Huguette Caland is recognized as one of Lebanon’s most renowned contemporary feminist artists of her generation. She has the ability to attract people with her unique avant-garde style and eccentric character. During the 1960s and 1970s, Lebanon was largely a male dominated society, as a result of which Caland used her art as a platform to create her mark. In 1970, Caland made the decision to move to Paris in hopes of developing her creative career further, leaving her husband and children behind. By the mid-1970s she gained prominence for her own distinct style, exploring the human form in an abstract and sensual manner, especially in her Bribes de Corps series. She continued to experiment with erotic bodyscapes and incorporated them into designs of stitched kaftans. This led to a renowned partnership with Pierre Cardin, French fashion designer, in 1979.
However, the place where she truly established herself and moved on from the human form into more abstract paintings was when she moved to Venice, California in 1987. During this time, she began experimenting with different medias and used her canvases to reflect upon emotional memories during her past, in which she recognised her feelings around family, war and freedom. Good Luck is an amalgamation of these motifs. Using different shapes, colours and lines, the work is sprinkled with irregular blocks of colour, primarily bright shades of pink, blue and yellow. The organic shapes indicate a sense of movement and fluidity. This is juxtaposed with Caland’s use of repetitive grid-like marks, evoking a more rigid tone. Elements are constantly layered, making it hard for the viewer to fully interpret Caland’s meaning behind the work. Overall, the strong desire for freedom is deeply conveyed in Good Luck, referring to Caland’s past.
Her work is solely based on process – trial and error. She would constantly work on and endless piece of rolled canvas until she deemed it finished, then she would cut the piece and start again. Caland’s paintings unveil a microcosm of the aromas and textures of Beirut. The most fascinating quality of Caland’s body of work comes from her passion for colour. The vividness of the colours shines through her work whether it’s in the fine brushstrokes, splashes of ink or the details in pen.