More galleries, fresh faces, renewed optimism mark Abu Dhabi Art 2022 - GulfToday

More galleries, fresh faces, renewed optimism mark Abu Dhabi Art 2022


Animated discussions at Abu Dhabi Art Fair 2018.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

Abu Dhabi Art (ADA) has announced its largest edition to date, with this year’s diverse gallery lineup featuring a record-breaking 78 galleries from 27 countries. ADA will also welcome renowned arts historian Rachida Triki, gallerist Jade Yesim Turanli, and arts journalist Riccarda Mandrini, as sector guest curators and collaborators for galleries.

Taking place November 16 — 20 at Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, the 14th edition of the fair will highlight artists from North Africa, Turkiye, and the wider region. ADA 2022 is the culmination of the fair’s year-round visual arts programme. Last year’s event resulted in a record 45 galleries returning for 2022, while also attracting the participation of 33 new galleries, demonstrating the international art world’s confidence in the region, post-COVID.

Hailing from countries spanning the globe — including Italy, Colombia, South Korea, Denmark and India — this year’s array of local, regional and international galleries, will allow visitors to explore a wide selection of artworks from both established and emerging artists.


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ADA has invited art historian, Professor of Philosophy and curator, Triki, to be the guest curator of the Focus section under the theme New Tomorrows. The segment spotlights galleries and artists from North Africa and explores the artistic evolution of the region. ADA has also appointed gallerist Turanli of Pi Artworks and Mandrini as guest curators, each bringing in a number of new galleries.

Turanli will focus on galleries and artists from Turkiye, including first time exhibitors Dirimart and Galeri Nev Istanbul, while Mandrini will bring together galleries from around the world with diverse programmes, including galleries Mazzoleni, P420 and Dep Art Gallery. Dyala Nusseibeh, ADA Director said: “Since the first fair in 2007, Abu Dhabi Art has played an integral role in the art eco-system in Abu Dhabi and the wider emirates, fuelling the appetite for art in the region.

Over the years, we have not only succeeded in bolstering the growth of the country’s cultural and creative industries, but also in nurturing homegrown talent. “Through collaborations with guest curators such as Rachida Triki, Jade Yesim Turanli and Riccarda Mandrini, we also continue to enable diverse perspectives to be present at the fair, ensuring that Abu Dhabi Art continues to be a place of discovery for our art collectors and wider public.” Triki said: “As the curator of this year’s Focus section, I had the pleasure of bringing together dynamic galleries that present works by established and emerging artists from the Northern Africa region.

ADA 33 Left, Rachida Triki is an arts historian, right, Riccarda Mandrini is an arts journalist. 

The works have been selected based on the section’s theme that links heritage and re-creation as a continual rebirth for New Tomorrows.” Mandrini said that “for this section, I wanted to bring together a diverse group of galleries and artists from different historical periods and geographies. The artworks presented by the galleries create an open narrative and a shared dialogue, writing a new page in art history, which we as individuals, regardless of our cultural and geographical affiliations, can feel part of.”

Turanli commented: “The fair’s content is very diverse, and it appeals to a vast audience. For this edition, there will be six Turkish galleries with extraordinary works on show by established and emerging artists from Turkiye. The selected galleries are pioneers, both locally and internationally, and cover a whole spectrum of art.” Triki (b. 1949) is a Tunisian philosopher, art historian, art critic and art curator.

She is a full professor of philosophy at Tunis University, specialised in Aesthetics and a member of the executive board of the Euro-Mediterranean association for Art History and Aesthetics (AEPHAE).

A specialist in North African Art, in 1994 she co-produced a series of 24 documentaries about Tunisian painters in their workplace. She also has been the curator of numerous international art exhibitions in Europe and Africa.

jade yesim 1 Jade Yesim Turanli.

 Turanli is an experienced art professional who has worked a quarter century in the international contemporary art industry. Pi Artworks is a contemporary Art Gallery with spaces in London and Istanbul. Mandrini is well-versed with the UAE art scene: she has written exhaustively on Jameel Arts Centre and Alserkal Avenue, among other places. Here is what she wrote (2018): “For over a decade now, the United Arab Emirates have been focused on incrementing the country’s cultural offer. The aim for an arts model offering opportunity for exchange between contemporaneity and history has produced different answers in different cities.

“Sharjah, one of the emirates, is widely considered the nation’s culture capital. There, the Sharjah Art Foundation offers a busy programme of events revolving around modern and contemporary Arab culture. These are alternated with initiatives concerning contemporary international culture.

“Abu Dhabi was chosen as the location for the big museums, first and foremost the Louvre Abu Dhabi … Dubai is the city where international art galleries and Christie’s auction house are found. It is also where many Middle Eastern artists have chosen to live …” The Modern & Contemporary section of the ADA fair will feature 44 participating galleries. In addition to the main Modern & Contemporary section, 37 galleries will be presenting curated booths in categories, including Special Projects, Focus and Emerge.

Along with the physical fair, ADA will continue to offer a virtual platform for collectors to explore works, accessible at The fair will announce further details of its programmes, sector themes and the events in store in the months leading up to the inaugural.

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