At the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, the sand on the private beach is imported from Algeria, the hostesses at reception are Filipino and the butlers are usually Indian. Representing 50 galleries from 18 countries, the art dealers who participated in the second edition of Abu Dhabi Art, from November 3rd to the 7th, were also an international mixed bag.
The event was less a fair than “a formal introduction to the cultural ambitions of Abu Dhabi,” explained Marc Glimcher from New York’s Pace Gallery. “They’re so big that they transcend a cynical response.” This sentiment was echoed by Hyung-Teh Do of Seoul’s Hyundai Gallery, whose sophisticated stand included works by Ai Weiwei and Lee Ufan. “We are enjoying the unusual circumstances,” he said.