Beirut has long played muse to artists that have been mesmerized by its resilience and infallible beauty. Take a wander around and you’ll soon discover the wealth and depth of art this town has to offer. LT takes a look at 10 art galleries to get you started.
1. GALERIE TANIT
Walking into Galerie Tanit is like muting the bustling world outside and entering a space of total tranquillity. 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.
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.
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 showcase intricate sculptures and paintings in a beautiful setting.
Rmeil Building (first right after St. Nicholas Stairs), Gouraud Street, Gemmayze
+961 3 244577, art-lab.me
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
+961 1 570331, arton56th.com
5. JOY MARDINI DESIGN GALLERY
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
+961 1 443263, jmdesigngallery.com
6. JANINE RUBEIZ GALLERY
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.
7. MARK HACHEM GALLERY
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
+961 1 999313, markhachemgallery.com
8. AYYAM GALLERY
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.
9. SFEIR-SEMLER GALLERY
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
+961 1 566550, sfeir-semler.com
10. AGIAL ART SPACE
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
+961 1 345213, agialart.com