Lot 9, Nazir Ismail - Untitled 35 - Shades vs Shapes - Paintings and Sculptures from the MENA - Auctions

Untitled 35


Executed in: 2012

Medium: mixed media on paper

Size: 25 x 145 cm

Signed in Arabic and "Ismail" on the front extreme left part


Private Collection, Lebanon.

This artwork is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity issued by Art on 56th Gallery


Beirut, Lebanon

Price realised €7,930

Estimate €7,500 - €9,500


Untitled 35 (2012) features Nazir Ismail’s distinctive forms, expressive brushwork, and ochre-like colours reminiscent of ancient art. The large mixed media work is filled with stylized faces and roosters, which are hallmark features of the artist.

A master of various mediums, Nazir Ismail (Syrian, b. 1948) portrays subjects from Syria’s contemporary religious and socio-political landscape. The artist explores themes of confusion, unease, and loss. primarily through a blend of abstraction and figuration.

From an early age, he frequented the studio of the folk artist Abu Subhi Al Tinawi, which neighbored his grandfather’s home. This early exposure led him to begin his own practice as a self-taught artist in the 1960s. His debut exhibition was hosted in Beirut, where he then lived and worked. Refining his practice over time, he developed his own distinctive style consisting of earthy tones and a unique expressionist technique, painting human or animal figures in the tradition of ancient Syrian sculpture. 

Ismail’s work has travelled to cultural capitals around the world featuring in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Retrospective exhibitions of his work were held in 1969 and in 1996 at the Goethe Institute in Damascus. He passed away in his homeland in 2016.


Untitled, solo exhibition, Art on 56th Gallery, 2013

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