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ArtBahrain brings the art world to Manama

Do you have BD 37,000 to BD 918,000 (around US $98,000-US $2.4 million) to invest in art or sculpture?
 
Serious art buyers are happy to travel to Dubai and beyond in the Middle East, but now Bahrain has staked its claim on the mid- to high-end art market.
 
ArtBahrain, Bahrain’s first international art fair, took place 13-18 October (with a private viewing on 12 October) in a massive marquee at the new Four Seasons Hotel, Bahrain, Manama. ArtBahrain created a haven for purchasers, but was also designed as a forum for artists, collectors and gallery-owners to mix and share ideas.
 
Exhibiting artists included established names like Mattar Bin Lahej (UAE), Jamal Abdul Rahim (Bahrain) and Sacha Jafri (UK), who is started his 18-year retrospective world tour here in Bahrain. Emerging talent were also on display, showcasing new and innovative work.
 
Galleries with booths at ArtBahrain included Albemarle Gallery (UK), Gallery Ward (Egypt), GPL Gallery (Austria), A2Z Gallery (France) and Thavibu Gallery (Thailand).
 
Over 10,000 visitors were expected to attend, along with up to 200 international art collectors and 2,000 VIP clients.
 
Quite simply, ArtBahrain was a go-to cultural event. According to Ms. Kaneka Subberwal, co-founder of ArtBahrain: “It is an endeavour to bring international art to Bahrain and to take Bahrain to the world”
 
Positive proof
 
What is more, ArtBahrain is further evidence of a steadily burgeoning arts scene in Bahrain. As well as the Bahrain Annual Fine Arts Exhibition every January and the Spring of Culture, which has featured shows like ‘Art Market’, a showcase for young artists, Bahrain boasts a variety of art galleries. These provide a great opportunity to discover art in Bahrain and include:
 
Albareh Art Gallery: an established gallery that curates exhibitions in Bahrain, the GCC and beyond. Features painting, drawing, sculpture, video, installations and photography by local, regional and international Arab artists.
 
Memory of the Place – Bin Matar House: an historic building once owned by a prominent pearl merchant family. Forthcoming events include “Alef in many letters” by master calligrapher Samir Al Sayegh, 6 December-30 January 2016
 
La Fontaine Centre of Contemporary Art: combines the grandeur of a French château with the authentic Gulf Islamic architecture. Its gallery displays contemporary artwork, sculpture, photography and design by leading international artists several times a year
 
Al Riwaq Art Space: a not-for-profit institution that aims to recognise and foster emerging Arab talent in contemporary art and design. Due to run its fourth annual Market 388 event for local and regional artists later this year.