art basel

Art Basel is Heading to Abu Dhabi

The world’s biggest art fair comes to the region

art basel

Art Basel just announced its first Middle Eastern iteration, Art Basel Inside. Move over Art Basel Miami Beach – the UAE is taking over. 

The three-day event will take place from February 14 to February 16 next year in the Emirati city. Hosted in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism, the event will welcome 300 participants, among them artists, researchers, thinkers and entrepreneurs. 

Curated by Marc-Olivier Wahler, former director of Palais de Tokyo and the current director of the Musee d’art et d’Histoire in Geneva, Art Basel Inside will include site-specific installations and performances inspired by Abu Dhabi’s landscapes, from desert and city to sea. The goal? Recalibrate frames of reference on a global scale. 

Wahler hopes to foster what he describes as “a unique ecosystem in which critical issues are not approached as isolated topics, but instead as contingencies within a larger network.”

“In today’s world it is vital that those in the artworld not only speak to each other, but rather discuss with a wider range of thinkers a broader range of topics,”added Marc Spiegler, Art Basel’s Global Director.

The event is just one marker of the region’s growing presence on the global art scene. Last year saw Dubai-based gallery The Third Line and Cairo-based Gypsum put on an impressive show at Frieze in London, while Tunisia’s Selma Feriani Gallery made its way to Art Basel Miami Beach’s 17th edition. 

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