Under the Patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Sabeeka Bint Ibrahim Al Khalifa, wife of His Majesty the King and President of the Supreme Council for Women, Bahrain’s second contemporary art fair, Art Bahrain Across Borders (ArtBAB 2017), promises to be a fusion of local, regional and international talent, with acclaimed artists and galleries from all corners of the world uniting under one roof.
ArtBAB 2017 will see over 60 participants hosted this year at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Conference Centre from the 23rd to the 26th of March 2017, spanning Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the United States, and with a very strong presence from Bahrain.
Thirty-six Bahraini participants will showcase their work at the ‘ArtBAB Pavilion’, a section dedicated exclusively to Bahraini artists who are being funded by Tamkeen, the project owners. These artists include: Abdulkarim Al Orrayed, Ahmed Anan, Amani Al Hajeri, Areej Rajab, Ayman Jaafar, Aysha Al Moayyed, Aysha Hafuz, Dalal AbdulRahman Al Sindi, Dana Al Moaibed, Ebrahim Khalifa, Elias Madan, Ghada Khunji, Hamed Al Bosta, Husain Isa Yusef Yaqoob, Karina Al Zu’bi, Maryam Al Hajri, Maryam Al Sindi, Marwa Bint Rashid Al Khalifa, Mayasa Al Sowaidi, Mohammed Al Mahdi, Mohamed Taha, Mona El Rubi, Noora Hasan Al Ghatam, Omar Alrashid, Othman Khunji, Rasha Yousif, Sahar Ahmadi, Saima Jalil, Salwa Al Moayyed, Sana Al Borshaid, Sayed Hassan Al Sari, Seema Baqi, Somaya Abdulghani, Taiba Faraj, Waseela Marzooq Ahmed and Zakeya Zada.
There will also be ten galleries exhibiting at the fair, in the dedicated ‘Gallery Pavilion’, and include:
Bait Muzna Art Gallery (Oman), the first gallery to open up in Oman showcasing contemporary art; ‘David Risley’ (Denmark), a contemporary art gallery representing new and emerging talent as well as established artists; ‘Galerie Charradeau’ (France) which hosts works such as furniture, graphic works and sculptures from the 1930s and post-war; leading London gallery ‘Maddox Gallery’ (UK); ‘Project 88’ (India) which has a roster of some of the most exciting artists working in the Indian subcontinent; ‘Samara Art Gallery’ (India) which will come on board to showcase a variety of Indian artists including work by owner Sonal Ambani; reputed Syrian ‘Samer Kozah’ Art Gallery; ‘Temnikova and Kasela Gallery’ (Estonia) which functions as one of the countries few commercial galleries; Ukraine’s biggest art gallery ‘Tsekh Gallery’ which has expanded into Lithuania with its second space; and ‘XVA Gallery’ (Dubai), one of the Middle East’s foremost contemporary art galleries;
In addition, a separate pavilion for general entry artists, both established local and reputed international names, will be taking up their own exhibition space to display their individual works. These sixteen artists include Bahrainis Abbas Al Mosawi, Balqees Fakhro, Faika Al Hassan, Jamal Abdulrahim, Khaled Farhan, Lulwa Bint Abdulaziz Al Khalifa, Mariam Fakhro, Maryam Nass, and Nabeela Al Khayer. The international names include Azelio Corni (Italy), Bhanu Palam (India), Dorte Tuldar (Denmark), Mazarine Memon (Canada), Pamela Arent (USA), Rouble Nagi (India) and Yonas Hailu (Ethiopia).
In addition to the sixty participants is a video installation comprising thirty two, 6-metre wide screens suspended across the exhibition hall, will feature films by internationally renowned artists alongside excerpts from Bahraini documentaries. The international names include Alice Cattaneo (Italy), Beat Streuli (Switzerland), Cao Fei (China), Cornelia Parker (UK), Cristina Lucas (Spain), Dean Kelland (UK), Ebtisam Abdulaziz (Sharjah), Fiona Banner (UK), Flo Kasearu (Estonia), Gillian Wearing (UK), Graham Gussin (UK), Iv Toshain (Bulgaria), Jan Toomik (Estonia), John Stezaker (UK), Maha Maamoun (Egypt), Marcel Dzama (Canada), Marko Maetamm (Estonia), Michel Francois (Belgium), Ming Wong (Singapore),
Neha Chosky (India/USA), Nilbar Gures (Turkey), Raqs (India), Shi Jong (China) and Shimabuku (Japan).
ArtBAB 2017 has been designed to embrace and highlight excellence in the local arts sector while uniting the local and global art communities and providing a stage for learning, engagement and the exchange of ideas.
ArtBAB 2017 is spearheaded by Bahrain Labour Fund (Tamkeen), which is a public government authority mandated to drive private sector growth, and will be managed and executed by international art investment and consultancy firm Art Select (a brand of Art and Spice).
Dr Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi, Chief Executive of Tamkeen says: “Tamkeen believes that the art sector has gained importance as an engine of economic growth, not only locally but across the region. We want to support this sector through initiatives such as ArtBAB, and we hope to steer the arts sector into new levels. The aim is to inspire the local and regional talent and promote art education and skills development by bridging our local artists with their regional and international counterparts, encourage collaborations and foster learning and development from the exchange of ideas with renowned names in the art field.”
Ms. Kaneka Subberwal, Founder of Art Select and Fair Director of ArtBAB 2017 says: “The fusion of talent that will be showcased at this year’s international art fair is exemplary. Our objective from the start was to strike the right balance between local talent and international names representing all aspects of the vast art spectrum, and I can say we have achieved this. We have seen participation increase by 20% since the last edition with new countries taking part. The selection of artists and galleries across the board has been hand-picked to reflect ArtBAB’s niche standing vis a vis its regional counterparts”.
Alistair Hicks, Chair of Gallery Selection for ArtBAB explained:
“ArtBAB presents a new concept of art fair – one that reassesses the basics of introducing the collector to artists and new art, and gallerists to collectors – an event that is more intimate, fun and informative about the state of art today – many of the galleries participating are amongst the best in the world for showcasing new and emerging talent and this supports the work of the ArtBAB pavilion and the central curatorial theme of Art Bahrain Across Borders.”
A series of talks and workshops under the overriding umbrella ‘[email protected]’, will be running in parallel to the fair hosted by both local Bahraini and select international artists.
The strategic partners for ArtBAB 2017 are the Bahrain Tourism and Exhibition Authority, the Bahrain Economic Development Board, the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, Gulf Air, the Bahrain Airport Company and Batelco. ArtBAB 2017 provides an ideal platform for art enthusiasts and collectors to meet. It constitutes an international forum that facilitates the exchange of ideas between international and local artists and builds on Bahrain’s reputation as an artistic hub for such events. ArtBAB aims to encourage individuals and companies to invest in the Art Sector and showcase Bahrain’s leading cultural position through its focus on the arts.