Beirut’s Ashkal Alwan is an organization that supports emerging and established artists by providing opportunities for the production exhibition and circulation of art and ideas through robust regional and international networks. It was founded nearly 25 years ago by Christine Tohme, whose expansive vision still guides it today. Its programs include an international gathering of artists and cultural practitioners, Home Works Forum, presented every three years; video production grants and mentoring for emerging artists; a residency; a publishing initiative and an experimental tuition-free educational platform for artists, Home Workspace. All of these activities are administered out of its facility in Beirut, which opened in 2010 and contains a multimedia research library, artists’ studios, an exhibition space, and a theater.
The Lebanese Association for Plastic Arts, Ashkal Alwan
Philip Johnson commissioned Warhol to make a large-scale work for the exterior for his pavilion for the New York World’s Fair, along with other artists. Warhol’s provocative response, a multiple portrait of ‘Most Wanted Men’ was installed a few days before the opening but was deems too inflammatory and contrary to the upbeat image of the World’s Fair and the work was taken down.