Lot 2, Hussein Madi - Black Bird - Shades vs Shapes - Paintings and Sculptures from the MENA - Auctions

Black Bird


Executed in: 2011

Medium: iron sculpture; edition 10/11

Size: 31.5 x 25 x 14 cm

Signed, dated and numbered "Madi. 2011. 10/11" at the base


Private Collection, Lebanon.

Acquired directly from the artist

This artwork is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Aida Cherfan Fine Art Gallery.


Beirut, Lebanon

Estimate €5,000 - €7,000


Madi frequently created sculptures of birds. Black Bird (2011) is a quintessential representation of his abstract stylized forms. In the words of art critic Joseph Tarab – “the rigidity of iron allows Madi to introduce acute triangles, pointed shapes and cutting edges. Thanks to its monochromatic rigor, iron underscores the way Madi’s sculpture aims to shed useless, contingent flourishes to be content with the combined sheer necessities of anatomy and geometry. Madi has always aspired to an art without concessions. He best reaches his aim in iron monochrome sculpture.” (Tarrab, Joseph. “Wrought Iron” Essay. In Madi Sculptures 1969 - 2009. Beirut: Antoine Books, 2009. p 201.)

Born in 1938 in Chebaa, Hussein Madi is a prolific Lebanese painter, sculptor and printmaker. Madi’s signature style is characterised by his fusion of hard geometric shapes and gentle curves, creating a world where contradictions coexist. While his sculptures are monochromatic, his paintings choreograph dissonant tones and hues side by side. He studied at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts in Beirut before moving to Rome in 1963 to continue his studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti. Settling there for 22 years, he learned various techniques from frescoes and mosaics to bronze sculpture.

Madi has had more than sixty solo exhibitions around the world including at the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; the British Museum, London; the Ueno Museum, Tokyo; and the Sharjah Museum, UAE, among others. The artist showcased his work at the Venice Biennale in 2003 and was awarded the Order of the Star by the Italian government during the same year.

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