Abu Dhabi Art
may be one of the the world’s smallest art fairs—at just 39 galleries this year—but it also takes place on the only plot of land in the world that will have designs by four Pritzker Prize-winning architects. All eyes look to Saadiyat Island and its cultural master plan, which will see ’s
Louvre Abu Dhabi materialize first, presumably by late 2016. The French architect gave a talk at the fair and discussed the museum’s dome, which, he said, will envelop the building “like a parasol” and “create a sky full of stars” at night.
Crowds packed at the entrance during Abu Dhabi Art’s vernissage, waiting for officials to complete a thorough sweep, which saw heavy security as Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan (National Security Advisor and Vice Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Council) opened the fair. He was joined by Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth, and Community Development, as well as other dignitaries. The fair’s seventh edition, which drew in 20,000 visitors, took place once more at the 15,400-square-meter Manarat Al Saadiyat, smack next to the disused and rusty UAE Pavilion, a comparatively relic-like building designed by Foster + Partners. The fair is split into two halls, A and B, and both presented airy, well-lit booths.