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Beirut Art Fair 2012 confirms cultural and artistic potential of the ME.NA.SA region
A.R.Penck, Stasi, 1990, Oil on canvas, 130 x 160 cm, Courtesy Cordeiros Galeria-Portugal.

BEIRUT.- Nearly 11,000 visitors, 4500 of which on the opening night, have visited BEIRUT ART FAIR 2012 for modern and contemporary art to discover its 3rd edition. The many sales that have taken place until the closing of the fair, this Sunday evening, are but a proof of the success of the fair which was fast to assert itself on the cultural scene in the Middle East.

« BEIRUT ART FAIR showed again this year that art and culture are of great importance to create a dialog of peace, openness and exchange, » said Laure d'Hauteville, manager and founder of BEIRUT ART FAIR.

Pascal Odille, the fair's Artistic Director since its foundation says, « BEIRUT ART FAIR 2012 has confirmed its anticipated potential. We have already sketched the outlines of the next editions, expanding to the countries of the Mediterranean Basin and beyond. » Scheduled from the 19th to the 22nd of September 2013, the fourth edition promises new surprises to collectors and art lovers.

Visitors of BEIRUT ART FAIR have perceived the positive and growing impact of the event which has asserted its unique hybrid character.

Highlighting its wide vision of modern and contemporary art and its current issues, BEIRUT ART FAIR was enriched this year with a varied cultural program including great discoveries from the ME.NA.SA region, in the fields of street art, audio-visual performance, comics, video art, sculpture, and installation art.

To these « events within the event » was added a series of conferences reasserting the role of Beirut as the cultural capital of the Arab world, Iran and Turkey.

Aurélien le Chevallier, head of the French Institute in Beirut notes, « this fair exceeds its original purpose; it contributes to the promotion of the region and the dialog between different cultures. BEIRUT ART FAIR has succeeded to meet its challenge thanks to the quality of its exhibitions, speakers and artists. We are delighted to support such a major event. »

43 galleries from 14 countries:
A platform for art scenes bubbling with creativity

A total of 43 galleries from all over the ME.NA.SA region have participated in the BEIRUT ART FAIR, showcased inside B.I.E.L's indoor venue and integrated the cultural itinerary. Countries represented in the fair were: Lebanon, Syria, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Tunisia, France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Portugal and Brazil.

On a larger scale, artists from the diversified ME.NA.SA Region have found in BEIRUT ART FAIR an important platform to express themselves beyond the usual ideological barriers, which helped enhance their visibility.

Significant sales’ results
BEIRUT ART FAIR in its new edition has enlightened collectors' appetite to all art forms: paintings, sculptures, designs, installation art, video and photography.

During the fair many sales took place, among which:

The German gallery Prinzessin Michaela Nikolajewna Wolkonsky sold three videos. Tajalliyat Art Gallery based in Syria sold pieces for Yousef Yousef and Marwan as well; some of their mixed media techniques were showcased by Catherine David during the exhibition entitled "Correspondences".

Ayyam Gallery based in Lebanon, UAE, and Syria sold two big compositions for Inaya Hodeib. The Lebanese Gallery Agial attracted quite a number of visitors with their exhibition focusing mainly on paintings, and sold, among others, a piece for artist Ayman Baalbaki. For its first participation, Sabrina Amrani Gallery based in Spain, sold two art installations for the Algerian artist Zoulikha Bouabdellah. Lebanese gallery Art On 56th took the opportunity to inaugurate its new venue, which was a huge success. VDA Galleries negotiated the sale of photographs for Jean-François Rauzier as well as Marc Harrold and Willy Rojas, among others. Based in Brussels and Hong-Kong, ChinaToday gallery got a huge success with paintings for young artist Lin Hairong. One cannot but point out the comeback of Iraqi Gallery Waddah Faris which was the focus of attention of collectors with its monumental sculpture for Hussein Madi, and sold photographs for Rifat Chadirji, from The Palm Massacre series. EMMAGOSS was widely successful; Manuella Guiragossian sold many of her pieces, Emmanuel Guiragossian sold two pieces he had worked on in Dresden and in Beirut, and Jean-Paul Guiragossian sold three pieces on paper that he had worked on in Beijing. As for Epreuve d’Artiste gallery, one sculpture for Maya Eid was sold as well as multiple pieces for Zeina Abirached; moreover, collectors and institutions were very interested in Chaouki Chamoun's works. Sophie Lanoë gallery from Paris was very happy with her first participation in the fair and sold works for Reda Abdel Rahman as well as a seat by Fady Salame. Trait Noir-Aroya gallery sold a piece for Mohamed El Baz. Janine Rubeiz gallery's gamble on young photographers paid off by selling a piece for François Sargologo.

Young Syrian sculptors found buyers on the stand of Samer Kozah gallery which sold as well the painting entitled Oriental Man for Amjad Wardet. For its first participation in BEIRUT ART FAIR, Art Chowk gallery based in Pakistan and Dubai sold three pieces for Simeen Farhat. Young Joanna Seikaly Art Gallery managed to sell a piece for Sermaan Khawann to a Danish collector; Rafik Majzoub's paintings were a huge success as well. South Border Gallery based in Brazil negotiated the sale of a piece for Wifredo Lam as well as paintings for young Cuban artists such as Rodolfo Valdes, Antonio Montes De Oca and Jorje Ortero. Tunisian gallery Le Violon Bleu concluded the sale of many pieces for Syrian artist Sabham Adam, as well as a piece for Farid Belkahia.

Design galleries expressed their delight as to the new development of the fair, especially: Smogallery, Musk & Amber lifestyle concept store, Carwan Art Gallery, 20-21 Gallery, Ghassan Zard Abou Jaoude Gallery, Ramy Boutros Design, as well as SPARE ARTS GALLERY.

Contemporary jewelry designers Marie Munier and Christina Debs Fine Art Jewelry were very successful.

The L.A.S. Lebanese Autism Society supported by Mark Hachem gallery received a warm welcome by selling five paintings drawn by young autistic artist Tlais Ali, and the proceeds of the sale were donated to a specialized organization.

Showcased artists…
Not only has BEIRUT ART FAIR been a platform for exchange, discovery and enriching cultural interactions, it has offered as well an exclusive opportunity to meet artists. Wandering through the Fair one could meet many an artist from the caliber of: Marwan Kassab Bachi, Abdullah Murad, Zeina Abirached, Jorg Abou Maya, Amjad Wardet, Anwar Azzi, Asif Ahmed, Ayman et Mohamad Said Baalbaki, Boutros AlMaari, Chaouki Chamoun, Charles Khoury, Hicham Lahlou, Lara Tabet, Alain Vassaoyan, Katya Traboulsi, Anita Toutikian, Samar Mogharbel, Rita Awn, Alfred Tarazi, Roy Samaha, Tilmann Krumrey, Nabil RIzk, Yasan Halwani, Rania Matar, Rashid Al Khalifa, Rifat Chadirji, Simeen Farhat, to name a few…

This extensive presence of artists has given BEIRUT ART FAIR 2012 a different tone and secured the event a space in the era of dialog and openness.

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