• Modern and Contemporary Arab,  auction at Christies

    Sale 7933

    Modern and Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art

    19 April 2011, Dubai

  • Lot 52

    Zena Assi (Lebanese, B. 1974)

    Art, War, Beirut

    Price Realised  


    Zena Assi (Lebanese, B. 1974)
    Art, War, Beirut
    signed, titled, dated and inscribed 'ZENA ASSI "Art, war, Beirut" mixed media & collage on canvas 170x170cm. 2011' (on the reverse)
    mixed media and collage on canvas
    67 x 67in. (170 x 170cm.)
    Painted in 2011

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    This is a very fine example from the new urban landscapes series by Lebanese artist Zena Assi, looking up at her own city with a masterful eye for composition - a perfect documentation of imageries from Beirut in an urban rush hour. The sky is barely mentioned and Assi's own vertical perspective adds more intimacy through closer views of windows, walls and rooftops. Her eye sheds lights on a very civil society that lives in an extreme closeness in the proximity of the place. Relations are interlinked, students and soldiers sit side by side on a bench. Buildings are interwoven in a tapestry of electrical wires, laundry lines, urban graffiti signs, sometimes shouting positively for hope, other times rebellious against the politics - the politics of Lebanon that emerges from the freedom of its streets, emphasizing on the strong positioning of Beirut as the eternal free voice of the Middle East. In the midst of this rhythmic chaos, we recognize very few traditional houses through their terracotta brick roofs in this giant cement forest that sadly dominates Beirut today.