Islamic Museum, Doha, Qatar
Interior, Islamic Museum
Necklace, Islamic Museum
Bronze mask, Islamic Museum
I returned last week from a fascinating trip to Qatar and the UAE. The Islamic Museum in Doha, which opened in November, is spectacular. The collection was acquired primarily at auction over approximately the past twenty years. The beauty, rarity and quality of the objects on view is mesmerizing. The building is designed by I.M. Pei and is among the highlights of his career. Islamic Museum
Art Dubai and the Sharjah Biennele made it a dense and productive trip. I am a big fan of emerging market art fairs, especially in their early stages. There is a dramatic sense of discovery and an authentic effort from the organizers, gallerists, artists and guests that is free from the cynicism and attitude that may permeate more established venues. The accessibility to everyone and everything is refreshing and full of opportunity.
Business at the Fair was uneven as it has been worldwide for the past eight months. Buyers were cautious and limited. However booths by L&M from New York and Lisson from London were first rate and would have been admired in Basel. Paris-based Emmanuel Perrotin had an impressive installation by Farhad Moshiri who has been an auction favorite and sold well. The Third Line of Dubai sold out work by Hayv Kahraman. San Francisco gallery, Frey Norris did very well with their artist, Kate Eric. Galleries were present from Syria, China, India and various European cities.
The Sharjah Biennial is in its ninth edition and was the most intriguing to-date. It was especially interesting to see so many artists that are unknown in the West. Curators from MOMA, the Tate and multiple institutions from around the world were viewing the exhibition. Many were in the area as participants in the Global Art Forum, an impressive educational program and think tank that runs parallel to Art Dubai. Sharjah Biennial