Inauguration of the 8th edition of BEIRUT ART FAIR: New galleries and focus exhibitions

The inauguration of the 8th edition of BEIRUT ART FAIR was held at BIEL, under the patronage of H.E Mr. Saad Hariri, President of the Council of Ministers, represented by the minister of Culture H.E. Dr. Ghattas Khoury, and in the presence of Laure d’Hauteville, founder and fair director, Pascal Odille, artistic director, Marine Bougaran, director of Exhibitors Relations and manager of projects, as well as officials, and ambassadors of participating countries.

During the opening ceremony, H.E. Dr. Ghattas Khoury said: "BEIRUT ART FAIR is a very important event on the cultural and artistic agenda as it places Beirut on the international map of exhibitions”. He added: "We are happy to see the participation of Arab and international exhibitors to this annual prestigious event.”

According to Laure d’Hauteville: "In its 8th edition, BEIRUT ART FAIR offers a unique platform in the Middle East for the promotion and defense of art in the region. This year we are happy to welcome a large number of new galleries that come to Beirut to present confirmed artists or young talent. The exhibition also features two important exhibitions: "The Prophet" by Khalil Gibran illustrated by Rachid Koraïchi and "OUROUBA, THE EYE OF LEBANON", a landmark exhibition curated by Rose Issa which will enable a better understanding of Arab art and how to protect it. We are proud to confirm that BEIRUT ART FAIR can only take place in Lebanon, country of freedom and creation."

More than 8500 VIP attended the first day to discover an unprecedented selection of artworks presented by 51 galleries coming from 23 countries.

Participating Art Galleries

The classical section of the fair presents 35 galleries, with 15 first participants: 392rmeil393 (Lebanon), Agial Art Gallery (Lebanon), Aida Cherfan Fine Art (Lebanon), Albareh Art Gallery (Bahrain), Alfred Basbous Foundation* (Lebanon), Analix Forever* (Switzerland), Aramé Art Gallery* (Armenia), Artspace Hamra (Lebanon), Artistique Gallery* (Qatar), Artlab (Lebanon), Bel Air Fine Art (France, Switzerland, Italy, Lebanon), Boghossian Foundation* (Belgium), ContiniArtUK* (United Kingdom), D21 Art Projects* (Chile), Emmagoss Art Gallery (Lebanon), Espace Jacques Ouaiss (Lebanon), Galerie Fadi Mogabgab (Lebanon), Galerie Nathalie Obadia* (France, Belgium), Galerie Rochane* (Lebanon), Galerie Tanit (Lebanon), Galerie Esther Woerdehoff* (France), Wild Projects* (France), Gowen Contemporary (Switzerland), Hafez Gallery* (Saudi Arabia), Hajer Azzouz La maison de la plage* (Tunisia), Hamazkayin Lucy Tutunjian Art Gallery (Lebanon), Kapopoulos Fine Arts* (Greece), Kozah Art Gallery (Syria), LAS Lebanese Autism Society (Lebanon), Les Ateliers sauvages (Algeria), Mark Hachem Gallery (Lebanon, France, United States), Slotine* (France), South Border (Lebanon), Wadi Finan Art Gallery & Linda Aboukhater (Jordan), YenakArt Villa* (Thailand). * First participation

A renewed program

For its 8th edition, BEIRUT ART FAIR presented the focus exhibition OUROUBA, THE EYE OF LEBANON that focuses on artistic productions and acquisitions of the 21st century and features installations, paintings, photography, video and sculptures from major private and institutional collections throughout Lebanon. Curated by London-based expert and specialist of the Arab world Rose Issa, OUROUBA reflects the aesthetic, conceptual and socio-political concerns of the Arab region over the past fifteen years. OUROUBA, THE EYE OF LEBANON celebrates life and memory, deconstruction and reconstruction, turbulence and peace, and, occasionally, humour. A reflection on the recent history of the Arab world unites the selected works.

FOOD ART by BANKMED, lends its support to a refreshing, playful and collaborative exhibition with the objective of revealing the artistic dimensions of food. Mixing poetry and humor with aesthetic and culinary research, the exhibition offers an exploration of the relationship between artistic formation and culinary creation and presents the work of artists HALA AUDI BAYDOUN, JOSEPH EL KHOURY, LINA SHAMMA and RAFFI TOKATLIAN.

REVEALING by SGBL seeks to give a chance to the best young artists of the ME.NA region by offering a platform for them to 'get discovered'. Each selected gallery will showcase an artist of especially promising talent, offering privileged access for collectors and fairgoers and promoting the creation of professional contacts among the various actors present at the fair.

REVEALING by SGBL welcomed 26 galleries including 16 first-time participants: The participating galleries are the following: 392rmeil393 (Lebanon), Archiraar Gallery (Belgium), Artlab (Lebanon), Art Sablon* (Belgium), Artspace Hamra (Lebanon), Galerie Dominique Fiat* (France), Galerie Esther Woerdehoff* (France), Galerie Comparative – Artisyou* (France) , Galerie de Francony* (France), Galerie Danielle Bourdette-Gorzkowski* (France), Galerie Vanessa Quang (France), Galerie Detais* (France), Kapopoulos Fine Arts* (Greece), Gowen Contemporary (Switzerland), Mark Hachem Gallery (Lebanon, France, United States), Hafez Gallery* (Saudi Arabia), L&B Contemporary* (Spain), Mashrabia Gallery of Contemporary Art (Egypt), Polansky Gallery* (Czech Republic), Riwaq Oman Gallery* (Oman), South Border (Lebanon), Trazos Gallery* (Uruguay), Wadi Finan Art Gallery & Linda Aboukhater (Jordan), Zawyeh Gallery* (Palestine) and Salwa Zeidan Gallery (United Arab Emirates), and an artist presented by the Uruguay Embassy in Lebanon* *First participation

LEBANON MODERN! KHALIL GIBRAN’S THE PROPHET by RACHID KORAÏCHI A space dedicated to Khalil Gibran’s renowned The Prophet, illustrated by Rachid Koraïchi. For the first time, Gibran’s illustrations, created for the first English edition of The Prophet in 1923, are presented alongside Rachid Koraïchi’s latest interpretation consisting of 49 drawings as a message of hope and peace.

THE BYBLOS BANK AWARD - Over the course of six years, the Byblos Bank Award for photography has evolved into one of the most prestigious photography awards in Lebanon. The mission of BYBLOS BANK AWARD is to encourage young Lebanese photographers by offering them privileged access to the main players in the market. For the second time, the award will be accompanied by a workshop led by internationally renowned French photographer Aurélie Pétrel, whom the fair has invited to work with two young Lebanese photographers.

Roundtable Discussions and a VIP Program - In order to promote familiarity with and understanding of the various regional art scenes, BEIRUT ART FAIR will also present a series of roundtable discussions and debates, with Michket Krifa, author, artistic director and visual arts commissioner - Africa & the Middle East and Dr. Alexandre Kazerouni, researcher at the Ecole normale supérieure, professor at Sciences Po Paris and author of “Le Miroir des Cheikhs” (The Mirror of the Sheiks)- Presses Universitaires de France, 2017 alongside a VIP program that includes visits to studios, private collections and museums.

VIP Lounge by HOME Magazine - The fair presents a VIP space conceived by HOME Magazine - The soul of Lebanon. Reviving the essence of the glorious Land or the Cedars through an outstanding display of digital art wonders, champagne bubbles and a scrumptious burst of flavors. A multi-sensory experience, a celebration of one ultimate bond: a country called Lebanon, with a single objective: to live it.