Executed in: 1981
Medium: Acrylic on cardboard mounted on board
Size: 100 x 69 cm (with frame 102.5 x 72 cm)
Signed and dated on the front lower left "Madi 81". Signed in Arabic on the front lower left.
Private Collection, Lebanon. Acquired directly from the artist.
This artwork is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.
Hussein Madi is a Lebanese painter and sculptor born in Chekka, Lebanon in 1938. Madi studied at the Institute of Fine Arts in Beirut and went on to Rome to continue his education at the Accademia di Belle Arti. Drawing his inspiration from Arabic calligraphy, Islamic geometric art and Lebanese culture, Madi's work feels meditative, vibrant and dynamic, often due to his repetition of patterns.
Madi has had several retrospective exhibitions, showing the progressive abstraction of his work and his breathtaking mastery of the line.
“Despite all the mishaps, I was deeply happy. My work celebrated life. And that was the only way I knew to get back at this brutal and irrational war”, says Madi, thinking back on the paradox between his art and his environment.
In “Masks”, Madi is almost sculpting within a painting. Splitting the canvas in two, he studies masses of geometric shapes from two different angles. The painted sculptures feel massive and heavy. They appear to be abstract birds, staring back at the viewer, faces turned towards us at an angle, or up-close, in a full frontal and seem to observe the viewer the way we would observe them. This role reversal puts the viewer in an oddly vulnerable position.
Another element that strikes the viewer when looking at this piece is Madi’s study of light and shadow, his use of colors making the piece even more bold and intriguing.
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