What to expect at Art Dubai 2022

Here are our top five attractions at the annual art exhibition you shouldn't miss.

09 Feb 2022, words by Aneesha Rai in The Lifestyle

Art DUbai 2022| Luxhabitat Sothebys

Art Dubai is one of the most anticipated international level exhibitions that Dubai has to offer. This year, the fair will welcome over 100 exhibitors from 44 countries, including more than 30 first-time exhibitors. Here are our top five picks that you shouldn't miss for this year's edition:

1. INLAND, represented by Fernando Garcia-Dory

Headlining as the Art Dubai commission for 2022, INLAND, represented by Fernando Garcia-Dory will be presented as multi-site installation at the fair and in a variety of locations across Dubai. The headliner Sand Flow is one to watch out for - it will combine visions of Dubai’s past, present and future and examine the ways in which the multiplicity of cultures and communities inhabit the city and their contributions to it. The artwork will incorporate archaeology, hydrology, urbanism and transport as well as the Middle East’s rich oral storytelling traditions, heritage and crafts.

2. Art Dubai Digital

Art Dubai 2022

Where do NFTs find their place in the art world? With the rise in digital art, Art Dubai will host sessions and exhibitions where digital and NFT art worlds collide and will examine the context out of which NFTs, cryptocurrency, video art and virtual reality (VR) have grown since the rise of digital art in the 1980s, including those who are leading the way in the rapidly expanding digital art space. 

Art Dubai Digital will also feature a curated selection of 17 top international galleries and platforms, and include presentations by some of the most exciting and innovative artists working in the digital space today, including Refik Anadol (Pilevneli) and Uta Bekaia and Denis Davydov (Window Project) as well as multi-artist presentations by Institut, Bright Moments, Fingerprints DAO, Postmasters, Emergeast and Cyber Baat.

3. 'This is the picture' - Global Art Forum

Art Dubai 2022

Taking place across four days, the Global Art Forum will examine the worlds of digital artefacts and crypto economies, inviting leading artists, curators, creators, thinkers and technologists to consider a range of topics from NFT art and curatorial projects, to crypto gaming and the metaverse, Web 3.0 and Dubai’s new crypto zone. Confirmed participants for 2022 will include noted collectors Guy Ullens and Ryan Zurrer, and pioneering artists Holly Herndon & Mat Dryhurst and Hito Steyerl, and UAE blockchain advocate Saeed Al Darmaki.

4. Art Dubai Modern Talks

Art Dubai 2022

Held from 1oth-12th March, Art Dubai Modern Talks in collaboration with the Dubai Collection will examine the life, work and influences of 20th century Modern masters from the Middle East and North Africa. These important artists’ works form the art history of the region from the turn of the 20th century to the 1980s, and the series will significantly add to the existing scholarship and research. Participants will include Art Dubai Modern curator Sam Bardaouil, leading Emirati curator Munira Al Sayegh and Nima Sagharchi, Director of Middle Eastern, Islamic and South Asian Art at Bonhams.

5. Cloud Seed

Commissioned by Julius Baer, the Filipino light and media artist James Clar has created an interactive video installation entitled Cloud Seed, for the Julius Baer lounge at the fair. The installation will immerse visitors in a large-scale real time simulation of raindrops and fog, using custom technology to create a slowly morphing visual system that reflects our control of the environment. Through the commission, Julius Baer wants to showcase the emergence of mega trends such as digital disruption and how artists are using cutting-edge technology in their practice.

Images courtesy Art Dubai