The Aïshti Foundation is part of a 35,000 square-meter complex that includes fashion boutiques, a curated bookshop, restaurants, cafes, a spa and a rooftop bar with striking views of Beirut framed by the sea. As a new destination, the Foundation and its surroundings – with vast public spaces opening into the coastline – will inject new energy in the city of Beirut, which in recent years has attracted the attention of the international art community with its vibrant artistic scene and its rich cultural milieu.
“After years of collecting and aspiring to someday give back to the Lebanese community,” says Tony Salamé, “it’s a dream come true to launch the Aïshti Foundation, with Massimiliano Gioni curating the opening show in a building designed by David Adjaye. When I went through the collection with Massimiliano in New York and saw everything coming together, it was quite an emotional moment.”
In anticipation of the inauguration of the new Aïshti building, architect David Adjaye comments: “Having spent time in Beirut as a child, it is a pleasure to return to the city to work on this project. I have been particularly excited to explore a new typology, by juxtaposing culture and a series of other adjacencies, from art to retail to wellbeing.”
“I am excited to be curating the inaugural show at the Aïshti Foundation,” says exhibition organizer Massimiliano Gioni. “Tony is a dynamo and Beirut a city that has produced some of the most interesting artists at work today. I look forward to seeing the Aïshti Foundation amplify the energy and talent of many artists locally and internationally.”
The Aishti Foundation was founded by Tony Salame in Beirut, Lebanon in (2015) and aspires to define an institution dedicated to contemporary culture, ranging from art to design, from architecture to performance; it will operate in the 21st century amid the worldwide epochal changes resulting from globalization.
The Foundation will undertake the challenge to comprehend the span of exchange of all possible cultures from East to West. The intention is to collect, exhibit, preserve, and conduct visual research in areas on international art with attention to visual research in the Middle East, concentrating largely on living artists, in the fundamental moments of their contributions to our time.
The Aishti Foundation further proposes public education, endeavoring to put it’s programs in relation to the most current international research.
The collection of the Foundation consists of approximately 2000 works, of painting, sculpture, drawing, video, and works of new media. More than 300 artists are represented, and the collection includes many works which mark the first ten years of the 21st century, from 2000 to the present.