Saleh Barakat (born in 1969 in Beirut, Lebanon) is a Lebanese art expert, gallery owner and curator. He studied at the American University of Beirut and runs the Agial Art Gallery in the Ras Beirut area.
Saleh Barakat inaugurated the Agial Art Gallery in 1991, in the immediate aftermath of the Lebanese Civil War. Since then, he expanded, becoming a leading advocate for Modern Arab painters in the art market, with high expectations to see them enter the museums. Being responsible for building major art collections in the region.
Saleh Barakat deals with works from established Modern artists from Lebanon and the Arab World, such as Saloua Raouda Choucair to whom he organized a retrospective exhibition at the Beirut Exhibition Center. He also has a team of younger talents including Oussama Baalbaki, Mohamad Said Baalbaki, Tagreed Darghouth, Abdulrahman Katanani, Tamara Al Samerraei, Chaza Charefeddine and Ayman Baalbaki, his most successful protégé. Baalbaki got extremely high bids at recent auctions. In April 2011, one of his works was auctioned at USD 206,500.
Saleh Barakat, who participated to numerous roundtables and educational programs, has participated in the organization of keystone exhibitions for Lebanese and Middle Eastern Art. In 2007, he co-curated with Sandra Dagher the 1st Lebanese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The Pavilion featured a collective exhibition of Fouad Elkoury, Lamia Joreige, Walid Sadek, Mounira al Solh and Akram Zaatari.
In 2009, he curated the Road to Peace at Beirut Art Center. The exhibition featured paintings, photographs, drawings, prints and sculptures by Lebanese artists during the war. Its title comes from a series of prints by Aref Rayess that depict Lebanese survivors of war. The Road to Peace featured Rafic Charaf, Fouad Elkoury, Paul Guiragossian, Hassan Jouni, Samir Khaddage, Seta Manoukian, Saloua Raouda Choucair, Mohammad Rawas, Aref Rayess and others.
Barakat has been appointed to manage a museum project at the American University of Beirut. This project follows a donation by Dr Samir Saleeby, who happens to be a relative of the late Khalil Saleeby (1870-1928), a pioneer of Lebanese painting, and consists of 30 paintings from Saleeby himself and Saliba Douaihy, César Gemayel and Omar Onsi.
Saleh Barakat is member of the advisory committee constituted by ACE - Saradar Group in order to create and manage a collection of modern and contemporary art that will be on display in a private museum.
- Michel Basbous, Beirut Exhibition Center
- Shafic Abboud (with Nadine Begdache), Beirut Exhibition Center
- Saloua Raouda Choucair, Beirut Exhibition Center
- De lumière et de sang, Foundation Audi, Beirut
- Mediterranean Crossroad
- The Road to Peace: Paintings in Times of War, 1975–1991, Beirut Art Center
- Pavilion of Lebanon (with Sandra Dagher), Venice Biennale
- Ateliers Arabes, 9th Francophonie Summit Art Exhibition, Beirut
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