Art Dubai Johara Hall · Stand E31–5 March 2023
Art Dubai is an annual art fair held in the second largest of the emirates. The focus of the fair is on contemporary art. It is considered the most important art fair for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia and takes place as part of Art Week in Madinat Jumeirah – a hotel, leisure and business center criss-crossed by waterways not far from the famous Burj Al Arab. In 2007, Art Dubai was held for the first time – with 42 exhibitors. It is very popular and attracts more exhibitors and spectators year after year – in 2014 there were already 75 exhibitors from 32 countries and 25,000 visitors.
The Gallery Dr. Dorothea van der Koelen – founded in Mainz in 1979 – has been taking part in Art Dubai since 2010. The gallery program – concrete · conceptual · constructive – harmonises well with the artistic demands of both the international audience at Art Dubai and with the requirements of the local Emirati collectors. In particular, the non-objective content, the use of writing as a design element and the humanities underpinning of the works attract Arabic art connoisseurs to the gallery, which also has Emirati artists in its portfolio.
Paper artist Lore Bert from Mainz is well known in the Arab world. Since her exhibition at the Great Cairo Library in 1996, her work has been shown numerous times across the Arabian Peninsula, including in Sharjah and Abu Dhabi. Lore Bert works with paper in all its facets. Constructive forms, geometry, architectural elements, ornaments, numbers and letters make up her formal vocabulary, which makes her work particularly interesting for Arab collectors.
Sebastian Dannenberg locates painting in space. Starting from industrial materials – such as steel, aluminium, concrete – he creates artistic creations of tremendous poetic beauty. Through the painterly ductus of his paint application, he sets a counterpoint to the minimalist forms of the readymades that form his painting ground.
Heinz Gappmayr is the main representative of visual poetry in Europe. Since the early 1960s, he has made language the material of his work. Signs, words, numbers and basic geometric shapes are visually presented by him to explore the categorical possibilities of language. Gappmayr uses language to depict ideas and concepts that cannot be represented pictorially due to their abstract nature.
Coordinates and location also play an important role in the works of Emirati conceptual artist Mohammed Kazem. In this year’s presentation at the stand of Galerie Dr. Dorothea van der Koelen, he will show one of his typical Directions works, a selection of the more recent Waves paintings and multi-coloured Corona Scratches.
Nam Tchun-Mo’s works are formally reduced to the basic element of the drawing line. Depending on the group of works, it has a different character, e.g. it can be elegant and gently curved, as in the Spring works, strictly formal and dead straight, as in the works of the Beam group, or gestural brushstroke ductus, as in the Stroke Lines works. But the line does not remain on the picture support. It rises into the third dimension, reinforced by synthetic resin to form a relief-like structure.
The painter Turi Simeti comes from Italy. He is one of the best-known representatives of the Italian Zero movement around Lucio Fontana and Enrico Castellani. Simeti is particularly well known for his Ovali, oval shapes that protrude from the canvases of his works into space. He varied the proportion, number, arrangement and size of the ovals and the color of the canvas in his works to create captivating compositions before he died of Covid in 2021 at the age of 91.
Works by Günther Uecker can also be found in the booth of Galerie van der Koelen. The German Zero artist, who is well known to the public for his extensive nail works, has produced some phenomenal embossed prints from printing blocks with nails in close cooperation with the gallerist. The varied patterns that were created stimulate the imagination and have always been very popular at Art Dubai.