Lot 10, Shafic Abboud - Fenêtre No 14* - Shades vs Shapes - Paintings and Sculptures from the MENA - Auctions

Fenêtre No 14*


Executed in: 1974

Medium: mixed media on cardboard

Size: 45 x 35 cm

Signed on the front lower right "Abboud". Titled 14 on the reverse


Private Collection, Lebanon.

Acquired from Centre d'Art Brigitte Schéhadé, Beirut by the present owner


Bucharest, Romania

Estimate €8,000 - €10,000


Fenêtre No 14 is a demonstration of the artist’s profound eye for colour and his ability to illuminate his canvases. In the words of Lebanese poet and essayist Saleh Stetie, “like Renoir, Vuillard, and Bonnard, Shafic Abboud is above all, an eye. He sees colour and immediately fragments it into light. His canvas is a bullfighter's outfit…” His rhythmic and repetitive application of colour patterns is juxtaposed with other elements in his composition that evoke a sense of unpredictability. The artist masterfully wields oil paint, giving his hues an opaque, deconstructed effect.

A master of colour, Shafic Abboud (Lebanese, b. 1926 - d. 2004) stands as one of the most renowned and collected Arab Modernist painters. His mature oeuvre comprises intricate symphonies of shades and textures that consistently appear to emit light, skillfully exploring the possibilities of oil and tempera paint. Abboud’s paintings bridge the art worlds of Europe and the Middle East. He was a frequent traveller who consistently returned to his homeland, where he played a significant role in Beirut's cultural and artistic life. Inspired by the Lebanese landscapes and his childhood memories, the artist’s practice evolved greatly over time. His work transitioned from a poetic Lebanese figuration towards a lyrical Parisian abstraction and eventually developed into a delicate style that incorporated both traditional and modern techniques. Without any direct reference, his paintings often subtly alluded to the tragedies and conflicts of the Near East. Yet Abboud’s paintings also depict the joy of life, exploring themes such as the intimacy of a room, a view from a window or the rhythm of the seasons.

Abboud studied at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA) under the tutelage of the painter César Gemayel (1898–1958). In 1947 he moved to Paris and studied at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts where frequented the studios of Jean Metzinger (1883–1956), Fernand Léger (1881–1955), and André Lhote (1885–1962). He returned to Lebanon in 1949 where he held his first solo show before resettling in Paris again. With the support of the art critic Roger van Gindertael (1899–1982), Abboud had his first Parisian exhibition of abstract works in 1955. He was invited to the prestigious Salon des Réalités Nouvelles and was the only Arab artist included in the first Paris Biennale in 1959. In the early 1960s, he gained wide recognition and received prestigious awards including the Prix Victor Choquet (1961) and Sursock Museum Prize (1964). In the 1980s, Abboud managed to secure an agreement with the Faris Gallery in Paris, which committed to organizing multiple solo exhibitions and purchasing a substantial number of his works before their creation. This opportunity not only enabled him to work on larger formats but also to refine the quality of his colors and framing techniques, ensuring their long-term preservation.

Shafic Abboud’s artworks can be found in numerous collections around the world including the Foreign Ministry of Affairs of France, the Government Acquisition of France, the Fonds National d'Art Contemporain of France, the Tate Modern, London, the British Museum, London, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, the Institut Du Monde Arabe, Paris, the Musée d’Art Moderne, Paris, the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, the Kunsthandel M.L. Boer, Amsterdam, the Musée des Beaux-arts of Algiers, the Mathaf: Museum of Fine Arts, Doha, the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman, the Collection Kinda Foundation, Saudi Arabia, and the Nicolas Sursock Museum, Beirut. In 2011, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, organized a retrospective of his work, curated by Claude Lemand.


Centre d'Art Brigitte Schéhadé, Beirut, 1975

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