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Thao Nguyen Phan: Dangerous Optimism Ocula Conversation Thao Nguyen Phan: Dangerous Optimism Tessa Moldan, Brussels

With Monsoon Melody on view at WIELS, Brussels, her largest solo exhibition to date, Thao Nguyen Phan discusses her transition to film to explore colonial legacies and ecological destruction in Vietnam.

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Frieze Los Angeles: Shows to See Ocula Report Frieze Los Angeles: Shows to See Tessa Moldan, Los Angeles

Los Angeles' art scene has a lot to offer during Frieze Los Angeles, with galleries, non-profits, and museums gearing up for the fair's second edition between 14 and 17 February 2020. In this Ocula Lowdown, Tessa Moldan lists a selection of the city's must-see shows.

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Jaki Irvine's Manifesto on Life at Kerlin Gallery, Dublin Ocula Insight Jaki Irvine's Manifesto on Life at Kerlin Gallery, Dublin Apoorva Rajagopal, Dublin

Ack Ro' , Jaki Irvine's reflection on the fragility of life at Kerlin Gallery, Dublin, is an 'ambitious, holistic installation' staged like a 'wild disarray of interconnected yet fragmented pieces'.

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Dubai Art Guide

UAE

Previous Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Peter Dean Rickards, The Afflicted Yard at The Third Line, Dubai
27 November 2019–6 February 2020 Peter Dean Rickards The Afflicted Yard The Third Line, Gallery 1
Contemporary art exhibition, Kazim Rashid, Nothing Looks The Same at Night at The Third Line, Dubai
27 November 2019–6 February 2020 Kazim Rashid Nothing Looks The Same at Night The Third Line, AV Room
Contemporary art exhibition, Anuar Khalifi, Forever Is A Current Event at The Third Line, Dubai
27 November 2019–6 February 2020 Anuar Khalifi Forever Is A Current Event The Third Line, Gallery 2
Contemporary art exhibition, Farah Al Qasimi, Arrival at The Third Line, Dubai
18 September–23 November 2019 Farah Al Qasimi Arrival The Third Line, Dubai
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, I Will See It, When I Believe It at The Third Line, Dubai
15 May–25 July 2019 Group Exhibition I Will See It, When I Believe It The Third Line, Dubai

Galleries In Dubai

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Ocula Magazine

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Art Dubai: The Kids Are Alright Ocula Report Art Dubai: The Kids Are Alright Stephanie Bailey, Dubai

Apparently, the Dubai economy has slowed recently, for a number of reasons. There is the issue of severed ties with Qatar, for one; and the war in Yemen—a conflict whose violence the Pope decried on a recent trip to the U.A.E., during which he delivered mass to 135,000 expatriate Catholics in Abu Dhabi—'an event', reports Reuters ,...

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FIELD MEETING Take 6: Day 2 Ocula Photolog
In collaboration with Asia Contemporary Art Week
FIELD MEETING Take 6: Day 2

The first off-site iteration of Asia Contemporary Art Week's (ACAW) acclaimed annual forum, FIELD MEETING in Dubai, UAE, staged 35+ newly-commissioned performances, lecture-performances, talks, and a string of pop-ups by today's outstanding artists, curators, and creative minds.

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FIELD MEETING Take 6: Social Festivities Ocula Photolog
In collaboration with Asia Contemporary Art Week
FIELD MEETING Take 6: Social Festivities

The first off-site iteration of Asia Contemporary Art Week's (ACAW) acclaimed annual forum, FIELD MEETING Take 6 in Dubai, UAE, staged 35+ newly-commissioned performances, lecture-performances, talks, and a string of pop-ups by today's outstanding artists, curators, and creative minds.

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Field Meeting Take 6: Thinking Collections Ocula Report Field Meeting Take 6: Thinking Collections Stephanie Bailey

Asia Contemporary Art Week 's annual forum, Field Meeting, was staged outside of New York for the first time in 2019, with Take 6: Thinking Collections hosted by Alserkal Avenue in Dubai , concurrent to Quoz Arts Fest (25–26 January 2019). The two-day forum unfolded inside Concrete, Alserkal's impressive OMA-designed space, with pop-up...

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Independent Growth: Art Dubai 2018 Ocula Report Independent Growth: Art Dubai 2018 Mohammad Salemy, Dubai

It is far too easy to dismiss art fairs, if not the entire commercial art market. By the same token, it is easy to be turned off by Dubai , the most glitzy and commercial of the UAE's emirates. It might take a little longer to appreciate how an art fair staged in a free port like this could benefit artistic production and development—an...

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Better Than Ever: Art Dubai 2015 Ocula Report Better Than Ever: Art Dubai 2015 Stephanie Bailey, Dubai

“How was it?” an artist asked when I returned from the 9th edition of Art Dubai.  "Strange?” he continued, leaving no time to answer. I asked how he came to this conclusion, and he pointed out the list of galleries: names were noticeably missing. “Obviously, they had to choose between Hong Kong and Dubai.” Of...

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Kate Fowle Ocula Conversation Kate Fowle Anabelle de Gersigny, Moscow

Kate Fowle is chief curator at the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow and director-at-large at the Independent Curators International (ICI) in New York. Previously she was executive director of ICI (2009-13), the inaugural international curator at the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing (2007-08) and chair of the...

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Art Dubai Itinerary Ocula Report Art Dubai Itinerary Anabelle de Gersigny, Dubai

The Sharjah Biennale kicked off last week, pre-empting the imminent art week in the United Arab Emirates. Already openings pop up every evening, from Sharjah’s new 1971 design space on 11 March to Tashkeel’s annual group exhibition, in the neighbouring emirate, on the same evening. Whilst the main events next week are the 9th edition...

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This Dubai gallery has turned its commercial failure into art Related Press This Dubai gallery has turned its commercial failure into art 10 June 2018, The National

The Dubai gallery Grey Noise is celebrating its 10th anniversary—if 'celebrating' is the right word. The art gallery is marking its commercial failure. It has called a halt to regular exhibitions for five months, moved its offices into the exhibitions space and changed its name to Losers Club . 'I think I am a loser because I have lost,'...

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A GREY AREA Related Press A GREY AREA 10 May 2018, Alserkal Avenue

Conversations on the Avenue meets Umer Butt, the founder and director of Grey Noise in Alserkal Avenue, for a revealing and candid discussion on the occasion of the gallery's tenth anniversary in Dubai. Most galleries, on reaching their first decade, would celebrate unreservedly. Not so Umer Butt. He has just unveiled a contemplative and...

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Modernism, Voyeurism, and a Sentient Parrot: Highlights from Dubai Art Week 2017 Related Press Modernism, Voyeurism, and a Sentient Parrot: Highlights from Dubai Art Week 2017 17 April 2017, Creators

Dubai Art Week, like everything in the Emirati capital, is decentralized. One could argue that this year the first days actually took place in a different city, Sharjah. A twenty-to-forty minute drive to the Northeast, depending on traffic, Sharjah sits up the coast closer to the peninsula of Oman. If Dubai's character is defined by individuals...

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Trio of Dubai-based artists on the importance of having fun while creating art Related Press Trio of Dubai-based artists on the importance of having fun while creating art 19 July 2016, The National

It’s a blustery day in Liverpool, the spray from a pop-up car-wash business drifting across an abandoned brewery on the fringes of the English city’s famous waterfront. In usual circumstances the location, one of the sites for the Liverpool Biennial, might be a somewhat bleak scene – but as Dubai-based artists Ramin Haerizadeh,...

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15 Best outdoor artworks by Bernar Venet and where to find them Related Press 15 Best outdoor artworks by Bernar Venet and where to find them 7 June 2016, Blouin Artinfo

To celebrate the opening of French artist Bernar Venet’s latest exhibition at Custot Gallery Dubai, we look back at 15 of his finest public sculpture commissions and outdoor exhibitions from Quebec to Kaukapakapa.

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Women make their mark on Art Dubai Related Press Women make their mark on Art Dubai 18 March 2016, The Art Newspaper

Antonia Carver, the director of Art Dubai, announced an eye-opening statistic at the opening of the tenth edition of the fair (16-19 March, Madinat Jumeirah): according to her calculations, 45% of the around 500 artists represented at the fair this year are women, which is a “higher percentage than the majority of other international art...

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Art Dubai: A peek at the redesigned fair, new experiences, top artists and edible art Related Press Art Dubai: A peek at the redesigned fair, new experiences, top artists and edible art 18 March 2016, The National

To borrow a phrase from Antonia Carver, director of Art Dubai, Madinat Jumeirah will be turned into “art city” this week. With the start of the 10th edition of the annual fair, collectors and gallerists will converge within the conference halls of the sprawling complex to buy and sell some of the freshest contemporary works, while...

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Art Dubai hold it's own against international shows Related Press Art Dubai hold it's own against international shows 16 March 2016, The National

It may not be the biggest show on the planet but Art Dubai, which turns 10 today, punches well above its weight, and has many reasons to celebrate as Middle East artists gain a firm foothold across the world for their unique skills. March is one of the busiest months in the international arts calendar with nine major international fairs taking...

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Recent Events

Contemporary art exhibition, Art Dubai 2019 at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
20–23 March Art Dubai 2019
Contemporary art exhibition, ACAW FIELD MEETING Take 6 at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
25–26 January 2019 ACAW FIELD MEETING Take 6
Contemporary art exhibition, Art Dubai 2018 at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
19–24 March Art Dubai 2018
Contemporary art exhibition, Art Dubai 2017 at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
15–18 March Art Dubai 2017
Contemporary art exhibition, Art Dubai 2016 at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
16–19 March Art Dubai 2016
Contemporary art exhibition, Art Dubai 2015 at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
18–21 March Art Dubai 2015
Contemporary art exhibition, Art Dubai  at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
19–22 March 2014 Art Dubai

Dubai is a node for arts and culture in the Middle East. Since Christie's held its first auction of modern and contemporary art in the region in 2006, the emirate has established itself as a market centre, bolstered by galleries, non-profits, and international art events.

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Supported by institutional collecting bodies the Sharjah Art Foundation and Art Jameel, Dubai's art scene comprises studios and residencies to fuel local artistic production in an otherwise transient locale—the expatriate community makes up over 90% of the city's population. The majority of galleries are based in Alserkal Avenue: a buzzy cultural district located in the Al Quoz industrial area. Dotted between pop-ups and eateries, the district comprises international galleries such as Lawrie Shabibi, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Grey Noise, Custot Gallery, Carbon 12, and Leila Heller Gallery, among many others, spread across 500,000 square feet.

Since 2008, Alserkal Avenue has contained the highest concentration of galleries and creative spaces in the region, having taken over from Dubai International Financial Centre—once the city's gallery hub and still home to Christie's, Andakulova Gallery, Cuadro Gallery, Opera Gallery, Sconi Art Gallery, and The Farjam Foundation. The focus for regional art discourse, however, has shifted to Alserkal Avenue. Concrete, a multidisciplinary Alserkal Avenue space designed by Rem Koolhas' OMA, holds exhibitions, performances, and other public events, such as FIELD MEETING in 2019. FIELD MEETING is the annual forum for arts professionals organised by Asia Contemporary Art Week. Its staging at Concrete marked the first time the event was held in MENASA (Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia).

Outside of Alserkal Avenue, Dubai's first non-commercial and non-governmental institution is the Jameel Arts Centre, located on the waterfront of the city. Unveiled by Serie Architects in 2018, the centre is dedicated to exhibition-making and research in contemporary art. It joins Tashkeel, located on the outskirts of the city, as a non-profit institution, containing studios and workspaces, and fostering arts and design practices of the UAE. Dubai Design District, which hosts the Dubai Design Week each November, provides further opportunities to encounter the region's design talents.

Art Dubai, which prides itself on being the most global fair in the world, takes place in March each year at the hotel Madinat Jumeirah. It is supplemented by the Global Art Forum—a renowned summit that helps fuel growth in the gulf's art scene. Discourse is furthered a 90-minute drive away in Sharjah, where the Sharjah Biennial has provided an international platform for artistic experimentation since 1993 in a large-scale exhibition comprising installations, films, and performances. Past curators include Zoe Butt, Omar Kholeif, Claire Tancons, Christine Tohme, Eungie Joo, and Yuko Hasegawa.

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