18-21 September 2014
BIEL, Hall 2
Text by Laure d’Hauteville, Founder and Fair Director
BEIRUT ART FAIR… more than a fair…a cultural challenge
Culture has become a powerful economic lever in Lebanon. Art occupies a pro-minent position and this trend is growing year after year.
BEIRUT ART FAIR has been, for the past five years, the main window into ME.NA.SA. creativity on both the national and international scenes. It stands as the primary source of information on the artists, trends, galleries, publications and institutions that contribute to the rapid advancement of art in this region. BEIRUT ART FAIR holds a key role in this a globe-spanning art ecosystem and market.
Over the course of the fair’s existence, Beirut has seen an energizing of its contemporary art scene and market, with an increased number of auctions, and an expanding number of new galleries and private dealers as well as public institutions such as Beirut Art Center, Beirut Exhibition Center or Sursock Museum, to say nothing of the upcoming opening of Beit Beirut, of Aishti Foundation or of the new wing of the National Museum.
BEIRUT ART FAIR has taken Beirut from a resort and tourism destination to a destination for art and culture bringing with it an impact of several millions dollars in revenue for the city. Beirut swelled the ranks of the ‘arty destinations’ and became THE anchorage point for discovering Middle East artists, the future stars of the rising generation.
A trigger of that transformation, BEIRUT ART FAIR has remained an integral player in its evolution. In these 5 years, more Lebanese artists have been added to major international collections such as that of Charles Saatchi. New York, London and Dubai, have witnessed a surging wave of public auction sales provoking directors of large auction houses to come as observers to explore the possibility of opening a new branch … in Beirut!
Beirut Art Fair’s success is also that of Lebanon, a country that has historically played an important role as a key cultural player in the region by supporting cultural initiatives that aim to increase art awareness and promote art education.
This was what motivated top financial sponsors to support BEIRUT ART FAIR. Their commitment is vital to the maintenance of this journey. BankMed is the fair’s main sponsor since its creation, followed by Byblos Bank and BLC Bank who is equally committed to the promotion and appreciation of Lebanese Contemporary Art by annually reaffirming their loyalty to the event. Thanks to them, BEIRUT ART FAIR, has consistently and effectively been able to able reinvent itself and explore new horizons.
As a result, in 2014, BEIRUT ART FAIR and its 47 international galleries will offer their visitors a pavilion dedicated to contemporary Indian art, a platform highlighting a young generation of designers, an art engraving workshop inviting the public to create on site their own art pieces, an award to celebrate Lebanese photography, and a « space for video projects » showcasing films made by new artists. In addition, with the collaboration of Beirut’s Municipality and Solidere, BEIRUT ART WEEK#2 presents a new route to be explored and which will allow the city as a whole to experience the rhythm of contemporary art.
Our desire is to always be with the art market and its evolution, our passion is to nurture a dialogue which begins with a discussion about art. As a result, next November, SINGAPORE ART FAIR will be launched and it will feature an honorary pavilion dedicated to Lebanon.
Discover BEIRUT ART FAIR’s 5th edition. It will surprise, disturb, and make its visitors dream in Beirut, the cultural and intellectual capital of the Arab Word, the crossroad between East and West.