I was working like crazy this weekend, and just made it in time during the very last hours of opening, to visit the 13th edition of Abu Dhabi Art Fair at Manarat Al Saadiyat. Unfortunately I had to go by myself, as my friends were also working - or hadn't got their PCR in time (you need a max 96 hour PCR to attend any events here in the capital, even if vaccinated). I am so happy events like these are returning though, they have been greatly missed!
The fair had 49 local, regional and international galleries from 19 different countries; representing over 190 artists through over 600 artworks. Most of the artworks are for sale, they are showcased alongside several exhibitions, installations and special commissions. Let's start with Annie Morris:
These three pieces by Diana Al-Hadid were really interesting, as they didn't have any canvas! Can you see? They are "hollow"! So fascinating and different, like nothing else I have seen before. Loved them!
A sculpture by Fernando Botero, called Horse
. I have loved his art since I saw some of his colossal sculptures in an open-air exhibition on the Champs-Elysées in 1992 while I was there as an Au Pair.
Below Lebanese American writer and artist Etel Adnan, who sadly just
passed away last week. She found fame late in life as an artist, she was first an foremost a celebrated author. I loved
these two paintings, small but evocative.
This was one of my favourite works, by Kim Duck-Yong. Not only for its motif, and because it reminded me of the Germination
art piece at the Louvre Abu Dhabi; but also because it was made with mother-of-pearl on wood. Hard to see in the photo, but the shine was hypnotic.
This one was also
fascinating, by Hadie Shafie. The whole artwork consisted of flat and rolled up pieces of paper with text on them, but hidden away. Big Colourful Stones
by Pascale Marthine Tayou - happy, happy, joy, joy!
My oh my, it seems like I had many
favourites - this one too!
This was an installation by Christopher Joshua Benton called The World Was My Garden
. This piece was centered around this palm tree as a metaphor for global trade, histories of slavery, issues of migration and global economy.
This was a very Instagram-friendly mirror by Anish Kapoor, called Random Triangle Mirror. I actually had to queue and wait my turn to take my selfie here..!
This! This must have been my ABSOLUTE favourite! It was by Mona Al Khaja and it was called Time Has Passed 
. This large triptych, which was made during and about the pandemic, talked about time and how precious it is. I was looking at it for a very long time, and even had to go around the fair and then come back to this one once again, to enjoy it some more. This piece really, really, really
spoke to me.
I enjoyed my visit immensely and felt so inspired, happy and uplifted when I left.
It made my soul sing!