Made in the Emirates: UAE-based artists on display at Sotheby’s Dubai


DUBAI: Stationed at Sotheby’s Dubai amid dazzling exhibits of important Islamic jewelry and heritage items, 20 rare works from Maison Fabergé and notable pieces of modern Arab art, is a group of contemporary works by emerging artists based in the United Arab Emirates. Presented by local arts organization Engage 101, works by UAE-based artists – Augustine Paredes, Mohammed Khalid, Alaa Edris, Nasir Nasrallah and Sara Ahli – will be featured in a no-sale exhibition as part of Sotheby’s “Made in the Emirates, ”a showcase of jewelry and art made in the United Arab Emirates.

Alaa Edris, Reem Dream X, 2015. Supplied

The past decade has marked a historic period for the UAE art scene. From opening museums and major international auction houses to successful art fairs including Art Dubai and Abu Dhabi Art, the UAE’s art scene has taken off.

The local arts platform Engage 101 is one such organization born out of the tremendous growth of the UAE’s arts and culture scene. The popular research and collection platform, co-founded by curator Munira Al-Sayegh and writer Gaith Abdulla, hopes that by promoting and valuing the works of emerging artists based in the United Arab Emirates to international collectors and regions, the local arts scene in the United Arab Emirates will be able to develop further in visibility and vision.

Mohamed Khalid, Flaccid series 1, 2020. Supplied

“Developing this exhibition with Sotheby’s as the first unsold exhibition has given us more freedom to think outside the box about the works of art we present,” Abdulla told Arab News.

“We were inspired by the idea of ​​being able to exhibit works previously sold to our collectors and this is the key to how we chose to approach this exhibition,” he continued. “Being able to facilitate the first time a collector loans a work of art for an exhibition is gratifying. We will show off artwork collected from our previous auctions, as well as more recent artwork from our past artists and feature three new artists we will collaborate with at our next auction.

Augustine Paredes, A Boy Sleeping in Hostel Beirut, 2017. Supplied

Engage 101 produces quarterly art auctions that feature artists not represented by galleries, published research and public programs in a constantly rotating mix of spaces, artists and audiences. The headquarters of the DIFC at Sotheby’s Dubai is now one of these spaces.

“At the heart of our platform are three pillars, artists, research and collectors. process, bringing them to the heart of the exhibition, ”Al-Sayegh told Arab News.

Sara Ahli, Balloon Stacks 5, 2021. Provided

Works showcased by Engage 101 will be on display alongside highlights from Sotheby’s 20th Century / Middle East Art Auction, which opens for online auction October 20-26. The selection includes an abstract painting by Fahrelnissa Zeid, six works by Iranian modernist Parviz Tanavoli and a bold geometric canvas by Iraqi-British artist Athier Mousawi.

“The exhibition brings together the best of the Emirates under one roof along with our international auctions, in a unique destination curated for art and jewelry lovers,” said Katia Nounou-Boueiz, Director of Sotheby’s UAE in a statement. “This is the perfect opportunity for young collectors looking to acquire and learn about new and famous artists from the Emirates.”

The exhibition is free and open to the public at Sotheby’s Dubai, Gate Village 3, DIFC from October 4 to 7, 2021.

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