ArtEast: Spring 2014 Quarterly

Spring 2014, ArteZineArt after the Remnants
Guest editor: Hrayr Eulmessekian

Armenians have had a unique and complex relationship with the Arab world, and Lebanon in particular, ever since the first waves of refugees wandered over during the Aghed, or “Catastrophe,” of 1895–1923.  Drawn by Lebanon’s more liberal outlook and a confessional system of government that offered minority communities a political voice, many of the political and cultural leaders from the very short-lived first republic of Armenia settled there.

Though meaningful dialogue between the two cultures was (and remains) sporadic and haphazard at best, Lebanese Armenians revived their political aspirations for an Armenian state as well as their arts and culture. The outbreak of the Lebanese civil war of 1975 brought these promising Armenian cultural advances to an abrupt halt. In this issue of ArteZine, four contributing artists deploy their personal narratives and artistic practices to explore this community’s identity formation within a context of living through the civil war, its ravages, and its visible and invisible traumas.

For this issue of ArteZine, click here.

Spring 2014, Gallery: Mapping Arab Art through the Sultan Gallery
Guest curator: Kristine Khouri

Kuwait City’s Sultan Gallery was initiated in 1969 by brother and sister duo Ghazi and Najat Sultan. With a mission to promote and exhibit “modern young Arab artists,” the gallery was the first of its kind in the Gulf and at the center of a network of galleries that emerged in the Arab world in the 1970s.

On a research residency supported by ArteEast in 2011, Kristine Khouri spent time in the Sultan Gallery’s archives and performed interviews with individual stakeholders in the gallery, including visitors, buyers, or friends. The residency concluded with an exhibition titled The Founding Years: 1959–1973, presenting artwork and documents from the first five years of the gallery’s exhibitions. This issue of Gallery presents archival materials from Khouri’s residency at the Sultan Gallery and the accompanying essay explores the origins of the gallery alongside the early development of a regionalized art scene in the 1970s, which included not only galleries and artists, but also artist unions and ministries of culture and extended from Baghdad to Beirut, Kuwait to Casablanca.

For this issue of Gallery, click here.