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Abu Dhabi is unquestionably one of the most promising cultural hubs of the Middle East. Its growing number of museums and galleries, both publicly and privately owned, showcases the city, and indeed the entire United Arab Emirates, as an emerging destination for contemporary art enthusiasts. These exhibition spaces and contemporary art galleries are among the best in Abu Dhabi.
A newcomer to Abu Dhabi’s art scene, N2N has been bringing inspiring art collections from Europe to the UAE and Abu Dhabi since May 2013. Founded by two Ukrainian expats, Natalya Muzaleva and Natalia Petrukha, the gallery blends sculpture, graphic art and paintings in a surprising fusion between realism and modernism. For the very first time in Abu Dhabi, more than 170 works by 13 different artists are on display. Among the artists the gallery represents are established Ukrainian artists like Petro Bevza, Igor Shipilin, Ramazan Useinov, Katerina Kosianenko, as well as the French artist Christian Jequel and the famous Spanish pastel master Cesar Estrany. The N2N Gallery has also recently introduced the young Ivorian artist, Turay Mederic, to UAE art enthusiasts. Additionally, the gallery organizes art master classes, inviting famous artists to teach UAE residents and is committed to support the development of the local art scene in Abu Dhabi.
N2N Gallery, ground floor, Al Ain Tower, Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, +971 2 665 9858
One of most dynamic art galleries in Abu Dhabi, Etihad Modern Art is not to be missed while exploring the city’s top art venues. Aspiring to promote local art and encourage the growth of the UAE’s art scene, the gallery showcases the works of acclaimed, but also emerging international and regional artists such as Ufuc Kobas, Svilen Petrov, Sattar Kawoosh or Khalid Al Najjad. The gallery is definitely the perfect place for the aspiring artists among us, as workshops and art classes are organised all year long, and cater to all age groups.
Salwa Zeidan is one of the top contemporary art galleries of Abu Dhabi and a great start to an artsy tour of the city. Situated in the breath-taking Saint Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, the gallery is one the most active of UAE’s capital, featuring the creations of well-known international and Middle Eastern artists working across a range of media, from paintings, installations and performances to sculptures and even performance art. The gallery’s top artists include Zhuang Hong Yi, Adonis, Fatema Al Mazrouie, Ahmad Moualla, Jamal Abdul Rahim, Connie Noyes and many others.
Ghaf Gallery is one of the first and most notable art galleries to have emerged from Abu Dhabi, and a treat for visitors who have at their disposal a vast space to admire some of the finest exhibitions in the UAE. Founded and owned by two artists – Mohamed Kanoo and Jalal Luqman – Ghah Gallery has remained, since its 2006 opening, a reference point for Abu Dhabi’s growing contemporary art scene. Focusing on both local and international artists, the gallery assumes a leading role in helping Abu Dhabi reach its full cultural potential.
Enjoying a splendid location, Gallery One is a landmark cultural venue in Abu Dhabi. The gallery has previously hosted the works of acclaimed artists such as Wissam Shawkatt, Helen Abbas, Tariq Dajani, James Dominé, Khalid Shaheen and Paul Sheldon – but also exhibitions focusing particularly on art from the region, such as The Arts of Islam: Treasures of the Nasser D. Khalili Collection. Although the concept of the gallery and its vision of ‘democratising art’ are evolving into a more global brand, its origins are firmly rooted in the UAE as the first Gallery One opened in Dubai in 2006.
Julia Ibbini is one of the UAE’s most talented and appreciated contemporary artists. Defining her work as a search for her own identity and meaning in life, Julia Ibbini combines digital work, assemblages and collages in vivid creations with a strong female touch. This personal approach is echoed in her choice of materials, transposed in a ‘riot of colour and chaos, light and dark’, patterns and textures. The artist regularly participates in numerous group exhibitions in galleries in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi Art Hub is the first artist-run community in the UAE and a true oasis of artistic development in the Middle East. Defining itself as a ‘platform for interaction and cross-cultural artistic exchanges between national, regional and international artists’, the Art Hub is a space destined to ‘live, create, exhibit’. This is done through the centre’s artist residency programmes, offered to both foreign and emerging local artists, and numerous creative workshops. Its diverse exhibitions are a treat for all contemporary art enthusiasts and range from country-specific collections such as Canadian, Filipino or French Art Months, to art fairs and solo exhibits.
Abu Dhabi Art Hub, Mussafah MW5, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, +971 2551 5005