An international art fair through the eyes of artist Idris Khan

Published 23rd November 2016
An international art fair through the eyes of artist Idris Khan
It's not often that you'll find a world-renowned artist roaming the halls of an international art fair. But for Idris Khan, the experience can be enriching.
"Art fairs are necessarily not for artists," says Khan, whose work combines painting, photography and sculpture.
"What it does is it opens art to the masses a lot more. Not everyone goes to museums, not everyone can go and buy in galleries, so I think it opens up people's minds in a much more global way."
Khan recently attended the eighth edition of Abu Dhabi Art, where he had eight artworks displayed by Sean Kelly Gallery. Ahead of the opening, he invited CNN Style to accompanying him as he took a private tour of the empty Manarat Al Saadiyat exhibition space.
Closeup of "Overture" (2015) by Idris Khan
Closeup of "Overture" (2015) by Idris Khan Credit: © Idris Khan/Photography: Jason Wyche, New York/Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York
To him, a solo visit is the ideal -- if rarefied -- way to take in an art fair, and to view art in general. Freed from the distractions of questions and conversation, the viewer "can actually engage with the work one-on-one."
"You should be alone, you should take it in and ask your own questions about what you are looking at," he explains, "I always say: When looking at (art) -- whether you are on your own or in groups -- just say what you see and that will give you the answers."
Watch the video above for a private tour of Abu Dhabi Art with Idris Khan.