The Daily Star, 03'11'2012
>> related project:  Art From Lebanon
A hefty book, a sprawling show
November 03, 2012 12:04 AM
By Kaelen Wilson-Goldie
The Daily Star

Saliba Douaihy, “Ehden,” 1952, oil on plywood, Naji and Hoda Skaff Collection.

excerpt from the article:


Still, there are moments of brilliance. One emerges from a sequence of paintings by Saliba Douaihy, all landscapes that show the staggered stages of his transition from realism to expressionism to hard-edge abstraction.

Another comes from “Exultation,” a riotous, De Kooning-esque canvas from 1968 by Halim Jurdak. Another still comes from a fascinating selection of paintings by Khalil Zgaib, a so-called outsider artist with an abiding affection for radically collapsed compositional planes, whose work is in dire need of a monograph and a retrospective.

Yet another comes from a glimmering essay in the book by the photographer, teacher and art historian Gregory Buchakjian, who casts aside all the pretense and pomposity of the project to compose, after André Malraux, his own musée imaginaire.

Using a thoughtful selection of works – almost all of which are privately held and known to us only through rumor and books – Buchakjian pieces together a delicate but deliberate story that winds through artists studios and historical episodes with ease. Using art as a narrative trigger, he also asks something of us, which is to imagine a little more for the future from the place where we live today.

“Art from Lebanon: Modern and Contemporary Artists, Volume I, 1880-1975” remains on view at the Beirut Exhibition Center through Dec. 9. For more information, please call 01-962-000 or visit