Wadaa'a Adonis (Farewell Adonis) by Fateh Moudarres, is a captivating example from the artist's celebrated oeuvre. Characterised by square-shaped heads and exaggerated eyes, Moudarres created works by resurrecting the Assyrian, Sumerian and Babylonian figurative styles and adapted them to form his own artistic language. In Wadaa'a Adonis, painted in 1970, Moudarres has honed and perfected this distinct style, including the addition of a totemic form in which figures are depicted one above the other. Believing that all events are intrinsically linked, these stacked figures pertain to his understanding of historical events and the links between survival, Man and God. Choosing to stack these figures in a vertical manner references the stone columns of Palmyra and the direct connection between man and his faith.
In the current lot, Adonis alludes to the celebrated Syrian-Lebanese Poet, with whom Moudarres had a close and long-standing personal friendship. Moudarres stayed at Adonis' house in Beirut for a period of time documenting his feelings prolifically through his paintings following the Arab defeat in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Consequently, Moudarres' works took on a political undertone and provided a social commentary on his perception of these events and in particular, documented an overwhelming sense of loss he felt.
In Wadaa'a Adonis, non-descriptive figures stand dejectedly bidding farewell. With many of their eyes shut, they represent a powerless mass, as if symbolically saying goodbye to Arab nationalism and solidarity, whilst mourning the loss of the ideals of pioneering modernism. Aligned while facing out to the viewer, they are oblivious to anything else around them; a beast clambers in the background, yet no-one turns around to acknowledge it. Through this silence, a sense of despair befalls each of the figures faces, the rich tones of a red, rust and ochre palette exemplifying an emotionally charged atmosphere whilst simultaneously referencing the landscapes of Moudarres' native Syria. There is a palpable aura of helplessness and sadness that radiates from the canvas, the muted sense of dread that accompanies a farewell. However, the highlights in the faces and the shimmering bright accents provide an undertone of hope. The light may reveal the reality of the situation depicted, but in Wadaa'a Adonis as the light shines, it also brings with it a subtle beacon of optimism and a sense of faith for the greater good.