In the 16th century, there was the myth of El Dorado in South America. In the 21st in the art market, there is Abu Dhabi. On the island of Saadiyat, three museums at least expected: a Louvre and a Guggenheim version Abu Dhabi, and a Museum of the history of the country, respectively established in buildings of Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry and Norman Forster. Initial budget: $ 12 billion. Prestigious architectures for collections which should be provided. And it is this that fade to envy the merchants of art from around the world. Then, when the United Arab Emirates authorities decide to make a show of art of the 20th and the 21st century, cream of the cream of the art trade responds now.
This is what happened last week in the salons of the Emirates Palace, the seven stars hotel of the capital of the country. The mini-foire hosted 50 participants originating mainly France, but the United States with the world's leading Gagosian, Great Britain, with the featured White Cube Gallery, but China also, of India, etc. Curiously, the Louvre, with the presence of its CEO, Henri Loyrette, "sponsored" the event. "We express our support for this initiative that contributes to the strengthening of a cultural elite." Abu Dhabi takes his destiny in hand. It is a fair of high quality. "The creation of vocation of collector is also an important thing for the Louvre Abu Dhabi," stressed Laurence des Cars, Scientific Director of France-museums, the entity to the creation of the Louvre of the sands.
"Projects in the long term."
That said, obviously, France-museums did not his shopping in Abu Dhabi. An acquisition franco-UAE commission meets three times a year and his target heart is not the art of the 20th century. And the side Guggenheim, the commission of the constitution of the collection seems even not formed. As a result, the transactions were not numerous at the close of what the Emirians do not want to call a fair but a "platform of art". "We bet for all our projects in the long term and we expect the same from our partners," said Rita Aoun, head of the cultural project of TDIC, the organization which incorporated this initiative. As the previous two years, when the organizer of the operation was ArtParis, purchases were due primarily to the ruling family or business related.
In a fair, no transaction is never proven. However, the rumor confirmed that a Calder mobile had been sold by the US Pace Wildenstein Gallery for $ 6 million. It is the highest sum in Abu Dhabi, while, for example, Gagosian proposed on its booth a work of Jeff Koons, a giant ring decorated with a red stone to $ 12 million. American artist, sponsor of the event, had also made the journey to the Emirates for the occasion.
It must be said that the local private demand, despite a significant fortune, is still almost non-existent if not for artists of the Middle East. But within this framework, on the other hand, Abu Dhabi has real relevance. The rise in power of the interest in art throughout the region feeds the dimensions of a production Arab and Iranian contemporary who now has a global impact. Doha is currently a collection to a museum dedicated to the subject and, according to Sami Al Masri, high lead to the authority for Culture and the heritage of Abu Dhabi, a similar institution should see the day in the Emirates. It has not yet been officially announced, but the collections are, again, in constitution.
As a result, and that the art market then revises its decreasing values, some Eastern artists continue to have the wind in its sails. In the centre of the trading, two galleries of Dubai. Third Line sets out, among others, the Iranian Farhad Moshiri (born 1963), a brilliant artist formed in Los Angeles, who creates works kitsch to the critical meaning noticeable often only in the second degree. His pieces are sold between 180.000 and 260,000 dollars and also exposed at this time to Paris at Emmanuel Perrotin. François Pinault has also acquired a facility in this exhibition. For Claudia Cellini, Director, Third Line, "prices in private transactions dropped by 20 on average in the last few months, but it is the artist himself who asked that the new tables are maintained at the current rate."
It also exposes Tarek Al Ghoussein, a Palestinian photographer who was educated in New York and teaches at Sharjah. His images, present at the fair at the stand of the German Birgita Shink, reflect a desert won by modernity. 6 Editions are sold for $ 5,000. Artist Note: "There is a new interest for contemporary art in the Middle East." It can lead to excess. It has promised us $ 45,000 in one of my beginner students, on the European market, for one of his photos.
The other gallery leader of Dubai, also presented at Abu Dhabi Art, B21. The star of his stand is Rokni Haerizadeh, born in 1978, an Iranian who lives in Dubai and painted in an expressionist style, with spirit, scenes of local life. François Pinault, present at the fair, which is also one of the sponsors, bought a set of drawings of the artist to 16,000 euros. Tessa de Caters, from B21, observed: "we have opened an exhibition at the gallery with paintings to 45,000 dollars two days ago and almost everything has already been sold." Rokni prices increased by 20 last year. "Rokni Haerizadeh is currently preparing an exhibition in Paris at the galerie Thaddaeus Ropac. The most relevant contemporary artists of the Middle East have a promising future clearly through Abu Dhabi.
i find a visit to Abu Dhabi Art Blog of Judith Benhamou-Huet: