Life & Style

Canvas Gallery represents Pakistan at 15th edition of Abu Dhabi Art

  • Abu Dhabi Art debuted largest edition to date as it opened to the public on Wednesday
Published November 23, 2023
Photo: Abu Dhabi Art
Photo: Abu Dhabi Art

Abu Dhabi Art debuted its largest edition to date as it opened to the public on Wednesday, featuring 92 galleries from 31 countries. Pakistan’s Canvas Gallery made its debut at the fair, featuring the works of artists Bushra Waqas Khan and Wardha Shabbir.

Founder and Curator of Karachi-based Canvas Gallery, Sameera Raja stated how its their first time exhibiting at Abu Dhabi Art – building on their success at Art Dubai over the years.

Canvas is also the only gallery from Pakistan exhibiting this year.

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“We have been exhibiting at Art Dubai for many years, and this year we wanted to also exhibit at Abu Dhabi Art as it is fast becoming a cultural centre, with excellent programming,” she told Business Recorder in an interview.

“Louvre Abu Dhabi is exhibiting the very thought-provoking ‘Cartier, Islamic Inspiration and Modern Design’ right now, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will be soon arriving and the Abrahamic Family House is also here,” she explained.

“We are a female-led gallery and are exhibiting the works of two female artists. Shabbir is a contemporary miniature artist whose works are exquisitely detailed. These set of works represent positivity, the resilience of women and the journey they undertake.”

“Khan is exhibiting embroidery-based works that examine identity and privilege.”

 (L-R): Ali Jameel, Sameera Raja, Hyaa Al Makky, Princess Eugenie of York and Maria Hasan. Photo: Canvas Gallery
(L-R): Ali Jameel, Sameera Raja, Hyaa Al Makky, Princess Eugenie of York and Maria Hasan. Photo: Canvas Gallery

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“The response so far has been fantastic,” added Raja.

“People are really fascinated that this is a gallery from Pakistan, and that the works are so conceptually strong.”

“Its always such a huge honour to represent Pakistan,” she added.

A surprise visitor also included Princess Eugenie of York, who engaged with the works at the booth and with Raja.

Speaking to the diversity of the fair, Raja said, “The cross-cultural conversations are so enlightening.”

“We have seen visitors from Mexico, Italy, Ukraine, Russia, Germany, Palestine and Jordan.”

Among the exhibiting countries, two galleries from Palestine are also present.

“Along with the visitors, its also interesting to speak to fellow gallerists about Pakistan, since they cannot travel there and therefore cannot imagine the diversity and vibrancy of our culture.”

 Photo: Canvas Gallery
Photo: Canvas Gallery

Among other Pakistani artists being represented at the fair include Naiza Khan, exhibited by Rossi & Rossi, London, while Spanish gallery, Sabrina Amrani is featuring works by Waqas Khan and Ali Gillani.

Grosvenor Gallery – also London based – is showcasing the works of Pakistani masters such as Ismail Gulgee, Sadequain, Zahoor ul Akhlaq, Chughtai, Rasheed Araeen and Imran Mir.

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With a special focus on galleries and artists from the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa, the annual fair opened at Manarat Al Saadiyat under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi.

Supported by the Department of Culture and Tourism - Abu Dhabi, it offers a diverse public engagement programme, including art installations and exhibitions, talks and events that take place in different locations throughout the year.

The culmination of this year-long programme is Abu Dhabi Art in November which provides an important sales platform for participating galleries whilst also offering galleries an opportunity to showcase ambitious installations and site-specific works by their artists to a wide audience.

Pakistan’s Canvas Gallery to showcase at 16th edition of Art Dubai

 Photo: Abu Dhabi Art
Photo: Abu Dhabi Art

Dyala Nusseibeh, Director of Abu Dhabi Art said, “Visitors will discover contemporary artists from around the world, as well as consider the context of the UAE hosting COP28 this year and the relationship of certain artists to the environment,” in a press release issued prior to the opening.

The fair is free to attend and will run until November 26 on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi.


Comments are closed.

Sohail Osman Ali Nov 23, 2023 11:09pm
Glad to see Business Recorder is supportive of Pakistani art through this article. Salute Canvas Gallery, representing Pakistan at its own expense there, and exhibiting Pakistani artists. Good to know foreign galleries have included works by Pakistani artists. I wish everyone all success
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