Founded in 2016, Atassi Foundation is a non-profit arts initiative that aims to: preserve and promote modern and contemporary art and archives from Syria; foster critical thinking and research through knowledge production; advance the Syrian artistic scene through capacity building; and create a bridge between the past and the future of art production.
Through collaborations, partnerships and networks, we intend to broaden international awareness while supporting the arts community with online and event-based programming such as exhibitions, online archives, talks, panels, journals, publications, writer’s prizes and auctions.
"This foundation will be a bridge to establish an important link between what Syrian artists have accomplished in the past and what they will create in the years to come"
Founded in 1986, the Atassi Gallery was the first private art gallery in the city of Homs. It was originally established by sisters, Mouna and Mayla Atassi, in the attic of their bookstore and later moved to a bigger space in the same building that they were able to turn into a gallery that was better suited to become a gallery. The gallery has hosted exhibitions of some of Syria’s most prominent artists including Fateh Moudarres, Abdullah Mourad, and Ahmad Durak-Sibai. Not long after opening, the gallery became a nexus for Homs’s local art scene.
The gallery moved to Damascus’s Rawda neighborhood in 1993. There it embarked upon an ambitious programme of international and regional collaborations, exhibitions, symposia, performances and publications.
Over the years, the Atassi Gallery played a pioneering role in Syria’s nascent independent cultural scene and evolved to become one of Damascus’s eminent vibrant spaces for encounter, discussion and experimentation, for intellectuals, writers, filmmakers and artists.
After a thirty year journey, and in reaction to the strife that has been afflicting Syria for the past few years, the Atassi Gallery marks a new turn in its journey with the establishment of the Atassi Foundation. This transformation is grounded in the belief that art and culture play a necessary and vital role in subduing the ravages of violence, repairing the damages of war and in preserving the history and culture of Syria for generations to come.