With over 100 exhibitors from 44 countries, including more than 30 first-time exhibitors, Art Dubai 2022 will be the largest fair to date. This year’s programme will include new works commissioned by internationally renowned artists; a unique digital section that will bridge the gap between cryptocurrencies and the art world; ground-breaking group exhibitions; and an ambitious programme of talks, including the 15th edition of the Global Arts Forum.

Art Dubai’s comission for 2022 is INLAND, presented by Fernando Garcia-Dori, which will present a new multi-place installation at the fair and various locations in Dubai. Sand Stream will manifest in different places and at different moments, bringing together visions of Dubai’s past, present and future and exploring the ways in which multiple cultures and communities inhabit and contribute to the city. Artworks will include archaeology, hydrology, urbanism and transport, as well as the rich oral storytelling traditions, heritage and crafts of the Middle East.

Fernando Garcia-Dory x INLAND

A new section of the exhibition on the world of digital and NFT art will examine the context in which NFT, cryptocurrency, video art and virtual reality (VR) have evolved since the advent of digital art in the 1980s, including those leading the way in the rapidly evolving digital art space.

COSMODREAMS, an interactive installation by Marina Fedorova, will explore the impact of technological progress on our lives and environment. The installation combines traditional art and digital technology in the form of large-scale paintings, sculptures, life-size objects and virtual reality videos with interactive panels. Art Dubai Digital will also feature an exhibition of new NFTs created by 12 artists from the UAE and beyond participating in this year’s expanded edition of Campus Art Dubai.

Yusto-Giner Gallery – Courtesy of Art Dubai

Art Dubai 2022 will feature an innovative programme of talks for a diverse audience. The 15th Global Arts Forum, entitled This is the Picture, will take place over four days and will explore the world of digital artefacts and the crypto-economy, inviting leading artists, curators, creators, thinkers and technologists to discuss a range of topics from NFT art and curatorial projects to cryptogames and the metaclass universe, Web 3.0 and the new Dubai Cryptozone.

Bybit Talks, an eclectically selected series of talks presented by the title and leading cryptocurrency exchange, will allow attendees to better understand the rapid growth of digital platforms by inviting guest speakers to talk about the basics of cryptocurrency, digital media and NFT art.

LawrenceLek, Nepenthe Zone, 2021. Still from open world game. Courtesy: Sadie Coles HQ

Art Dubai’s Modern section will be accompanied by a three-day exhibition, Art Dubai Modern Talks (10-12 March), which this year is held in collaboration with the Dubai Collection and explores the lives, work and impact of 20th century modernist masters from the Middle East and North Africa. The works of these important artists form the art history of the region from the turn of the 20th century to the 1980s and this series will greatly complement existing scholarly research. Art Dubai Modern curator Sam Bardauil, leading Emirati curator Munira Al Sayegh and Nima Sagarchi, director of Middle Eastern, Islamic and South Asian art at Bonhams, will be in attendance.

The fair will see the debut of a new exhibition commissioned by and in partnership with Warehouse421 and Salama Bint Hamdan Emerging Artist Fellowship (SEAF). Including painting, textiles, video and photography, the exhibition will reflect on the collective question of memory in relation to place, time, sense of rhythm and repetition.

Taus Machcheva, A Space of Celebration, 2009. Courtesy of the Artist

Julius Baer commissioned Filipino-American light and media artist James Klar (Silverlens) to create an interactive video installation called Cloud Seed for the Julius Baer room at the exhibition. The installation will immerse visitors in a large-scale simulation of raindrops and fog in real time, using special technology to create a slowly changing visual system reflecting our control over the environment.

This year, A.R.M. Holding’s children’s programme will include artist-led workshops for children aged 5-17. The programme will be led by Kenyan artist Cyrus Kabiru, who will work with participants to extract and reuse everyday materials from their homes and schools and turn them into works of art.

Art Dubai Week takes place during the final month of Dubai Expo 2020, with solo and group exhibitions taking place across the city.