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A cityscape

A Beirut mise-en-scâ ne

By Marwan Naaman

Marc Quinn’s seashell bronze sculpture

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When it opened at the end of November, “Squat Beirut” introduced Lebanese audiences to a new concept: a temporary show that blends art and design in a historic, visually breathtaking setting. Set at Metropolitan Art Society (MAS) in Ashrafieh, “Squat Beirut” features an edgy, intriguing mix of contemporary art and design furniture pieces. The show is curated by Nina Yashar, founder of Milan’s prestigious Nilufar Gallery, which is widely recognized as one of Italy’s most important purveyors of historic design pieces and antique Oriental carpets and furnishings. Daniele Balice, owner of the famed Balice Hertling art gallery in Paris, co-curated the show. “Nina had the idea of occupying an empty space and creating a mise-en-scène

that mixes historic and contemporary design,” explained Balice, who flew to Beirut for the show. Balice and Yashar created the first “Squat” show in Paris in 2012, and then the second show, titled “Spot,” also in Paris, in an 18thcentury palace in the fifth arrondissement. For the third edition of their show, they set their sights on Ashrafieh’s beautifully restored Metropolitan Club, which now houses MAS. “Beirut chose us,” said Yashar, who also came to Beirut for the show. “Tony Salamé offered us this magnificent space, and we knew that the Lebanese, being very cosmopolitan, would make the perfect audience.” “Squat Beirut” takes over every nook and cranny of MAS, with each room featuring

©Tony Elieh, Nabil Ismail

Art and design comingle at “Squat Beirut”

A Magazine, Issue 69  

Fashion gets ferocious in the December 2013/January 2014 issue of A magazine, with lush gowns and fabulous furs, a spotlight on California i...

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