Fairs Market

Focus on Art Dubai

Secret Cities: Many works at Art Dubai explored cities as places of hidden layers and secret stories. Nadia Kaabi-Linke’s Off the Wall, May 1945, 2012, at Kolkata’s Experimenter Gallery is imprints of a war-ravaged, age-weary wall in Berlin, a pockmarked abstraction.

As Art Dubai closed the doors of its ninth edition on 21 March, both collectors and galleries agreed that the fair’s learning curve was paying off. This year’s fair seemed both thoughtful and confident, with less glitz and more substance, as galleries responded to a steadily maturing regional market. The increased number of solo booths and bold installations, generally considered commercially risky, was another sign of a confident fair and the maturing market. Here are some trends we spotted at the fair.

The video capstone of the fair was Adel Abidin’s Cover-up!, 2014, at Dubai’s Lawrie Shabibi gallery, in which a kandura-clad Arab man pats down his billowing garment, à la Marilyn Monroe.
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