williams, Hans Zimmer and dancer Lil Buck.

Durub Al Tawaya, curated by Tarek Abou El Fetouh, returns for its third edition, exploring the ways in which contemporary art creates zones of cultural exchange by engaging with diverse archives and influences. Believing that cultural heritage transcends national boundaries and belongs to all humanity, Durub Al Tawaya’s programme of five diverse performances addresses questions of ownership, responsibility and preservation. The programme will include Rimini Protokoll’s dramatic urban scavenger hunt Remote: Abu Dhabi and a screening of the 1969 film The Night of Counting the Years. Other performances include jazz, traditional and contemporary dance moves in Le Cri by choreographer Nacera Belaza, while Radouan Mriziga will perform a solo dance creating patterns inspired by Islamic geometry and da Vinci’s Vetruvian man.

Complementing the arts programme, this year’s Architecture Statement will present a discussion on the Rain of Light, the outstanding concept of the Louvre Abu Dhabi dome, led by its architect Jean Nouvel, who has designed a flagship museum that incorporates cutting edge design but is nevertheless integrated into the traditional landscape and heritage of the Emirates.

The Design programme will present the outcomes of the Design Lab workshop where UAE based students and graduates develop their skills in architecture through a visual urban analysis of Abu Dhabi exploring the converging worlds of production and consumption in the city.

Running in parallel with Abu Dhabi Art is the biannual Emirati Expressions exhibition that presents artistic and cultural expressions by Emirati artists. The fourth edition will focus on a generation of artists who have combined a language of form and use, while bridging the gap between the various disciplines in the visual and applied arts to engage with society and invite an expanded understanding of art and its role in the UAE.

Located at Manarat Al Saadiyat in the Saadiyat Cultural District in Abu Dhabi, entrance to Abu Dhabi Art will be complimentary. However, online registration is required and will open on October 18th. The seats available throughout the panel discussions will be limited. Please book in advance at abudhabiart.ae.

For more information on the event programme details, please visit our website: abudhabiart.ae. 

Abu Dhabi Art 2015 Participating Galleries:

AB Gallery

Acquavella Galleries, Inc.

Agial Art Gallery

Aicon Gallery


Athr Gallery

Ayyam Gallery

Bugada & Cargnel


Galerie Brigitte Schenk

Galerie Enrico Navarra

Galerie GP & N Vallois

Galerie Janine Rubeiz

Galerie Krinzinger

Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac


Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde

Gallery One, Ramallah (Bidaya)

Gazelli Art House

Giorgio Persano

Hanart TZ Gallery

Hauser & Wirth

Horrach Moya

Hunar Gallery

Kukje Gallery / Tina Kim Gallery

Lawrie Shabibi

Le Violon Bleu

Leehwaik Gallery

Leila Heller Gallery

Lisson Gallery

October Gallery

Park Ryu Sook Gallery

Paul Stolper Gallery

Salwa Zeidan Gallery

Sfeir-Semler Gallery

The Park Gallery

The Third Line

Whitestone Gallery


For Press Inquiries:
Reem El Tal

Brunswick Arts


+971 50 708 0232

About Abu Dhabi Art

Abu Dhabi Art offers a multi-disciplinary experience combining an art fair with a diverse arts programme. The art fair presents innovative and established galleries from around the world showcasing artworks for sale, and the Abu Dhabi Art programme features a dynamic interdisciplinary set of art, talks and sensational events for all audiences to enjoy. Organised by Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), Abu Dhabi Art continuously evolves and adapts to the ongoing developments of the cultural landscape in the Saadiyat Cultural District and the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, promoting the city as a catalyst for art and culture.

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi)

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction which enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The authority manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programmes relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The authority supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honour the emirate’s heritage. A key authority role is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base.

Photo credit: Agathe Poupeney