BEIRUT ART FAIR 2018 : LEBANON MODERN!

A TRIBUTE TO PAUL GUIRAGOSSIAN

Seaside Arena (ex BIEL), HALL 3
Beirut Downtown, Lebanon
20 – 23 September 2018 

The 9th edition of BEIRUT ART FAIR will take place from Sept 20 to 23, 2018, in the Lebanese capital, with the inauguration to be held on September 19th. BEIRUT ART FAIR is reflecting the rapidly changing times we are in, while also inviting visitors to step away from the hectic pace of everyday life, questions today’s ideals and get back in touch with their emotions.

As a key component of the fair, LEBANON MODERN! gives A TRIBUTE TO PAUL GUIRAGOSSIAN by a commemorative retrospective marking the 25th anniversary of the passing of the great Lebanese painter, through written artfacts and video features showcased for the first time. 

Recognized as a master for his artistic genius and the volume of work he produced, Paul Guiragossian left an abundant legacy of work that still  continues to reveal the depths of his humanity and exquisite sense of poetry.
A painter of Armenian origin, he was born in 1926 in Jerusalem after his family fled their homeland, following the 1915 genocide. He settled in Lebanon in 1947, where he remained until his death in 1993. Throughout his life he displayed a deep-rooted affection for the country he made his home.

The tribute brings together in one place an impressive number of photographic and journalistic documents, enabling a portrait of both the man and his work to be compiled in an almost scientific way. These archival pieces, which are enhanced by sound and video recordings, are presented to the public for the first time in the fair’s LEBANON MODERN! exhibition’ space.
The design takes a chronological approach, with the selected works depicting his art at the pinnacle of each period of his professional life, while reaffirming the central place he occupies in Lebanese modern art and the huge influence he had on others that followed him. The exhibition also enables visitors to discover the richness of his themes, which place the human condition at the centre of all he did.

While Guiragossian’s painting shifts between figuration and abstraction, it remains instantly recogni¬zable, due to the expansive, nestling figures and obsessive interlacing which are characteristics of so much of the artist’s work. Reunions are a common theme, with the painter’s desire to gather and bring people together, as a father would do his family or a leader his subjects.

Even 25 years after his death, Paul Guiragossian retains his status as a humble, wise, benevolent and talented individual who continues to tend to the wounds of both the Armenian exiles and others who simply feel cast aside by humanity, while simultaneously bringing a universal message of hope and peace.

BEIRUT ART FAIR is delighted to present this exhibition and reveal new or lesser-known facets of this great artist who, just like his work, never stops surprising us.

The Paul Guiragossian Foundation has created this important retrospective within BEIRUT ART FAIR. It is based on the lasted monograph “Paul Guiragossian: Displacing Modernity” recently published by Silvana Editoriale and edited by Sam Bardaouil, Till Fellrath and Manuella Guiragossian.