In the Gulf countries, the modern and contemporary art market has first existed locally for some thirty years. Then came the installation of Christie's in Dubai in 2006 and the development of the secondary market continued with Bonham's Dubai in 2008, then Sotheby's Doha in 2009. In the wake of this, the launch of international fairs in the U.A.E (Dubai, Abu-Dhabi - 2007) and the Levant (Beirut - 2010) suddenly propelled regional art onto the world stage. It is a decisive pivot.
The resulting boiling excites the regional market and contributes to the formulation of a strategic vision by the major regional and then, international players. These first invest heavily, before supply and demand recently adjust the value of the exchanges. The conditions are ripe for a real marketplace: there are artists and collectors, galleries and auction houses, museums and fairs. All the conditions are met: the primary and secondary markets have a living perimeter, naturally fluctuating but real.
Art development is extremely fast in this region, renowned for its speed of execution when the objective is formulated by a state. No other region in the world can say the same: the place has established itself globally in less than 10 years. All the artists from the Levant, the Middle East and Iran have flocked to Dubai in search of international collectors and many have made their mark.
The stakes are so high for the actors and the countries concerned - U.A.E, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Sharjah, Bahrain... - that the regional investments committed or programmed amount to tens of billions!
This reorganization of the chessboard benefits artists from the whole region, but it is clear that a powerful regional showdown has begun, supported by a vision favorable to modern and contemporary art, to position its center of gravity in a sustainable manner. In Saudi Arabia, the bearer of the largest museum project in history! In this region, local contemporary art tends to occupy a preponderant place (photo, video, digital, installations), while modern art is all the more precious and sought after as it is rare.
MENART FAIR in Paris, May 27-30, 2021
Cornette de Saint Cyr - 6 avenue Hoche - 75008 Paris Tel : +33 1 47 27 11 24
Free access exclusively by online reservation here:
Thursday, May 27 to Sunday, May 30, from 12 pm to 6 pm, with online reservation, by time slot.
Collectors & institutions preview
Thursday, May 27 to Sunday, May 30, from 10 am to 12 pm (by invitation) with mediation for groups.
On the cover: Ahmed Mater (Saudi Arabia), Lightning Land, 2017, photograph, light jet print, 169 x 222, 5 cm, Ed. 3 + 1 AP, Courtesy of Galleria Continua