Subject: Saleh's talk will revolve around the developments of the Middle Eastern art scene in the past 10 years and the place of Beirut within these developments, comparative advantages and challenges. He will start with a quick panorama of the development of the art scene in the region, then move to focus on Beirut, its current artistic infrastructure, the challenges and the plans to face the future.
A leading expert in modern and contemporary Arab art, Saleh Barakat, 48, founded Agial Art Gallery (1991) in Beirut and Saleh Barakat Gallery in 2016. As executive manager, he participated in building some major collections of modern and contemporary Arab art (Mathaf Qatar, Kinda Foundation, KSA, Abou Ghazaleh Foundation, Jordan, Saradar Foundation Lebanon).
Saleh possesses a strong business background in addition to his experience in the arts, Barakat has been engaged in developing a healthy market environment for creative expression in the Arab world. He curated several pan-Arab exhibitions, including the IXth Francophone Summit in Beirut, the 2003 World Bank Summit in Dubai, “The Road to Peace: Painting in Times of War 1975-1991” at the Beirut Art Center in 2009.
He also co-curated the first national pavilion for Lebanon at the 52nd Venice Biennale, the touring exhibition “Mediterranean Crossroads”, in collaboration the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and recently “Word” in Madina Munawwara, in collaboration with the British Museum in 2013. He also co-curated “Saloua Raouda Choucair: The Retrospective” in 2011, Chafic Abboud in 2012 and Michel Basbous in 2014 at BEC. He serves on the steering committee of the Arts Center at the American University of Beirut and as a member of Advisory Council of the School of Architecture and Design at LAU. He is a collaborator on ARTLAS, Ecole Nationale Superieure (ENS) in Paris. Board member of the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO since 2014. He was nominated as a Yale World Fellow in 2006.