The Marrakech Art Fair has just closed, but all reports indicate that the event's founder,Vanessa Devereux, is extremely pleased with the positive reception for this year's event. As we reported back in August, the art fair has been given great support, with 45 international galleries exhibiting their major artists and 20 additional galleries joining the 2010 exhibitors.
Italian gallery, Continua, did well in Marrakech, selling a trio of small iron sculptures by Antony Gormley for £30,000 each as well as a glass figure of a naked man by Cameroon artist, Pascale Tayou, priced at 3,500 Euros.
As the UK's Daily Telegraph reported, the issue of censorship was never a problem. Gormley's naked man might have raised a few eyebrows in other Muslim countries, but in relatively liberal Morocco, it did not appear to be a problem. In any case, most artists had found a way round the censorship issue. A textile relief that read 'Save Mohamed’ (18,000 Euros), was by an artist called Mohamed el Baz, so it could have been autobiographical, said his dealer from Casablanca. Photographing women in Saudi Arabia is still forbidden, but Saudi artist, Jowhara al Saud, has done so, printing from negatives in which facial details have been eliminated.
The next Biennale, for which a number of site specific works have been commissioned, will be held in the beautiful ruins of the 16th century el Badi Palace, in January 2012.