Having spent 2 days at the Art Dubai I feel like sharing my impressions and emotions

Having spent 2 days at the Art Dubai I feel like sharing my impressions and emotions. And I will start with Art Dubai Modern (a new addition to the art fair). Have you ever thought about the difference between modern and contemporary art? I have, but only in the European and American context. Interestingly, the term ‘modern’ applicable to the art of this region stretched upto the end of 1990s. In general, in art history the boundaries between art movements can often be blurred. As long as artists work in the same way as those of the beginning and mid of 20th century, their art is considered to be modern. However, they can have a long artistic career and change styles throught life, so what they produce today can be considered contemporary art (provided that the works do not immitate old or modern masters). That’s the most interesting in the Dubai Art. The same artists can be seen in the moderm section as well as contemporary (halls 1 and 2). The viewer can witness the metamorphosis of the art of a particular artist spread over 50-60 years. What is most fascinating in the modern art of this region, is its unique combination of the European and local artistic traditions. They either studied, worked in Europe or were inspired by European modern art. However, they came up with something new, unique, something of their own thus becoming pioneers in their countries. Just a few names: calligraphic abstractions of Zahoor ul Akhlaq (represented by ArtChowk Gallery). Square compositions of Anwar Jalal Shemza (Jhaveri Contemporary), works from 1040s until 1990s of a very influencial Argerian artist Baya (Elmarsa Gallery), geometric abstraction of Nabil Nahas (Lawrie Shabibi). I can go on and on, better if you see everything with your own eyes. Don’t be shy to interract with the gallerists, ask them questions, let them talk about artists – it is worth listening, believe me.

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