Shutdowns in March were a big blow to the art scene, but digital sales have helped them stay afloat
In galleries across the UAE, the art is awaiting visitors.
With restrictions around the country continuing to lift in recent weeks, art spaces have been raising their shutters to welcome those craving culture once again. Last week, institutions such as Louvre Abu Dhabi, Sharjah Museums and Sharjah Art Foundation reopened with safety guidelines in place.
Commercial galleries did so earlier in May, albeit incrementally, with appointment-only visits and limited capacity due to their smaller spaces. However, the doors have reopened to a seasonal lull and a bruised economic landscape.
“We have now slipped into summer, so the walk-ins are very rare. We never hold new exhibitions this time of year,” says Asmaa Al Shabibi, director of Lawrie Shabibi in Alserkal Avenue. The gallery is currently exhibiting Upsurge: Waves, Colour and Illusion, a group show that opened in March, featuring works by Mohamed Melehi, Mona Saudi, Hamra Abbas, Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim and Shaikha Al Mazrou.
Now, Al Shabibi says, it is back to business as usual. “Some clients are coming in to see the works, mostly by appointment following our own outreach. The pattern seems to be that they see something online or something we have sent them, then come in to take a look. This isn’t really that much different from how we conducted business in the past.”
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The artwork on the featured picture is by Shaikha Al Mazrou, which forms part of Lawrie Shabibi‘s current exhibition. Courtesy the artist and Lawrie Shabibi.