In ART

A new exhibit in Beirut shines the spotlight on some of the world’s most promising Western artists.

A fascinating new exhibit in Beirut introduces amazing Western artists to Lebanese audiences. Titled “Urban Experience” and taking place at the travelling Artual Gallery, the show was conceived by Lebanese-Belgian art aficionado Hind Ahmad, who’s been involved in the art world for the past six years and who decided to share her love of Western art with Beirut’s cosmopolitan residents.

Artual is a pop-up gallery that takes place in various cities around the globe. “The concept of the gallery is to organize exhibitions mostly in non-Western countries with Western artists, in order to provoke a strong cultural exchange,” says Ahmad. “Often you find non-Western countries solely promoting art of the region to get it out there. I think it’s important to have a mixing of cultures to inspire artists of the region to look at what’s happening abroad.”

For “Urban Experience” Ahmad brought together about 45 works by 12 artists from such places as New Zealand, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Belgium, the United States and the United Kingdom. “The artists I chose for this exhibition are the artists I represent all year long,” says Ahmad, and they include Javier Calleja, Jonni Cheatwood, Jean Philippe Duboscq, Yazan Halwani, Adam Handler, Andrés Lozano, George Morton-Clark, Adriana Oliver, Rob Tucker, Marco Pariani, Charlie Sickboy and Adam Parker Smith. Many of the artists, including Handler, Oliver and Tucker, will be in Beirut on the show’s opening night, which will take place in April.

All the pieces on display were especially commissioned by Ahmad for the Beirut exhibition. In addition to introducing Middle Eastern audiences to superlative Western art, Ahmad also wants to fuse the best of Orient and Occident. “I want cultures to merge together,” she says. “I want people to see that there is much more than politics and war, and that the world is bigger than us, it’s full of colours and new experiences.” With her show, Ahmad is also seeking to create a new cultural dynamic. “When cultures meet, they blend, they shift and they merge to form new cultures,” she says.

In keeping with the new century’s online environment, “Urban Experience” will also be featured on Artual’s website, www.artual.co. “The exhibitions are always recreated virtually on our website, and we tend to have other exhibitions created exclusively online,” Ahmad says.

The Beirut show marks the only opportunity to view “Urban Experience.” After it ends, Ahmad will work on a new exhibition for a different city. “Each exhibition is built from scratch for the specific region,” she says. So make sure to view the show before it closes.

Stay tuned on Instagram for more details @artualgallery


Featured image: Adam Parker Smith, Panthera, resin, fibreglass, mylar, steel, wood 127 cm x 73.66 cm x 40.64 cm

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