Abu Dhabi’s eclectic art scene

Explore the UAE capital‘s eclectic arts scene, from contemporary gallery showcases to cultural pop-ups, and snapshots of history with a global perspective.

1. Project Warehouse. Yas Island welcomes back the popular Festember pop-up event with a vibrant celebration of contemporary culture covering art, cuisine, fashion and design, from 15-18 May. Art themes for 2019 range from female empowerment to rural Emirati populations with local and international artists taking part in the four-day event. Los Angeles-based artist Oliver Coreaux is flying in to handpaint a collection of luxury handbags and accessories with a visual collage comprised of text and symbols.

2. Louvre Abu Dhabi. The museum’s first photography exhibition explores the development of this fascinating art form from its earliest beginnings. Entitled ‘Photographs 1842 – 1896: An Early Album of the World’, the exhibition features 250 images from across the globe including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India and the Philippines. The works on show mainly originate from Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac’s collection, which includes some of the earliest photographs produced outside of Europe.

 3. Warehouse421. A hub for regional talent, this Mina Zayed located gallery is showcasing six forms of writing as part of its Nomadic Traces: Journeys of Arabian Scripts exhibition. Works by nine GCC and Levantine artists are on show, including ‘Yad’ by Margherita Abi Hanna, which draws on the abstract, simple geometry of ancient Phoenician text to Khalid Mezaina’s ‘If Speech Is Silver’ piece, featuring a trio of Musnad and Aramaic printed textiles with silver as the starting inspiration. 

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