• International Modern & Contemp auction at Christies

    Sale 7804

    International Modern & Contemporary Art

    27 October 2009, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel

  • Lot 15

    Asaad Arabi (Syrian, b. 1951)

    Two Teenagers

    Price Realised  


    Asaad Arabi (Syrian, b. 1951)
    Two Teenagers
    signed and dated 'A.Arabi 2007' (lower left of left panel)
    acrylic on canvas; diptych
    each: 74½ x 59in. (189 x 150cm.); overall: 74½ x 118in. (189 x 300cm.)
    Painted in 2007 (2)

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    Childhood reminiscences of his city, Damascus serve as limitless inspiration for Asaad Arabi. An enduring sense of nostalgia for his birthplace still pervades Arabi's canvases. He captures the spirit of the Damascus in which he lived, and which in turn lives in him. With his palette, Arabi interprets the sounds of his city amid the alleyways and dishevelled houses. His abstract compositions with their bold brushstrokes and fine detail present people and animals amid a backdrop of enveloping, exaggerated colour. These homes frequently figure into Arabis compositions, where a focus on the old city fixes images of a disappearing past.

    In recent decades this neighborhood has grown into neglect, as the majority of inhabitants abandoned these houses for modern habitation. Sections of the old neighborhood are being demolished and the capital is in danger of losing the very characteristics that have made it an ideal prototype for Arab society.
    Thus a closer look at the artists work reveals not only a sense of longing for this vanishing city and its way of life, in Assad Arabis paintings we find implications for the Arab world as it experiences a dramatic state of transformation, where debates over identity, culture and society persist.