BEIRUT ART FAIR 2019
36,000 entries, 55 galleries / 18 countries, 1,350 artworks / 250 artists / 40 nationalities
90% of exhibiting galleries reported significant sales, 5 sold-out galleries
Following a steady decade of growth, BEIRUT ART FAIR 2019 (18 to 22 September 2019) proved the most successful edition of the fair to date. For its 10-year anniversary, the fair surpassed the records it had previously set, not only in terms of attendance numbers but also in terms of artistic excellency. BEIRUT ART FAIR’s sales figures moreover set a new benchmark, with 90% of exhibiting galleries reporting significant acquisitions by local and international collectors.
The fair was more international than ever, featuring galleries from 18 countries, and artists from 40 nationalities. It also welcomed a large number of personalities from the international art world, including around 2,000 foreign collectors as well as representatives from the world’s most distinguished arts and culture institutions, such as Paris’s Centre Georges Pompidou, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture (Ithra), and the Agence France-Muséums for the Louvre Abu Dhabi, to name but a few.
- 90% of exhibiting galleries reported significant sales. All were satisfied with the fair’s important attendance, as well as the interest of local and international collectors, with whom they were able to establish relationships.
- The majority of artworks sold were priced between USD 700 and USD 30,000.
- Several exceptional pieces, reaching six figures and above, were also purchased by leading collectors.
- Many outstanding works by emerging artists, priced under USD 1,000, found an enthusiastic public of young collectors.
- Local art dealers unanimously reported that BEIRUT ART FAIR helped draw a significant public to their galleries throughout the fair week.
- Several leading international galleries, many of whom were present at BEIRUT ART FAIR for the first time, boasted important sales to prestigious collections, notably kamel mennour (France/ United Kingdom), with artists Neïl Beloufa, Alicja Kwade and Matthew Lutz-Kinoy, and GALLERIA CONTINUA (France/China/Italy/Cuba), with Yoan Capote and Carlose Garaicoa.
- L’Agence à Paris / SEPTIEME Gallery (France) saw a prestigious Lebanese collector acquire an installation by Radenko Milak. Primo Marella Gallery (Italy) also enjoyed successful sales; it presented artists Abdoulaye Konaté and Joel Andrianomearisoa, who represented Madagascar at this year’s Venice Biennale. Galerie In Situ-fabienne leclerc (France) successfully exhibited works by internationally renowned Lebanese artists Daniele Genadry and the duo Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige.
- Many established local galleries likewise were greatly satisfied with the fair’s outcome. Agial Art Gallery / Saleh Barakat Gallery (Lebanon) sold a sculpture by Ayman Baalbaki – one of the fair public’s main attractions – and paintings by Serwan Baran, who represented Iraq at this year’s Venice Biennale. Galerie Cheriff Tabet (Lebanon) successfully featured David Daoud, Andrew Iacobucci and Benoit Debbane, while Mark Hachem Gallery (Lebanon/ France / United States) sold paintings by Hussein Madi, and, in collaboration with Great Britain’s TAFETA, Victor Ekpuk sculptures. Galerie Janine Rubeiz (Lebanon), exhibiting in collaboration with Rose Issa Projects (United Kingdom), found collectors for the Farhad Ahrarnia works it presented.
- Jordanian galleries The Corner Art Space, Orient Gallery, Wadi Finan Art Gallery, and Nabad Art Gallery joined the fair as part of the Jordanian pavilion, under the aegis of Jordan’s National Gallery of Fine Arts, and presented the rising figures of the Jordanian scene. Meanwhile, Jordan’s Karim Gallery focused on artists from the Arab world.
- BEIRUT ART FAIR also allowed younger galleries to connect with a new public, gain privileged access to the Middle Eastern market and raise their profile on the international scene. Newcomer Galerie Pauline Pavec (France) notably had painter Quentin Derouet enter an important Lebanese collection. Moreover, the fair effectively confirmed the market’s interest in supporting emerging talents throughout its PROJECT section, with, for instance, American gallery Twelve Gates Arts, who reported an almost sold-out booth, where one could discover the works of Hiba Schahbaz and Affan Baghpati, and France’s Galerie La La Lande, who introduced works by Slimen El Kamel and Sonia Ben Slimane, and was very pleased with the public’s interest for contemporary African art.