Although Lebanese artist Helen Khal was born in Pennsylvania and did not relocate to Lebanon until the 1940s, her involvement in the Lebanese art scene is undoubtedly one that should not be underestimated. Her tenure as art critic to periodicals such as The Daily Star as well as Monday Morning, whilst also teaching at the American University of Beirut cemented her authority in the local art scene. However it was her marriage to the young poet Youssef Al Khal, which led to the establishment of the eponymous Gallery One, one of the most celebrated spaces for exhibiting both local and regional Arab art, which paved the way for art appreciation today.
Encouraged by fellow artist Aref El-Rayess to pursue her artistic calling having studied at ALBA in Lebanon, from 1955 Khal devoted herself to painting. Captivated by the light of the Mediterranean coast, her works denote a double attraction to form and colour exemplified by a bold use of horizontal lines, evocative of horizons and landscapes that emanate a sense of tranquility.
Christie's is proud to present two works from the artist painted in the 1980s that show the development of Khal's oeuvre to adopt a more figurative approach from her generally abstract plains of colour. Building translucent and overlapping layers of colour that are almost soaked in light, the artist allows the luminosity of her palette to reinforce the forms in her composition - be it a couple of flowers or a full-fledged still life - as such these two works exude an ethereal quality that represent evocative visions of mysterious plains and cliffs.