Lot 6, Aref El Rayess - Elasticity and Resistance (1962) - Looking back, Looking forward: Art in Middle East and North Africa <br> 29th of September - Auctions

Elasticity and Resistance (1962)


Size: 80 x 60 cm; 31.5 x 23.6 in

Medium: Tempera and sand on masonite

Signed on the reverse


Torini Collection, Arezzo, Italy. Pavia, Luca Sforzini Art Gallery. Private Collection, Italy. Acquired by the present owner from the above.

This artwork is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity from Rayess Foundation.


Encyclopedia of Italian Art History, La Ginestra editions, Florence, 1966, p 684.


Morbegno, Italy

Live Auction begins Sep 29, 19:00 GMT+2
Starting price €10,000
Estimate €15,000 - €20,000

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Aref Rayess (1928-2005) was a foremost Lebanese painter and sculptor from the Modernist era. A self-taught artist, he moved to Paris and worked in the atelier of Fernand Leger and André Lhote. He also travelled to Italy and Senegal. Founding member of the Institute of Fine Arts at the Lebanese University and of Dar el Fan space with cultural entrepreneur Janine Rubeiz, Rayess was commissioned to create a statue for the Lebanese Pavilion at the New York 1964 World Fair. He was later largely involved in the introduction of monumental sculptures in the city of Jeddah. The art of Aref Rayess gained international recognition and was recently displayed in retrospective exhibitions at Galerie Sfeir Semler, Beirut in 2021 and Sharjah Art Foundation in 2022.

Rayess was a versatile figure. On the one hand, he was a politically engaged artist and created works related to historical events, including the Algerian Revolution, the assassination of Martin Luther King, the Palestinian Resistance and the Lebanese Civil War. On the other hand, he explored landscapes inspired by the Arabian desert and investigated materials and technology.

Elasticity and Resistance is part of technical experimentations Aref Rayess undertook in the 1960s. Because of their textures, these paintings were qualified as murals. Omran el Kayssi explains that in this phase of his career, the artist assembled various materials according to their physical characteristics and the way they reacted with each other. In this piece, the use of sand could refer to the rawness of earth as a natural territory and eventually to ruins and archeological sites.

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