Jaffa, Israel, 1934 - 2005
Juliana Seraphim channeled her experience of exile into a rich corpus of surreal, fantastical paintings that bear both the feminine and the grotesque in equal measure. She fled to Lebanon together with her family during the 1948 Palestinian Catastrophe (Al-Nakba) and was deeply impacted by this episode. Perhaps this is why in 1952 she chose to dedicate her efforts to working for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for several years in Beirut. She began painting under the mentorship of the Lebanese artist Jean Khalifé, who exhibited her work in his studio. Later, she received formal training at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts. In 1959, she spent a year in Florence, and in 1960, she moved to Madrid to study at the Royal Academy of San Fernando on a scholarship. Living as a professional artist between Paris and Beirut until she passed away in 2005, Juliana Seraphim leaves behind a rich legacy. Beyond exhibiting widely in Beirut and abroad, she represented Lebanon (having been granted citizenship) in three international biennials: Alexandria (1962), Paris (1963, 1969) and São Paulo (1965). Her work is featured in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, the Museum of the City of Viareggio, the Musée du Surréalisme, Paris, the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman, the Sursock Museum, Beirut the Ramzi and Saeda Dalloul Art Foundation, Beirut and the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah.