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Born in the Lebanese coastal village of Sahel Alma in 1890, Labibé Zogbé also known as Bibi Zogbé emigrated to Argentina at the age of sixteen and married her Argentinian partner Domingo Samaja a year later in 1907. An avant-gardist artist who proudly stood against rules and stereotypes, she settled in Buenos Aires where she would spend most of her life onwards and dedicated her life and time to the arts.
Educated at the religious Sainte Famille College in Beirut, her passion for art arose early in her life. She was opposed to the traditional education she was entitled to and took part in drawing lessons at the College. Later on, she trained alongside the Bulgarian master Klin Dimitrof. Her professional artistic career began in the 1930s with a number of exhibitions in Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, in Chile and Uruguay, in Paris and elsewhere. In 1934, the Galeria Witcomb in Argentina offered Zogbé her first solo exhibition, which was an
unprecedented success. The following year, the renowned Galerie Charpentier in Paris took the artist on board and presented her first solo show in Europe.
At the end of the Second World War, she lived in Paris and Dakar, where she painted the work entitled Bahias (lot 2 in this sale) and from there went on to Lebanon in 1947. Her long-awaited dream of returning to Lebanon was realized and she was soon recognised as a successful and talented artist and collectors began to express interest in her works. That same year, Zogbé held her first solo in her homeland at the Cénacle Libanais, undeniably establishing her success.
Known mainly for her decorative depictions of flowers and plants, often those that she reminisced from her homeland Lebanon, Bibi Zogbé plays with colour and depicts joyful compositions filled with symbolism and metaphors. With a style that is undeniably modern and graphic with strong outlines and yet classical subjects, Bibi Zogbé moved away from academism and also depicted a few portraits on rare occasions such as the one offered in the present sale. Her
works, now mainly in private hands across Argentina and South America, are rare and intricately mesmerising.
Christie's is proud to be offering the present grouping of works, recently rediscovered, by Bibi Zogbé from a Private Collection in Uruguay where the artist spent a lot of time during her holidays. Bibi Zogbé is undeniably one of the leading female pioneers of Modern art in the Levant. Forgotten for many years in the course of art history, Bibi Zogbé is considered today as one of the most important artists of the first half of the century both in Lebanon and South America. The artist, whose portrait was painted by various important fellow artists of her time including Tamara de Lempicka, passed away in 1973 and left behind a rich body of works, many of which are yet to be discovered across the globe.
THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR, PUNTA DEL ESTE, URUGUAY