Australian Art Dealers Make the Most of Art Dubai 2013

Australian Art Dealers Make the Most of Art Dubai 2013
Matthias Arndt's Wim Delvoye exhibition at Art Dubai
(Matthias Arndt)

Art Dubai has come to a close for another year and the Australian dealers participating in the fair had plenty of good things to say. According to Paul Greenaway of Adelaide's Greenaway Gallery, Art Dubai was relaxed and well run. “The opening night preview was not a mad scramble and most of the art consultants had done their homework, Greenaway says. “The level of discussion about art was good,with more emphasis on looking at art and talking about it than fashion and being seen”

A first time participant in Art Dubai, Greenaway exhibited the work of Argentinian-born Australian/German-based artist Ariel Hassan, famed one-time YBA (Young British Artist) Mat Collishaw, as well as Iranian-born Australian artist Hossein Valamanesh who Greenaway describes as “the proverbial prodigal son returning to the region.”

Ariel Hassan's paintings were reportedly well received with one of the artist’s larger works selling for $50,000 and a smaller work put on reserve. Mat Collishaw also proved popular with six works from his “last supper” series selling on the preview night.

Matthias Arndt also had a great experience in Dubai which he says had an excellent balance between local audiences and international visitors. He encountered collectors and curators from Singapore, China, Australia, US, Germany, and all parts of Europe. “The artistic and curatorial level both with international and Middle Eastern art was also exceptional,” says Arndt, “especially for the size of the fair, being almost boutique style.”

Exhibiting at Art Dubai for the only the second time, Arndt feels that he need to build further confidence within the Middle East. “Here you first build confidence and relations and then do business, opposite to other parts of the world where you build a relation and trust through increasing business operations,” explains Arndt.

From his Wim Delvoye solo exhibition Arndt sold a number of works ranging in price from US$60,000 to US$290,000 and received strong interest from both the local and international buyers.