Art Dubai is slated as the most international fair on the contemporary art scene, and with that comes a wide range of artworks and artists. The new Residents section arguably features more of the affordable and aesthetically experimental works, while regional heavy hitters can be found in the Modern section. The artists on show throughout the Contemporary halls include emerging artists up to icons such as Marina Abramovic at Galerie Krinzinger to Yayoi Kusama at Victoria Miro. As day three drew to an end with one more day yet go, sales may have seemed to stream in over the opening days a steady pace, but Art Dubai is known for a final day sales boom.
Piero Atchugarry Gallery (Pueblo Garzon) returns for their second year and notes that while last year proved a good introduction between the gallery and Dubai’s collector base, this year saw concrete and positive follow-through in the form of sales to buyers from Egypt, Iran, India and the USA. Officine dell’Immagine (Milan) likewise solidified their collector base, running into one familiar enough with their artist roster that though the works of Servet Koçyiğit remained on their booth walls, they sold works by another of their artists.
Zidoune-Bossuyt (Luxembourg) may have introduced key Afro-American artists to their local scene, but to Dubai brought an international mix of artists, selling Tomokazu Matsuyama’s Melody Before I Ever Met You (2018) for $65,000. Galerie Templon had success with works on paper and a €40,000 painting by Senegalese painter Omar Ba, which sold right away, and note that Ba is likely a popular artist given the recent rise of African art, as well as the Louvre Abu Dhabi having acquired a Ba work.
Meanwhile Canvas Gallery from Karachi notes they had “phenomenal success”, selling all of Muzzumil Ruheel’s works before they reached the booth walls. “There has been tons of interest, at least 50 enquiries, and we’ve had to tell collectors we will keep them posted on the artist’s upcoming works,”the gallery remarked.
One particularly indemand work was Silent Noise (2017), an ink calligraphy work on paper, which received around eight separate acquisition requests. Zilberman Gallery (Istanbul/Berlin) moved three works, with several more in talks, at a range of $10,000-25,000 by artists Ayesha Khalid, Walid Siti and Burçak Bingöl. Ab/Anbar from Tehran sold three works to international collectors at $20,000 each, while Vermelho (São Paulo) moved a video work by Cinthia Marcelle for $40,000.
Icelandic newcomer i8 sold works on paper by Ignacio Uriarte and is in talks over Olafur Eliasson pieces; Ramallah-based Gallery One sold works priced around $27,000; and Moscow gallery Artwin sold a €16,000 watercolour work by Dima Rebus, but indicated there was much interest in the photographs by Tim Parchikov, priced at €5500 and €6000, an artist who was handpicked by Karl Lagerfeld for Paris Photo. Meanwhile, Saskia Fernando Gallery (Colombo) sold a black $5500 Priyantha Udagedara painting and numerous $1500 smaller-scale portraits by Saskia Pintelon, and Instagram-favourite ARTSIDE Gallery (Seoul) sold several of their glazed donuts for $950, adding that they had sold works from each of their artists on display.
Local Dubai galleries Lawrie Shabibi and Green Art Gallery remained mum on sales, but if the footfall of visitors darting between the fair booth and their Alserkal Avenue galleries are any indicator, then it is looking to be a fruitful March. Green Art Gallery shared that their strategy of focusing on a solo artist presentation (Chaouki Choukini) was resonating with regional and European collectors. At a range of $12,000-35,000, they revealed that solo shows have had a few collectors mention that it offers a fuller picture and more museum-like presentation – a note which Art Dubai may have picked up on, as this year purports to have more solo and dual-artist presentations, particularly in the Modern section.
Carbon 12, also located in Alserkal Avenue, reported success on their hanging, which catered to both young and more established collectors through their split-booth. While most interactions were with long-term and existing collectors, the Philip Mueller portrait cabinet spoke to both collector bases, sharing that the set-up allows emerging collectors to go for one or two works, while others opted for several pieces, allowing them to curate their own hangings.
While the Modern hall remained quiet, Grosvenor Gallery (London) noted early day sales of a $25,000 Sadequain painting and a few drawings, as well as a $40,000 painting by Zahoor Ul-Akhlaq, there was more activity in the underground Residents hall. Featuring special works created by selected artists in the weeks leading up to the fair at various UAE residencies, the offerings proved vivid interpretations unlike those found throughout the rest of the fair.
Iabadiou Piko from Orbital Dago (Bandung) sold enough works that the entire hanging had to be replaced; Farshad Farzankia from Galerie Kornfeld (Berlin) has two works in talks but the gallery is keeping an eye out for the buyer interested in the entire installation; Yasuaki Onishi from The Mine (Dubai) sold a $3500 wall work; Jose Lerma from Roberto Paradise (San Juan) sold two of his orange-hued works priced between $12,000-25,000; and Jennifer Ipekel from Oktem & Aykut (Istanbul) moved two ceramic works priced between $2000-4000.
Art Dubai runs until 24 March at Madinat Jumeirah. Artdubai.ae