• International Modern & Contemp auction at Christies

    Sale 7804

    International Modern & Contemporary Art

    27 October 2009, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel

  • Lot 28

    Marwan Kassab Bachi (Syrian, b. 1934)


    Price Realised  


    Marwan Kassab Bachi (Syrian, b. 1934)
    signed and dated 'marwan 80' (lower right)
    gouache and pencil on paper
    57 7/8 x 42in. (147 x 107cm.)
    Executed in 1980

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    The loss of faith in humanity in the second half of the twentieth century, was such that the human image in the Arab world became increasingly difficult to portray. Many artists found images of humanity impossible to create, shifting instead towards abstraction, which expressed the chaos and uncertainty felt during the many wars and occupations.
    Marwan Kassab Bachi moved to Germany, and it was during his prolonged stay that he studied German Expressionism, which was to become the major influence on his painting. During the 1960s, along with his colleagues Eugen Schvnebeck and Georg Baselitz, he freed himself from the confines of Gestural Abstract painting, which was, at the time, the dominant form of artistic expression.
    His early paintings include landscapes, some with figures. However, his mature work excludes the external setting, and instead he focussed solely on human beings to completely describe his experience of nature which is revealed in the inner landscape of the sitters.
    His "Heads" paintings explore themes such as anonymity and crisis of identity, and do so with intense feeling and consciousness. They are mostly self-portraits which demonstrate the inner truth, and in this sense, rather than through any superficial resemblance, they are subjective.

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    Private collection, Berlin.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.