Mark Hachem opened his first gallery in 1996 in Paris. In 2007 he opened a gallery in New York and three years later in Beirut. He concentrates on the modernists of the Middle East, such as Helen Khal, Leila Nseir and Hussein Madi, and he represents the estates of Hamed Abdalla and Alfred Basbous. Hachem has always been a collector of Kinetic art and hence focused on Jesus Rafael Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Dario Perez-Flores and Victor Vasarely. He supports the careers of contemporary artists whose unique and significant work deserves to be exposed and measured next to the greatest of their generation, including the likes of Chaouki Chamoun, Nasreddine Bennacer, Charbel Samuel Aoun, Leila Shawa, Nadim Kufi, Mahmoud Hamadani, Stephen Peirce, Mathias Schmied, Ghazi Baker, Marwan Chamaa, Ahmad Moualla, Bassam Kyrillos and Wolfgang Stiller. An ardent defender of modern and contemporary art, Hachem is also an adviser and curator to private collectors and public institutions, such as the actual exhibition in the museum Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Azerbaijan. “I am still collecting modernists from around the world as I recently bought multi-viscosity etchings of the Indian printmaker Krishna Reddy, a sculpture by Philippe Hiquily, a sculpture by Marino Di Teana and many works by Hamed Abadalla. These are part of my private collection. I keep a similar portfolio at my gallery of artists I represent. Latin American modernism and its intersection with the Middle East, such as Egypt, Syria and Lebanon’s intersection with Brazil, Argentina and Colombia, are arenas of the future.” The vision of the gallery is to present curated exhibitions and representations in art fairs that reverse the under-representation of artists from beyond the Occident and its perspective by linking the programmes of the Paris space with Beirut. The gallery is also covering the new art wave with African artists such as Victor Ekpuk and Victor Ehikhamenor.
MARK HACHEM GALLERY
What did you do before you opened your first gallery?
I attended an MBA programme at the Sorbonne in Paris.
Could you tell us about your first exhibition, which acted as a statement for your programme?
It was the 1996 Solo Kinetic Group Show in the gallery in Paris with Jesús Rafael Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diez and Dario Pérez-Flores. This show laid the groundwork for my commitment to the Kinetic movement and to this trio in particular.
What does sharing your name with the gallery mean to you?
Sharing my name means being committed to my artists and to my collectors.
Your gallery is present in New York, Paris and Beirut. How do you see the international art scene today and your relationship with it?
The art market is becoming more global than ever. Having three galleries in New York, Paris and Beirut facilitates the cultural dialogue between the three continents, thus generating interest among collectors globally. Internet and social media create opportunities yet they also create more challenges. International physical presence is still necessary to bridge relations between artists and collectors, not to forget the importance of international art fairs as well.
How would you define the identity of your galleries?
We focus on Kinetic movement and Middle Eastern modern and contemporary art.
What can you tell us about the roster of artists you represent?
We rediscover modern masters and support young emerging artists.
Which photograph from 2019 best represents your gallery and activity?
Mark Hachem next to La Marathonienne by Philippe Hiquily.
Could you tell us about your programme for 2020?
Our programme for 2020 include a solo show by Alfred Basbous at Art Dubai, a solo exhibition of Hamed Abdalla in Beirut and, a focus on Hussein Madi at international art fairs. We’re also working on a project with Erarta Museum in St. Petersburg that will include Jesús Rafael Soto, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Dario Pérez-Flores and Miguel Chevalier.
A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN PRINT IN SELECTIONS, SHOW & TELL #51