First art fair in Dubai attracts Indian, American and Iranian buyers

March 9, 2007

Art Fair“I thought I would either sell nothing or everything,” said London dealer Ben Brown who found buyers for a Candida Höfer photograph and a painting by Tony Bevan as the fair opened. Michael Hue Williams of Albion gallery immediately sold two calligraphies by Xu Bing, two paintings by the young British artist Kristian Ryokan and two abstract wax paintings by Jose Maria Sicilia.

Indeed, abstract works were to the fore, as dealers played safe and avoided provocative images and nudity. There was also a choice of classic works by artists such as De Chirico, Marino Marini and Klee, as well as recognized “brand names”—Picasso still lifes, Warhol dollar signs, an Indiana Love sculpture and Hirst spot and butterfly paintings.

A sign of how closely this fair is being watched is the presence of Art Basel director Sam Keller, accompanied by his VIP programme director. He said, “New fairs expand the number of collectors and that’s good for the market as a whole”.

What is certainly going to boost the cultural profile of the whole region is the plan to build five museums in neighbouring Abu Dhabi. The mega, $1 billion deal between the emirate and the Louvre was signed just 24 hours before the fair opened.”  Read More

See Also: The Gulf: Major collectors and new museums

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Cities and the Creative Industries

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The creative economy movement started in the UK in 1994. Follow the links to understand how national cultural policy became creative industry policy and how it's now changing the world.