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Shafic Abboud

Born in: 1926


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Shafic Abboud (Lebanon, 1926 – Paris, 2004) Shafic Abboud is the foremost Lebanese Parisian painter of the second half of the 20th century. His paintings are a manifesto for freedom, colour, light and joy, as well as being a permanent bridge between the art scenes of France, Lebanon and the Arab World. He was very attached to Lebanon, to its landscapes, its light and his own childhood memories, and he loved Paris, the City that welcomed him and recognised his talent. Shafic Abboud was from a Lebanese Arab Modern culture. The stories of his grandmother, who was the village’s story-teller, left an indelible mark on him, at a very early age. The artist’s eye was also strongly influenced by Byzantine icons and traditions from his church. The writings, debates, ideals, hopes and battles characterising the Arab Renaissance were to have a significant impact on his intellectual education. Born in 1926 in Lebanon, Shafic Abboud arrived in 1947 in Paris. He blended in perfectly with the city’s artistic life, just as many other artists who had come from all over the world after the Second World War. Shafic Abboud had a particular preference for works by Pierre Bonnard and Nicolas de Staël. His painting gradually moved from the poetic Lebanese figuration towards the lyrical Parisian abstraction, followed by a move from abstraction towards a very subtle and sublime personal “abboudian transfiguration”, which was simultaneously traditional and modern, pagan and sacred. His aim was to do a synthesis between his fairy-tale like childhood world and his technical mastering of abstract Parisian painting, that he sought to transcend, by giving it a soul of its own and a rich and luminous texture. (Claude Lemand, in SHAFIC ABBOUD Retrospective, Claude Lemand Art Publisher, pages 52-53, Paris, 2006).
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