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Global Art Market in the Aftermath of COVID-19: A Case Study on the United Arab Emirates

Eve Grinstead ()
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Eve Grinstead: IHMC - Institut d'histoire moderne et contemporaine - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS-PSL - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

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Abstract: How has COVID-19 affected the global art market? This virus interrupted 2020 in unforeseen ways globally, including the cancellation of the most important art events of the year. Through a close chronological study of the Emirati art scene's response, both in commercial and noncommercial venues, this essay explains how, and why, the UAE's art scene was able to react quickly and perhaps more effectively than that of other nations, and what that means for its future. Based on fieldwork and press articles, this article posits that the Emirati art scene evolved from being virtually non-existent to a thriving contemporary art hub in a matter of decades because it has always had to adapt to challenges such as nonexistent art infrastructure or the 2008 financial crisis. By studying the UAE, we find examples of exhibitions that quickly moved from being in situ to online, a rare instance of galleries and art auction house collaborating, government and institutional structures stepping up to support artists and galleries, and the renaissance of Art Dubai taking place in person in 2021 after being abruptly cancelled in 2020. This knowledge provides insight into how the global art market is changing to face the consequences of COVID-19

Keywords: United Arab Emirates (UAE); Art Dubai; Alserkal Avenue; Sotheby’s Dubai; virtual exhibitions; Abu Dhabi Art; post-COVID-19 art market (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ara and nep-cul
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Published in Arts, 2021, 10 (3), pp.59. ⟨10.3390/arts10030059⟩

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DOI: 10.3390/arts10030059

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