All You Need To Know About The Virtual Art Dubai Programme

BY Ayesha Sohail Shehmir Shaikh / Mar 25 2020 / 14:20 PM

Will this mark a new future for art fairs around the world?

All You Need To Know About The Virtual Art Dubai Programme
Courtesy of the artist and Circle Art Gallery
Salah Elmur. Scattered Thoughts, 2019. Acrylic on Canvas. 185x185cm

In light of the global coronavirus pandemic, the new modified Art Dubai programme has been tailored to a digital audience. Although events will no longer physically take place, the digital programme will include a 2020 online catalogue, a Global Art Forum live broadcast, which is set to take place today at 6pm UAE time, and an online performance programme curated by Marina Fokidis.

Entitled Newshour Special, the live broadcast will present narratives themed around the coronavirus outbreak - for instance, music made by famed photographer Farah Al Qasimi during quarantine. 


Jamil Naqsh. Untitled (Face and Pigeon). 2004. Oil on canvas. 121.92x121.92cm

Courtesy of the artist and Eye For Art

"Reality has shifted suddenly," says Shumon Basar, Commissioner of Global Art Forum. "Physical gatherings aren't possible. So the Global Art Forum needed an emergency format. So, I thought, why not do a special broadcast edition of the Forum that addresses the new stories emerging from this moment of global narrative collapse? And do this collectively, with a group of brilliant thinkers, all of whom have something nourishing and provoking to say.”

There is also a new online Planetary Feed comprising reports, interviews and other insights which will be inaugurated by London-based ArtTactic’s Special South Asia Report on Art & Philanthropy. The downloadable report sheds light on funding the eco-system for the visual arts sector and introduces regional sustainable philanthropic activities.


Hassan Hajjaj. M's Back. 2012. Metallic lambda with white gloss frame. 94x133cm

Courtesy of the artist and The Third Line

Famed contemporary artist Hassan Hajjaj’s solo presentation, which was initially to be exhibited at the fair, is also now live on Art Dubai’s online catalogue.

The 2020 online catalogue comprises over 500 artworks by participating galleries, which can be filtered by category. Viewers can browse works from artists Mohamed Melehi, Hamra Abbas and Frank Stella, to name a few. Participating galleries include Rele Gallery, Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Leila Heller Gallery and more. Direct purchase enquiries can be made through the catalogue, which can be accessed here.