26 Okt BEIRUT ART FAIR, 2016

From September 11th to 19th

Beirut was not really on my travel schedule for art fairs, but life is surprising and in September I was finally in Beirut, Libanon. Knowing Laure d´Hauteville, the Founder and Director of the fair, it was the perfect link to enter the Arab Art World.

Not expacting too much – especially, what can really still surprise us in art? – I went to the opening of the fair. Throughout the gallery scene you find Germans, French, Italian and of course galleries from the middle east. There were 45 galleries showing from 20 countries. It is in comparison a small fair, but therefore it is well selected. Especially through the shipping process for galleries from abroad, a lot of small and middle format work got shown.

The fair focuses on art, which still can be bought by so to say middle class. You will not find names like Damian Hearst, Gerhard Richter, and others there. You can see the Beirut Art Fair in the range of VOLTA (New York and Basel).

The fair shows also a focus on women artists – a topic which seems to be hot all over the world. And within a special program of Byblos Bank Award this years prize got awarded to the young photographer Elsn Lahoud for his series „Ehtiyat“ („Military Reserve“), with an enormous personal approach.

Yes so I left happy; it is art that counts – of course we know art is a market place, but the visitors got touched by authentic art.

What can I wish more?

Next to a really good organization, I was surprised by the country, the friendly people, the evolving architecture – here every name dropping appears from Richard Meyer to Jean Nouvel. So better going back to the art fair, as there you can really find something new, mind opening and easy. Nothing you would necessarily find on an international market place.