Galleries Redefining Resistance through Art at Art Dubai 2024

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While the global epicentres of art remain predominantly Western, Art Dubai revolutionises curation. Featuring a kaleidoscope of international galleries, Art Dubai brings power to marginalised voices in the art world, elevating the status of the Global South to a worldwide audience. Here are the three international galleries featuring artists using their art as acts of resistance that we’re most excited to see.

By Desirée Barreto

BARÓ Galeria,2024 | Palma de Mallorca / Assume Vivid Astro Focus (AVAF)
Brazil, 2001

Afriart Gallery – Modern

Kampala – Ughanda

Afriart Gallery (AAG) commits itself to creating a supportive community and level playing field for artists through mentorship, aiding visibility and archiving. Founded in 2002 by Daudi Karungi, the gallery departs powerful commentary on artistic ideas. Karungi, who understands the struggles of young artists in the African continent, spoke to the National, “There is talent and exposure and empowerment, and there’s a lot of hidden, buried feelings, whether they are racial, or of poverty, or colonial, that are being had today among the people. To me, it’s like the awakening of a sleeping giant – but the giant. Because there’s no other community in the world that has been suppressed as much as Africa.

Ugandan modernist painter Samuel Kakaire will be featured in a solo exhibition at Art Dubai.

Galería Extra – Bawwaba

Guetamala City, Guetamala

Manuel Chavajay, De la serie Saq tak Achik ‘Sin titulo’, 2021, Painting, 140 cm x 200 cm Courtesy: Galeria Extra

Galería Extra is a representative platform for Latin American artists engaged in extensive, research-driven creative processes. Their collection showcases conceptual practices and artworks deeply rooted in the artists’ places of origin, emphasising their profound connection to their environment. At Art Dubai, Mayan-Tz’utujil* artist Manuel Chavajay, whose work is moulded by the violence of Guatemala’s armed conflict and who uses his contemporary art as a poetic form of healing, will be showcased. 

*The Tzʼutujil are one of the 22 Maya ethnic groups in Guatemala.

Gallery One – Contemporary

Ramallah, Palestine

Established in 2013 by independent curator Samar Martha, Gallery One, situated in Ramallah, serves as a contemporary art hub with a mission to spotlight Palestinian art. The gallery has been unwavering in its commitment to supporting Palestinian artistic talent, contributing to establishing a modern art base. By showcasing artists pioneering innovative directions in contemporary art, Gallery One has not only influenced new trends in exposition and collection but has also gained international recognition through participation in prestigious art fairs across the globe.

Artists Samira Badran, whose work features concepts of collective memory, confinement and immobility,  and Manal Mahamid, who explores the fleeting existence of everything, will be featured at Art Dubai. 

Meem Gallery – Modern

Dubai, UAE

Dia al-Azzawi, Untitled, 1973, gouache on paper, 32 x 31 cm

Established in 2007 by Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, Mishal Hamed Kanoo, and Charles Pocock, Meem Gallery is a prominent international force dedicated to curating and advancing modern and contemporary Arab, North African, and Iranian art. Engaging in both primary and secondary market sales, the gallery hosts an ambitious series of solo and group exhibitions, spotlighting regional Modern Masters like Dia Azzawi, Kamal Boullata, and Parviz Tanavoli, as well as showcasing the work of innovative contemporary artists such as Zhivago Duncan and Mahmoud Obaidi.

Meem Gallery also manages Meem Editions, an esteemed in-house publishing initiative, and houses the Al Noor Library for Middle Eastern Art, recognised as one of the most extensive resource centres for the arts of the region, boasting a collection of over 20,000 books, journals, and auction catalogues covering modern, contemporary, classical, and ancient Middle Eastern art. At Art Dubai, Meem Gallery will feature influential Iraqi artists pioneering the modern Iraqi art scene: Dia al-Azzawi, Ismail Fattah, Kadhim Hayder, MARWAN, Jewad Selim and Mahmoud Sabri.

Discover these galleries and much more at ART DUBAI, March 1st-3rd in Madinat Jumeirah

Buy tickets here

Cover picture/Art Dubai collaborated with Diego R. Wikander on the animations for the 2024 campaign.