Abu Dhabi Art 2012, held at the UAE Pavilion and Manarat Al Saadiyat in the heart of the Saadiyat Cultural District, opens to the public on Wednesday and runs until Saturday.
The fourth edition features 50 of the world's most exciting galleries representing 400 artists and includes top art world players participating in its public programme.
The event will be 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 "The calibre of art, galleries and leading figures from the art world at Abu Dhabi Art this year further confirms the vision for the Saadiyat Cultural District and Abu Dhabi's role as a cultural destination," said Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Tourism '&' Culture Authority, the organisers of the event.
"Abu Dhabi Art's diverse programme ensures that visitors of all ages and interests are immersed within a colourful, engaging few days. Our vast and growing audience will enjoy unprecedented access - seeing works of art, meeting artists and attending a rich public programme, that fascinate the senses and advance current cultural debate," he added.
This year's platform has attracted a growing number of collectors and museum representatives, highlighting Abu Dhabi's dedication to the cultivation of a cultural hub in the region: Modern and Contemporary Galleries again exhibit works by masters such as Picasso, Alexander Calder, Sam Francis, Joan Miro, Louay Kayyali and Chafic Abboud. Contemporary artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Hassan Sharif, Etel Adnan, Jeff Koons, Farhad Moshiri, Richard Serra, Yayoi Kusama, Rachid Koraichi, Saloua Raouda Choucair and Wael Shawky are also represented.
Many artists exhibited are also in attendance including Ghada Amer, Anish Kapoor, Subodh Gupta and Bharti Kher, Timothy Noble and Sue Webster, Abdulnasser Gharem and Mohammed Kazem.
The 2012 Public Programme includes a unique and expanded design element where, through a variety of new programmes, contemporary design and craft techniques come together as a celebration of both traditional skill and visionary thinking. A commissioned work draws on the crafts of khoos (palm-frond weaving) and telle embroidery and is being developed in Abu Dhabi by Emirati artisans. UAE based artist UBIK joins other contemporaries, creating works and holding special design projects and workshops and storytelling performances.
Renowned Director of the Design Museum in London, Deyan Sudjic and writer Glenn Adamson will delve into greater detail about the role of craft in art and design and contemporary designer Stuart Haygarth will be working on commissions unveiled at Abu Dhabi Art.
20 talks with the world's best artists, architects, designers and gallerists include: pairing two of the world's leading contemporary artists, Barthi Kher and Subodh Gupta, three of the world's most renowned, Pritzker Architecture Prize winners, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel and Norman, Foster with moderator Saeed Al Hajeri will speak on a panel entitled Architecture Visionaries, the pioneer' of performance art, Marina Abromovic, who makes her first visit to the UAE and the region. In addition to participating in a Conversation' she will also be exhibited in the fair section of Abu Dhabi Art.
Exhibition Art, Talks and Sensations THE ISLAND: A Game of Life will open during Abu Dhabi Art and run until 6 January 2013. Curated by Fabrice Bousteau, visitors can explore live performances and installations by contemporary artists - including Anish Kapoor, Abbas Akhavan, Camille Henrot, Fabrice Hyber and Camille Zakharia. To celebrate the public opening on Wednesday 7 November visitors are invited to live performances at Manarat Al Saadiyat from 7 - 9pm.
Visitors can spend the day attending workshops, watching film screenings, participating in live art projects or wandering through the galleries.