Art is an ingenious concealment of poetic articulation. To taste mystery at the hands of ageless expressions is the fundamental emotion that stands lyrically and musically at the cradle of true art and true science. With an exoskeleton of aluminum, the distinctive red facade reminiscent of the perforated woodwork typical of traditional Arabic architecture of the Aishti Foundation aesthetically vindicates its purpose to serve as a gallery for presenting contemporary artwork.
After three years of construction, Aishti Foundation has been furnished into existence as a mixed-use cultural center designed by renowned British architect David Adjaye. Located in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, the complex is dedicated to presenting contemporary artwork from the private collection of Tony Salamé, CEO of luxury brand Aaïshti. A range of retail outlets and leisure facilities have also been inculcated into the complex.
From the inside, large windows present views of the sea and the city behind, generating a visual dialogue between Beirut’s rapidly evolving skyline and the generously proportioned gallery spaces. The inaugural exhibition, curated by Massimiliano Gioni, is titled ‘New Skin’ and presents a number of works from Salamé’s personal archive, a collection that encompasses more than 2,000 pieces. Borrowing its title from a sculpture by British artist Alice Channer, the display brings together works that expand and transform the language of abstraction, imagining new relationships between surface, texture and form.
In close dialogue with Adjaye’s interwoven facade, the exhibition focuses on recent experiments in painting and sculpture while establishing a speculative lineage that stretches from the sensuous surfaces of Agostino Bonalumi, Enrico Castellani, and Piero Manzoni to the work of many contemporary artists.
By: Aleeshba Saigol