Due to the catastrophic port explosion on Aug. 4 last year and the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Beirut Art Fair was unable to take place. Laure d’Hauteville who launched the Beirut Art Fair in 2010, was determined to contribute to the Mediterranean country that had become her second home.
That's why, d’Hauteville decided to use the French capital as a base for her new art fair, MENART, until Lebanon had managed to rebuild itself.
The fair took place from May 27 to 30 at Cornette de Saint Cyr on Paris’ upmarket Avenue Hoche and saw galleries positioned in different rooms across three floors of the private residence and auction house.
Marking the first international contemporary art fair dedicated to artists from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region after months of COVID-19 lockdowns, MENART opened the artistic season in Paris with a reception for more than 2,500 visitors, of which around 90 percent were French.
The 22 participating galleries hailed from throughout the Middle East and included Athr Gallery from Jeddah, Tunis and Dubai-based Elmarsa Gallery, Beirut’s Galerie Tanit, Saleh Barakat Gallery and Mark Hachem, Mono Gallery from Riyadh, Wadi Finan Art Gallery from Amman, New York and Dubai-based Leila Heller Gallery, Tehran and New York-based Shirin Art Gallery, Nathalie Obadia from Paris, and Galleria Continua from Italy.
The fair took visitors on an oriental journey, with artistic stops made from Morocco to Yemen. This market is new for Europeans who are not used to viewing art from the MENA region.