Ook dit jaar was ik weer te gast op de Beirut Art Fair. Een kunstbeurs die intussen voor de achtste keer werd gehouden en telkens groeit in omvang en kwaliteit. Ook dit jaar weer. Meer galleries, een uitgbreid en zeer interessant VIP programma.
Hierbij delen uit de press release van 26 september:
Strong succes for Beirut Art Fair 2017, devoted to the themes of engagement and discovery.
The 8th edition of Beirut Art Fair, drew to a close after four days of intense activity notably devoted to engagement and discovery of the modern and contemporary art of the Arab world.
The success of the fair was marked in terms of attendance- with 28,250 visitors in 2017 (compared to just over 23,000 in 2016) and the interest it drew from Lebanese and Middle eastern collectors and art worldwide personalities hailing from Beirut, Europe and the Middle East. Participating galleries registered an average increase in sales of 19% compared to last year, with 88% of galleries achieving sales, including a certain number who passed a turnover of more than $500,000.
Supported by an exceptional VIP program, Beirut Art Fair, continued to use greater selectivity in its choices, a decision which continued to pay dividends, with a marked increase in quality that supported the fair’s threefold mission:to foster a spirit of expansion and renewal, to promote the discovery of young talents, and to unfold a new perspective on the recent history of creation and collecting in Libanon.
With 51 galleries from 23 countries representing 230 artists, the “Classic Section” of the fair brought together 35 exhibitors, while the “Revealing by SGBL” section, dedicated to the discovery of young talents, featured a group of 26 galleries, 16 of which were participating for the first time.
This year the fair was enriched by two impressive focus exhibitions: Ourouba, The eye of Lebanon from curator Rose Issa, dedicated to the notion of Arab identity represented in Lebanese collectionsfrom the past ten years, and Lebanon Modern, and exhibition devoted to Algerian artist Rachid Koraïchi’s recent illustrationsfor Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet, an exhibit which showcased the fundamental humanist values that drives these two artists.
Photography also enjoyed pride of place at the 8th edition of Beirut Art Fair. This year’s Byblos Bank Award program invited French photographer Aurelie Pétrel to conduct a workshop with two young Lebanese photographers: Yara Bsaibes and Joe Ghanem, the latter of whom was the winner of this 6th edition of the price.
Esther Woerdehoff. Galerie Esther Woerdehoff Paris;
“Beirut Art Fair is a political fair breaking the taboos of the Arab world. This fair has a future.”
Pierre El Khoury, Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris:
“Beirut Art Fair, has the will to galvanize this city, to put it on the cultural map.”
Veel galeriehouders waren het erover eens dat de Beirut Art Fair, zich verder heeft geprofileerd als een toonaangevende beurs met een geheel eigen karakter in het Midden Oosten. De sfeer was elke dag zeer inspirerend, veel kunstenaars die zelf een toelichting gaven op hun werk, uitstekende ontvangst en organisatie. Een beurs met potentie!
quotes and texts taken from Media Relations Fouchard Filipi Communications, Paris France