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ABU DHABI ART: Strong sales at inaugural edition

ABU DHABI, UAE, 25 November, 2009 — Abu Dhabi Art, organised by Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC) and Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), concluded its inaugural edition on 22 November, bringing to a close four remarkably successful days of exhibitions, programmes, events and art sales. In its first year, this new annual platform for modern and contemporary art, held in the UAE’s capital under the patronage of HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, was recognised by participants and visitors as having exceeded all expectations.

“With the co-operation and support of our world-class partners from the Middle East, Europe, America and Asia, we have now established Abu Dhabi Art as a major new event on the international calendar,” stated HE Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of TDIC and ADACH. “We look forward to welcoming the art world again next year, when we hope once again to meet, and surpass, the high standard we have set for ourselves.”

An exclusive selection of 50 galleries from 19 countries took part in Abu Dhabi Art, displaying a wealth of museum-quality work which more than 15,000 visitors experienced at the landmark Emirates Palace. Surrounding these displays were a host of special exhibitions and an almost round-the-clock schedule of panel discussions, lectures, design workshops, performances, book signings and parties.

Sales were strong throughout Abu Dhabi Art with a high number of important purchases made by various UAE public organisations and museums as well local and international private institutions and collectors. Theses purchases include a painting by Willem de Kooning (Untitled XIII, 1982) which was sold by Gagosian Gallery (New York, Beverly Hills, London, Rome, Athens, Hong Kong). PaceWildenstein (New York) sold a work by Alexander Calder, La Douche (1975). Hauser & Wirth (Zurich, London, New York) sold a Gerhard Richter painting, Abstraktes Bild, and a work by Roni Horn, Blue by Blue (D), (2007).  Tony Shafrazi Gallery (New York) sold a work by Keith Haring (Untitled, 1982).  Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Prayer (1984) was sold by Galerie Enrico Navarra (Paris).  Art Sawa (Dubai) sold Children of the world by Rachid Khimoune.  Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac (Paris, Salzburg) sold an untitled work by Tony Cragg, Toledo by Philip Taaffe and I Used to be in Love with Him (2009) by Ramin Haerizadeh. A work by Sean Scully, Passenger Sky (1997), was sold by Kerlin Gallery (Dublin).  B21 Gallery (Dubai) sold two sets of Rokni Haerizadeh’s Fictionville (2009) series to collector François Pinault, who also acquired work by David Mach from Galerie Jérôme de Noirmont (Paris).  Galerie Gmurzynska (Zurich) sold two works by Zaha Hadid.  Gilles Barbier’s The Corn Flakes Theory of Health (2009) was sold by Galerie Georges-Philippe et Nathalie Vallois (Paris).  At the Palm by Douglas White and works by Shezad Dawood were sold by Paradise Row (London, Istanbul).  Rubber Pipe by Sudarshan Shetty and works by Avinash Veeraraghavan were sold by GALLERYSKE (Bangalore). Nature Morte (New Delhi) sold work by Thukral & Tagra.  Daniel Buren’s Untitled was sold by Kamel Mennour (Paris).