Beirut Art Fair goes beyond art and design for its 10th anniversary

Major galleries from Lebanon and abroad, museums, and foundations all filled up the walls and halls representing their artists and the artwork that they have chosen for the 10th anniversary of the BAF.
by Chiri Choukeir

20 September 2019 | 13:26

Source: by Annahar

  • by Chiri Choukeir
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 20 September 2019 | 13:26

This photo shows Minister of Culture Dr. Mohamad Daoud and President of Beirut Art Fair Mrs. Laure d'Hauteville. (Photo credit: Think Luxe)

BEIRUT: More than 50 renowned Lebanese and international galleries from 18 different countries partnered up with Beirut Design Fair to bring even more art, color, technique, refinery, beauty, and chaos to the most-awaited art event of the year in Beirut.

The Beirut Art Fair 2019 kicked off on Wednesday at Beirut Seaside Arena, in its 10th edition and under the patronage of Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

Upon entering, the confusion of where to go and where to look becomes overwhelming, as every direction leads to endless turns and halls of things to see.

Major galleries from Lebanon and abroad, museums, and foundations all filled up the walls and halls representing their artists and the artwork that they have chosen for the 10th anniversary of the BAF.

From paintings, multi-disciplinary pieces, and pictures to set-ups, furniture, lights, and all imaginable, there’s no ordinary space unoccupied at any near sight as art dominated every inch of the Seaside Arena.

Laure d’Hauteville, the founder and director of the fair, spoke earlier at a conference in Le Gray Hotel about the importance of BAF and its commitment “to lifting not only artistic walls but also interpersonal, psychological and social ones.”

With two sections of the fair, one for the Classic galleries and the other as a Project section dedicated to aspiring artists, a chance was given to over 400 applicants from the MENA region by SGBL Bank to exhibit their works at the Project section of the fair.

“We’re very pleased to present a number of promising young galleries, some of which have been operating for less than a year. We don’t focus on a specific region since the fair is truly a part of a global interconnected scene,” said Joanna Abou Sleiman-Chevalier, the art director of the fair.

Aside from fair, Beirut Art Week will also include round tables and conferences about modern and contemporary art, covering various topics and going deep into the factors that shape art with moderators and speakers who know art best.

Tours and tour busses are also organized to transport art enthusiasts around museums and art destinations from Harissa to Beit Chebab and all the way back to the Seaside Arena with multiple stops at art exhibitions and foundations.

Art enthusiast and collector Riad Khoury told Annahar: "I’ve been here since they opened their doors, and after over thirty laps I can’t pick a favorite. They have really taken the fair to a whole different level with the amount of beauty and raw art."  

A section of the fair was also dedicated to the renowned Lebanese painter, sculptor, and printmaker, Hussein Madi, under the title "Unexpected Trove-The Unseen Works of Hussein Madi." The collection was presumed lost for almost forty years and was only recently discovered, and the works of the Lebanese artist painted between 1965 and 1970 were finally shown to the public.

"I've always been a fan of Hussein Madi, and he has always been an inspiration for me to create, study, and explore art. From his landscapes to his abstracts, Beirut Art Fair really impressed me with the showing," Layal Basma, an art researcher, told Annahar.  

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