American University of Beirut

Octavian Esanu

​​Octavian Esanu is the Curator of the American University of Beirut Art Galleries. In this position, he oversaw the inauguration of the two galleries, and has curated and published on modernist and contemporary Lebanese and Middle Eastern art practices, or on topics related to their intersection with wider currents in global art. He holds a doctoral degree from Duke University and prior to his relocation to Beirut researched and published on Moscow Conceptualism and the transformations that took place in post-Soviet and Eastern European art after the fall of the Berlin Wall. During the late 1990s he founded, directed and curated for the Soros Center for Contemporar​y Art Chisinau (Moldova). He has degrees in studio art (Ilya Repin School of Art, Chisinau) and in Interior Architecture (The Moldovan State Institute of Art).

His most recent curatorial projects can be seen at the website of the AUB Art Galleries: while other publications, works and projects related to other regions or discursive contexts can be viewed at:

He is part of the editorial collective of ARTMargins journal. In all of his activities Esanu seeks a common ground between his artistic, curatorial and scholarly interests.

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