x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Lebanon art show goes ahead, despite the tensions

The Beirut Art Fair is showing work from 43 galleries in 14 countries.

Current cross-border tensions in the north of Lebanon haven't rocked plans for this year's Beirut Art Fair, which opens today at the Beirut International Exhibition and Leisure Centre and runs until Sunday. "Just one gallery from France has cancelled its participation," says the fair director Laure d'Hauteville. "Lebanon is always rising back up again like a phoenix."

The third edition of the fair (previously known as ME.NA.SA.ART) sees 43 galleries from 14 countries heading to the Lebanese capital for a four-day festival of buying and selling art. "We're looking for galleries that show young artists but who have something important to say about the society of today. Lebanon is a very open country and the artists can express themselves as they like."

One of the younger galleries taking part in this year's event is Dubai's Tashkeel - a hub for artists in Nad Al Sheba. "We're exhibiting one of the pieces that Lateefa bint Maktoum showed at the Venice Biennale last year," says Tashkeel's manager Jill Hoyle. "We're also taking relatively new works by Maitha Demithan and Mark Pilkington. BAF seemed a good opportunity to show our work regionally. It's the first step for us to exhibit in the wider markets."