Female Artists at the 10th Annual Art Dubai

Our favorite works by women at this year's fair

The leading global art fair in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, Art Dubai passed a milestone this past weekend, completing its 10th annual show at the Madinat Jumeirah. More than an anniversary edition, the 500 artist strong ever-expanding showcase of modern and contemporary works featured an artistic roster that was 45% female. The following five works are just a handful of the women-produced pieces that struck our attention, but all of them carried something distinct that warranted deeper consideration. As the fair closed out with a record number of visitors, one can expect that next year’s event will continue to expand the presence of women artists.

Anita Dube’s “Veinous” (2016)

Representing an artery, and all that lays within, Anita Dube‘s sculpture “Veinous” cites enameled votive eyes as a noticeable source material. The eyes have been affixed to the inside of a PVC pipe, which in turn has been covered in velvet. When looking within, it does give the eerie impression of an artery—but one that guests want to touch. The New Delhi-based mixed media artist delivers a cerebral piece that manages to allure from an aesthetic standpoint while asking viewers to think a little deeper about her inspiration.

Etel Adnan’s “Untitled” (2016)

At age 91, Lebanese artist Etel Adnan‘s body of work spans decades and genres. More than a painter, Adnan is a noted poet, philosopher, playwright and cultural editor. Her work “Untitled” may appear more subtle than most of the pieces at Art Dubai, but the oil on canvas work delivers a vibrancy through her color selections and use of geometric form.

Nandita Kumar’s “216.22 hz” (2014)

Based between New Zealand and Goa, Western India, new media artist Nandita Kumar‘s “216.22 hz” balances still items with video and sound. From the acrylic and copper structure to the moving images supporting them, the work engages with luster. An artist of many talents, Kumar’s accolades range from film scoring to community art project awards—and this work touches upon more than a little bit of what makes her engaging.

Bani Abidi’s “Flailing Barriers” (2016)

A series of six Inkjet prints on photo-rag mounted atop Alu-Dibond, Bani Abidi‘s “Flailing Barriers.” The artist lives and works between Berlin and Karachi, Pakistan. Her works range from photographic pieces to performance and even video and frequently confront political, social and economic issues. With this series, she touches upon the idea of being stopped—and while the concept comes across as direct, there’s a likability to the work drawn from the use of color and shape.

Antonella Zazzera’s “Ri-Trattica ID 25-15/b” (2015)

Another copper wonder, Italian sculptor Antonella Zazzera‘s “Ri-Trattica ID 25-15/b” offers up an explosive spatial configuration. Seen at the Jeanne Bucher Jaeger Gallery booth, the large-scale work (in a series of two) plays with both light and form to a charming degree. Copper thread has been Zazzera’s medium of choice for some time now, and her body of work varies in scope from smaller pieces to large, outdoor installations.

Images by David Graver