Cool art galleries in the cap­i­tal

Lebanon Traveler - - CONTENTS -


Walk­ing into Galerie Tanit is like mut­ing the bustling world out­side and en­ter­ing a space of to­tal tran­quil­ity. With its high ceil­ings, white walls and open spa­ces, Galerie Tanit is ex­actly what you might imag­ine the chic galleries of New York City to look like. You can take your time to ad­mire each stroke of the con­tem­po­rary art pieces in its ethe­real rooms. The gallery’s airy halls are scat­tered with sculp­tures and the art­work is truly spec­tac­u­lar, as would be ex­pected from one of Beirut’s most fa­mous art spa­ces. East Vil­lage Build­ing, Ar­me­nia Street, Mar Mikhael, 01 562812, ga­leri­


Lo­cated near Mar Mikhael is Exode, a friendly and in­ti­mate space that re­sem­bles a taste­ful and well-dec­o­rated home. Im­me­di­ately upon en­ter­ing, vis­i­tors are met with a warm wel­come and in­vited to take their time ad­mir­ing the art­work hang­ing from the brightly-col­ored walls. Though the gallery it­self is quite small, it boasts a large col­lec­tion of con­tem­po­rary pieces from lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional artists. Ac­caoui Street, Achrafieh, 01 336464, equipe­ex­


Tucked away in a nar­row al­ley, ARTLAB is a cool and funky space, bring­ing young ta­lent from the re­gion to Beirut. Known for dab­bling in new forms of ex­pres­sion and stay­ing at the fore­front of the evolv­ing art scene, the gallery show­cases in­tri­cate sculp­tures and paint­ings in a beau­ti­ful set­ting. Rmeil Build­ing (first right af­ter St. Ni­cholas Stairs), Gouraud Street, Gem­mayze, 03 244577,

4. ART ON 56TH

The old Beirut build­ing hous­ing Art on 56th is a work of art in its own right. It is im­pos­si­ble not to no­tice the beau­ti­ful ar­chi­tec­ture, arched win­dows and tiled floors per­me­at­ing the in­te­rior. The art­work hang­ing on the walls ranges in medium, from pen­cil to paint, clay to dig­i­tal. From its ar­chi­tec­ture to its art­work, art en­thu­si­asts and am­a­teurs will fall in love with the unique feel of Art on 56th. Youssef Hayeck Street, Gem­mayze, 01 570331, ar­


The Joy Mardini De­sign Gallery, for­merly known as Art Fac­tum, fo­cuses on con­tem­po­rary prod­uct de­sign, as is ev­i­denced by the modern and util­i­tar­ian pieces oc­cu­py­ing the space. Ev­ery­day ob­jects, in­clud­ing chairs, lamps and ta­bles, are molded into new and ex­quis­ite forms. Con­se­quently, the space feels more like a show­room than a typ­i­cal gallery, mak­ing it an in­ter­est­ing ad­di­tion to the art scene. Na­jem Bldg, 406 Gouraud Street, Gem­mayze, 01 443263, jmde­sign­


The Ja­nine Rubeiz Gallery is a cozy gallery, rooted in the legacy of Dar El Fan, an art space run from the late ‘60s by Ja­nine Rubeiz. Her daugh­ter, Na­dine Beg­dache, opened this space in 1993, with a fo­cus on cel­e­brat­ing Le­banese artists and pro­mot­ing their work at in­ter­na­tional art fes­ti­vals and fairs. The gallery has be­come a leader in con­tem­po­rary art in the re­gion. Ma­j­dalani Build­ing, 1 Av­enue Charles de Gaulle, Raouche, 01 868290, ga­lerie­ja­


With 14 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence work­ing in the art world and in the galleries of Paris and New York, Mark Hachem was keen to bring his pen­chant for con­tem­po­rary art­work to the Mid­dle East. The gallery, Hachem’s lat­est, is one of the most eclec­tic and fun to ex­plore in the city. Art­work ranges widely in form, from sculp­ture to pho­tog­ra­phy and paint­ing to draw­ing, of­ten tack­ling top­i­cal is­sues. The gallery sup­ports lo­cal artists and brings in­ter­na­tional ta­lent for its ex­hi­bi­tions. Cap­i­tal Gar­dens, Sal­loum Street, Minet El Hosn, 01 999313, markhachem­


Ayyam has been a pioneer in the art world since it opened its first gallery in 2006. Walk­ing through the space to­day, vis­i­tors will im­me­di­ately be im­pressed by the size and scope of the art­work hang­ing on the pris­tine white walls. Run by cousins Khaled and Hisham Sa­mawi, it seeks to push the en­ve­lope in art col­lec­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion in­ter­na­tion­ally, sup­port­ing young ta­lent within Le­banon. Beirut Tower, Zeitoune Street, Beirut, 01 374450, ayyam­


Lo­cated in the in­dus­trial neigh­bor­hood of Karantina, Sfeir-semler is at the cut­tingedge of art galleries. Within the huge space, fea­tur­ing cathe­dral-es­que ceil­ings and mul­ti­ple rooms, modern art pushes the bound­aries, play­ing with light, film, per­for­mance and com­plex in­stal­la­tions. For en­thu­si­asts, the gallery is a must-see. Tan­nous Build­ing, Karantina, 01 566550,


Just a few steps from the Amer­i­can Univeristy of Beirut, Agial Art Space dis­plays a spec­trum of re­gional art, from in­ter­na­tion­ally-cel­e­brated artists to emerg­ing lo­cal ta­lent. The space is dimly lit and typ­i­cal of any in­ter­na­tional art gallery, with a quiet tran­quil­ity that guides you away from the crowded and hec­tic street. 63 Ab­dul Aziz Street, Hamra, 01 345213,

Mark Hachem Gallery

Mark Hachem Gallery

Art on 56th

Galerie Tanit

Joy Mardini De­sign Gallery

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