Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, Abu Dhabi Art, an influential fair for the burgeoning MENASA art scene, has announced it is now welcoming exhibitor applications from galleries across the globe for its 14th edition, which will take place from 16 to 20 November 2022 at Manarat Al Saadiyat.

Following strong sales at the fair in 2021, new and returning galleries are invited to submit proposals via the Abu Dhabi Art website to participate in the upcoming 2022 edition. The sectors open for exhibitors to apply for include Modern & Contemporary, which is open to galleries which have been operating for at least seven years; Special Projects, where galleries which have been operating for at least three years can present solo or dual artist presentations; and the Focus sector, where galleries are invited to participate with specific artists chosen by a guest curator.

The annual art fair held each November is the culmination of Abu Dhabi Art’s year-round visual arts programme, which includes artist residencies, artist commissions, and exhibitions and installations across the emirate, as well as education outreach. Presenting their artworks at the emirate’s premier cultural centre Manarat Al Saadiyat, each year the fair sees exhibitors connect with a diverse and multi-national audience of collectors, patrons and art enthusiasts who convene around Abu Dhabi’s flagship art event.

Abu Dhabi Art has also announced the selection of Emirati artist Farah Al Qasimi, who was recently featured in The New York Times, as this year’s visual campaign artist. Each year, Abu Dhabi Art selects and collaborates with UAE-based artists to create a visual campaign for the fair that closely links to the UAE’s cultural and creative ecosystem. The campaign also serves to introduce wider audiences to the work of the guest artist. Working across photography, video and performance art, Al Qasimi’s recent output challenges the viewer to consider their own understanding of reality, aspiration, individuality, and the reflected image.

Dyala Nusseibeh, Director, Abu Dhabi Art, said: “We are delighted to invite galleries to apply for our 14th edition this year. The Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi has signaled a strong commitment to bolstering the growth of the culture and creative industries in the region and Abu Dhabi Art contributes to this vision through the fair’s engagement with galleries, artists, curators, exhibition organisers and other arts professionals. A cornerstone of the arts and culture ecosystem in the emirate, Abu Dhabi Art strives to be a catalyst for creativity in its support for local artists and cultural producers. To this end, we are thrilled to be working with leading Emirati artist Farah Al Qasimi for our visual campaign.”

Farah Al Qasimi said: “Abu Dhabi is my home, and Abu Dhabi Art was one of the first major art events I attended when I moved back home after college, so it is great to be chosen for this year’s visual campaign. A lot of my work is about and for the Emirates, so I'm happy to be able to share these images in this way.

“The images for the campaign are all from very different projects. I'd say that they reflect the range of different approaches in my practice, from observing the real world to building still lives and collages in-studio. There is also a relationship to performance and gesture,” she added.  

Abu Dhabi Art’s annual visual campaign provides the chosen artist with a platform to reach new audiences by integrating their work into the fair’s communication materials which consist of gallery applications, invitations, and outdoor marketing materials.

Al Qasimi’s work is currently on show at Abu Dhabi’s Cultural Foundation in the exhibition Farah Al Qasimi: General Behaviour, presenting photographic and video-based works from 2012-2021. Her work has been featured by the UAE’s Jameel Arts Centre and The Third Line gallery, and internationally at Art Basel, New York’s Public Art Fund, the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris, the Lahore Biennale, the National Pavilion UAE – La Biennale di Venezia, Toronto’s Cooper Gallery, Sfeir-Semler in Hamburg, and the Contemporary Arts Space in St. Louis, USA. She was chosen by a jury of leading art professionals to be featured in Phaidon’s new art book PRIME: Art’s Next Generation which catalogues over 100 leading young artists under the age of 40.

Previous UAE-based artists who have participated in the art fair’s annual visual campaign include Ayesha Hadhir, Rawdha Khalifa Al Ketbi, and Shaikha Fahad Al Ketbi (2021), Ebtisam Abdulaziz (2019), Monira Al Qadiri (2018) and Tarek Al-Ghoussein (2017).

For more information on exhibitor applications for Abu Dhabi Art 2022, please visit the website. For enquiries, please contact the Exhibitor Relations Team via email at Exhibitors@abudhabiart.ae or telephone at +97126575800.

Abu Dhabi Art will announce more details about the gallery sectors, programmes, curators, and artists in the months leading up to the fair.