'I do not have any true masters but there are people from whom I have taken a lot: they are [Roger] Bissière, and also [Pierre] Bonnard. Light and space are two crucial elements of the latter's painting. He is not an intimate painter, as scornfully described many times, but a great man'.
(Chafic Abboud, in an interview with Michel Chapuis, which was broadcast on the program 'Le Pont des Arts' on the radio FRANCE CULTURE on 7th July 1979)
In Abboud's works, it is not the suggested narrative which draws our attention, but rather the voluptuousness and happiness emanating from his paintings through its rich textures, pigments and the beautiful lyrical abstraction, radiating from the surface of his canvases and plunging the viewer into the artist's so called 'abboudian' world. After being mesmerised by Abboud's palette of purples, blues, greens, reds, browns and whites in L'Amour en noir fleuri, this Composition of 1981 dazzles the viewer with its flamboyant orange, yellow, pink and white pigments. Again, the different shapes, colours and textures create a strikingly lively patchwork beautifully decorated, reminiscent of Edouard Vuillard's (1868-1940) Nabis paintings. The outlined planes of pigments, which break up the canvas' surface into a harmonious mosaic of patterns and glazing warm tones, bring to mind Nicolas de Staël's (1914-1955) abstract compositions.
However, Abboud's Composition gorges with a similar Mediterranean, almost blinding, sunlight, than that found in many of Pierre Bonnard's (1867-1947) masterpieces. One which first comes to mind is Bonnard's so-called Large Yellow Nude, painted in 1931 and currently in a private collection. Bonnard often took his wife Marthe as a model for his nudes and in this painting he depicts her standing a room, from which emanates bright warm tones. Abboud's 1981 Composition breathes out this same radiating light through its wide range of flaming oranges, heightened with whites and subtle pinks and greens. In the same way, the scene in Bonnard's Le petit déjeuner of 1936, here illustrated, floods with that same radiant sunlight, so characteristic of Le Cannet in South of France, where the artist bought a house named le Bosquet in 1926. The light glowing from Abboud's Composition is that of his native country, Lebanon, which he frequently returned once based in Paris. However, with the break of Civil War in Lebanon in 1975, Abboud did not go back to his fatherland until 1981, the year in which he painted the present work, perhaps as a celebration or recollection of all his memories bathed in Lebanese sunlight and warmth.
The art critic Alain Bosquet summed up his impressions on the painter, writing that 'Chafic Abboud. The first impression is of light, in which the volumes, the forms and the profiles are melded with an enormous abstract happiness. A bit as though Bonnard or Vuillard had been satisfied with an insistent intoxication, without feeling the need to give their figures or their interior scenes a definitive identity.' (Alain Bosquet, Le Figaro, 1977, Paris).