• Art on 56th has the pride and honour to announce the celebration of its 10th anniversary. For the last decade, the gallery has shown tremendous dedication to its program, artists and community of collectors, surmounting many obstacles along the way and surviving the terrible blast of August 4th, 2020.

    To commemorate its continuing hope and special milestone, the gallery is pleased to showcase Re-Imagining Beirut, a solo exhibition of works by Wissam Beydoun. On view will be paintings that depict maps of the Lebanese capital, a city enmeshed in the fabrics of the artist’s creative consciousness. By employing the ancient tradition of cartography, Wissam Beydoun tells stories about Beirut, with each tale woven into the intricate layers of the map.

    Re-Imagining Beirut constructs a narrative via the art of mapping. With the perfect juxtaposition of abstract and organic forms, the artist produces a subjective layout of the city. As such, cartography becomes personal, intimate, instead of being purely accurate. Wissam Beydoun chooses to condense the physical features of Beirut, to illustrate the density of the land, as well as the diversity of its characteristics. Instead of leading the viewer somewhere, the map is transformed into a labyrinth, allowing the imagination to get lost in the chaos. The paintings act as active vessels, challenging the conventional purpose of cartography, and freeing the mind to wander through the kaleidoscopic grounds without pinpointing a destination.

    The exhibition also pays tribute to the ever-changing landscape of Beirut. It highlights the transient nature of the city, which has rebuilt itself countless times. Beirut is in constant need of remapping and reinventing itself, especially after the blast on August 4th 2020, and Wissam Beydoun hints at this impossible task. Like the great phoenix, the city rose from its ashes and recreated itself, born again as a new, colourful Beirut. As different versions of the same city, each painting combines geometric precision with abstraction, producing a map of a human experience rather than a static place, and bridging the collective with the personal to reveal a field of infinite discovery.