Art Dubai 2024 guide: Everything you need to know

The international art fair will showcase works from more than 120 galleries from around the world

Reflective Journey by Shirin Abedinirad. The works presented at the Art Dubai Digital section will explore new themes, trends and formats in digital art through a range of diverse media. Photo: Sanji Gallery
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Art Dubai, now in its 17th year, is one of the biggest art fairs in the region. It’s an all-consuming immersive experience that is both exciting and educational.

Featuring 120 galleries from more than 40 countries, the event will take place at Madinat Jumeirah from Friday to Sunday. Art Dubai will be spread across four permanent sections, and will also feature new commissions, talks and a packed programme for the whole family.

From contemporary to modern art, local and regionally focused artists, plus exploring subjects such as climate change, here is your guide to what’s happening at this year's Art Dubai.

Art Dubai Contemporary Gallery

Ranging from emerging art galleries to established centres, the Art Dubai Contemporary section will showcase a global insight into what is happening and what is being created by a range of creatives from across the world right now.

The section has more than 70 gallery booths representing countries and artists from India, Spain, France, Germany, Turkey, Singapore, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Iran, the UAE and many more.

Bawwaba

Artists from the Global South have come together to present works at the Bawwaba section of the event to explore the theme of healing.

Bawwaba, which translates as gateway in Arabic, will showcase 10 solo presentations featuring artworks created within the past year or specifically for Art Dubai.

Curated by Emiliano Valdes, chief curator of the Medellin Museum of Modern Art and associate curator for the 10th Gwangju Biennale, the works, across mediums and styles, grapple with the idea of healing not only on a personal and spiritual level, but also through the prism of society, historyand politics.

Art Dubai Modern

Always one of the most thought-provoking galleries at the fair, Art Dubai Modern will present works under the title This Other World: Envisioning Modern Art After 1960.

The section highlights the work of artists from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia who were active after 1960 and particularly their artistic output, influences and cultural links to the Soviet Union.

This fascinating facet of art history is curated by Christianna Bonin, assistant professor of art history at the American University of Sharjah, with works by artists from Uganda, Syria, Ukraine, Lebanon and Sri Lanka.

Art Dubai Digital

There is no bigger conversation right now in the art world than the expansion of new media art and technologies, also known as digital art.

The Art Dubai Digital space at the fair is one of the most comprehensive places to gain insight on how contemporary culture is framed within digital art and how the diverse medium is growing.

Curated by Auronda Scalera and Alfredo Cramerotti, co-directors of IAM-Infinity Art Museum in the metaverse and Multiplicity-XXnft curatorial and publishing platform, the digital art section will include works that predict new themes, trends and formats in digital art through a range of media. These include digital video, augmented reality, virtual reality, extended reality, artificial intelligence, robotic art and immersive art experiences.

Worlds In A Box By Sahil Naik

Worlds In A Box By Sahil Naik will introduce young culture enthusiasts to the importance and power of creativity.

The Arm Holding Children’s Programme, the cultural education programme in the UAE developed in partnership with Art Dubai, selected artist Sahil Naik for their 2024 programme titled Worlds in a Box.

Naik’s sculptural, architectural and arts education practice will take children through a journey of creation using the built environment as inspiration. Focusing on the themes of ecology and nature, the workshops will invite children to think about a central question – how do younger generations imagine future cities, and what will they comprise?

Children also have a dedicated Creative Play Area at Art Dubai led by trained care workers, so parents can freely explore the fair.

The Worlds In A Box workshops are free of charge with entry into Art Dubai 2024.

Global Art Forum 17: Whether Or Not

Art Dubai’s flagship transdisciplinary summit, Global Art Forum, includes lectures, panels discussions and performances. The forum will explore the relationship between extreme weather and extreme change.

Titled Whether or Not, this year’s Global Art Forum will present a range of established writers, academics, artists and curators to explore the theme.

Through a number of thought-provoking discussions, the Global Art Forum will refocus the idea that extreme weather conditions such as floods, droughts, storms, smog may have roots in the Old Testament, but are a part of every facet of the modern world.

This year’s event is organised by commissioner Shumon Basar and curator Nadine El-Khoury and will be taking place on Thursday and Friday.

Dubai Collection

Dubai Collection is the city’s first institutional collection of modern and contemporary art. Built in partnership with patrons who support the initiative through a loan system, all artworks in Dubai Collection reflect the values and spirit of Dubai and the UAE.

This year at the festival, Dubai Collection presents Encounters, a showcase of diverse work from UAE artists from several generations across genres and styles.

Encounters includes works by pioneering artist Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, conceptual artist Afra Al Dhaheri and the sculptural experimentation of Shaikha Al Mazrou.

Artist’s Talks

Aside from Global Art Forum 17, Art Dubai will also have a wider series of talks to support the region’s cultural ecosystem and engage the public on artistic concepts and practices across the spectrum.

Artists, curators, technologists and thinkers shaping the future of the creative industries through their work will be in discussion with each other and moderators in more than 50 sessions throughout the festival.

These include the Digital Summit series of talks where experts will delve into the expanding field of digital art, the Collector’s Talks series where individuals and institutions will discuss all aspects of collecting, The Art Business Conference where key issues in today’s art market will be discussed and Conversations with Artists, where the public can get a better understanding of artists and their processes and practices.

Art Dubai 2024 will take place at Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai from Friday to Sunday. More information is at www.artdubai.ae

Updated: February 29, 2024, 9:54 AM