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Jerry and Irene McDonald lived in Saudi Arabia in the 1960s and early 1970s and were frequent visitors to Beirut, where they had family. Irene met Paul Guiragossian at a solo exhibition in Beirut in 1968. She was struck by the otherness of his silent figures and immediately bought The Bride (lot 1).
Later, they saw some of his earlier less abstracted paintings. As she says,
"Looking at some of them for the first time, one would catch one's breath at their sudden, sharp sense of aliveness. In the 40-plus years since then, no other 20th-century paintings have had that effect on me. We became good friends with Paul. He did a great many drawings and sketches of me, explaining that he liked tall models - which was fairly obvious from his paintings. There was an odd thing about his drawings of me. I couldn't judge their resemblance to me, but I always noticed that they looked exactly the way I felt.
Everyone liked Paul. American, European, local - people just took to him. In a group, he was always the most quiet and the most observant. He had a fine sense of humor and delighted in absurdities. And he left much too soon."
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF MRS. IRENE MCDONALD