Huguette Caland (Lebanese, b. 1931)
Lots are subject to 5% import Duty on the importat… Read more
Huguette Caland (Lebanese, b. 1931)

Winter in Venice, Ca.

Huguette Caland (Lebanese, b. 1931)
Winter in Venice, Ca.
signed, titled, inscribed and dated '"Winter in Venice, Ca." H. Caland 2011 #2011-014' (on the reverse)
acrylic, ink, felt pen and metallic paint on loose canvas
64½ x 164½ in. (164 x 418cm.)
Painted in 2011
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner.
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Lot Essay

The acclaimed Lebanese artist Huguette Caland was born in 1931 in Beirut as the only daughter of the first President of the Republic of Lebanon Bechara El Khoury. Having moved to Paris in 1970, she finally settled in Venice, California, where she currently resides. Although she is in her early 80s, Caland continues to produce magical works on canvases, magnificent and beautifully detailed works that she fills with fine brushstrokes, inks and pens.

Studying painting at the age of 16, she was encouraged by her uncle Fouad El Khoury to pursue her artistic career, which she followed by deciding to study Fine Arts at the American University in Beirut in the 1960s. Her path eventually lead her to work with Romanian sculptor George Apstou in Paris and she even collaborated with Pierre Cardin on an exclusive fashion line, ornamented with her whimsical and enchanting motifs. Caland works her canvases as if they are a fantastical world that she creates; distances become distorted and spaces widened. In Winter in Venice, Ca., Caland uses exhilarating and captivating bright colours of pinks, greens and blues to capture an abstract scenery that is reminiscent of tapestries and embroideries. Her memory and depiction of Venice, California transforms her memories of a fresh winter into a highly detailed and ornate carpet. Despite its simplicity, her work is far from archaic or primitive - she uses felt pink
and inks impulsively drawn - she never preconceives her works - to create repetitive elements of simple testimonies, small houses, the tip of mountains, trees and flowers with no emphasis on any sense of perspective. Almost as an open diary of her life, her work exudes a sense of childlike innocence, each delicate line and her choice of luminous palette capturing the feeling as if of gold and silver threads.

In Winter in Venice, Ca., Caland's optimistic perspective dominates the canvas, the viewer is taken on an endless journey as if there is no end or beginning to her work. Like a continuous journey, one is transported into a vision of what the world was or the world she dreams it to be; her interpretation of her surroundings in California. Yet her love of nature, free forms and the whimsical harks back to her Lebanese roots, celebrating the joy of life against a victory of hope. In doing so, she presents this outstanding work, bustling with fresh and vivid colours, in a diffusion of happiness, love and excitement.

A retrospective of Huguette Caland's works is currently being held at the Beirut Exhibition Art Centre in Lebanon.

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