Lot 1, Nadia Saikali - Passerelles - Shades vs Shapes - Paintings and Sculptures from the MENA - Auctions



Executed in: 2007

Medium: oil on canvas

Size: 81 x 100 cm (87.8 x 107 cm with frame)

Signed on the front lower left "N. Saikali"


Private Collection, Lebanon


Beirut, Lebanon

Price realised €17,080

Estimate €12,000 - €18,000


A pioneer of kinetic art in Lebanon, Saikali possesses a natural talent for creating what appears to be painted symphonies on canvas. While painting, her entire body, akin to a dancer, engages in the process. Rhythmic motions translated into strokes of colour emanate from the movement of her arms and torso, resulting in a captivating blend of spontaneity and control.

She says: “Too many people theorise and politicise about one’s choice of colours in painting. This is not what I put forward in my works. After having focused my attention on the four elements mentioned in Genesis: Earth- Fire- Water- Air, I now feel like expressing freely my joy to be alive and at peace.”

A renowned painter, Nadia Saikali (Lebanese, b. 1936) frequently explores themes of nature and human spirituality with a unique blend of abstract and figurative styles. She graduated from the Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA) in 1956 and pursued studies at L’Académie de la Grande Chaumière and L’École des Arts Decoratifs in Paris during the 1960s. After relocating to Glasgow, she returned to Beirut where she participated in several exhibitions before travelling back to Paris in the early years of the Lebanese Civil War.

Her works are housed in prestigious collections such as the National Fund of Contemporary Art in Paris, The Royal Institute Galleries in London, The Chase Manhattan Bank in New York, and the Sursock Collection in Beirut. She has also been prominently featured in exhibitions like “The Memory Sews Together Events That Hadn’t Previously Met” at the Sharjah Art Museum (2020) and “Manifesto of Fragility: Beirut and The Golden Sixties” at Berlin’s Gropius Bau, the Lyon Biennial, and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art (2022). Most recently, she was highlighted in “Action, Gesture, Paint: Women Artists and Global Abstraction 1940-1970” at London's Whitechapel Gallery (2023).

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