The fourth edition of Abu Dhabi Art brought together 50 of the world’s top galleries, notable cultural icons, collectors and visitors from across the globe, and firmly established Saadiyat Island and Abu Dhabi’s legacy as the cultural destination of the future.
The unprecedented level of interest and dedication to Abu Dhabi’s museum ambitions reached an all-time high with the week’s most anticipated attraction, a panel discussion titled Architecture Visionaries, featuring the world’s top three architects, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel and Lord Norman Foster, discussing the Saadiyat Cultural District museums — Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Zayed National Museum — to a packed standing-only audience of approximately 1,000 people.
In another noteworthy panel featuring Richard Armstrong, Director of Solomon R Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi revealed a selection of works already acquired, including a major sculpture by Algerian Rachid Koraichi, a work by Jacques Villegle and a sculpture by Subodh Gupta.
A huge demand was seen for contemporary artists with sales of Subodh Gupta’s Cascading Water from Hauser & Wirth; Anish Kapoor’s Untitled 2012 and Marina Abramovic’s Rest Energy, both from Lisson Gallery; an untitled work by Keith Haring from Galerie Enrico Navarra; and Lee Ufan’s Dialogue from Kamel Mennour Gallery.
A central point of attraction was Tadashi Kawamata’s Chairs for Abu Dhabi, an installation of hundreds of stacked chairs and part of the Beyond section of the fair which were sold.
Abu Dhabi Art was officially opened by Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, the Supreme Chairperson of Family Development Foundation and Chairwoman of the Supreme Council of Motherhood & Childhood and Shaikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice-Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and National Security Advisor in the presence of many other dignitaries.
Shaikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan, Chairwoman of Abu Dhabi Art’s Host Committee and founder of the Shaikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation bought works as did Shaikha Shamsa bint Hamdan Al Nahyan.
“More collectors and visitors combined with quality art, performances and music made for a vibrant atmosphere at Abu Dhabi Art this year,” said Shaikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, the organisers of the event. The fest which began on November 7 ended on November 10.