DUBAI: Beirut Art Fair will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a packed program when it opens today in the Lebanese capital.
The annual event, which runs from Sept. 18-22, will have 50 galleries of modern and contemporary art showcasing the works of 380 artists.
Leading figures from the international art world are expected to attend the fair which aims to enrich the regional art industry and foster artistic links between diverse cultures.
Staged in partnership with Lebanese cultural institutions, the gathering will boast a VIP program of activities for attendees, and in collaboration with museums, foundations and private collectors, guided tours and evening events will be offered to guests.
Discussion programs will take place every afternoon during the fair, with debates designed to enrich visitors’ understanding of art from a historical, theoretical and critical perspective, and to examine its impact and brainstorm its possible futures.
Celebrated British war photographer Don McCullin will talk about his work in Beirut in the 1980s, and a video art program titled “The Sensitive Sea” will present a visual dialogue of the Lebanese and Western scenes around a common theme of the sea, a bridge linking two cultures across the Mediterranean.
During the program, Beirut Museum of Art will offer children visiting the fair several artist-led workshops where youngsters can discover their creative side and learn new artistic techniques.
Exhibitions will include “Lebanon Modern,” a never-before-seen display from the Italian period of celebrated Lebanese painter Hussein Madi. Curated by artist Abed Al-Kadiri, the expo will showcase 47 of Madi’s artworks produced between 1965 and 1970 during his early years in Rome.
The Beirut Art Fair is a strategic platform for Middle Eastern artists, as it not only introduces them to traders and consumers but also highlights their contribution to the dynamic of artistic globalization.
This is particularly highlighted in the gallery, “A Tribute to Lebanon,” which explores Western creations inspired by Lebanon. It will include rare works by 20th-century major artists such as American pop art figure Andy Warhol, English painter David Hockney, and McCullin.
The fair will be held at the Beirut New Waterfront Downtown.