• Subject : Art Appreciation
  • No. of Sessions : 1
  • Time Schedule : 5:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Dates : 08 May 2010

  • Fee : AED Free
  • Audience : Seniors (15+)
  • Speaker/Instructor : Mohammad El Rawas
  • Venue : ARTSAWA | ALQUOZ
  • Description:  

    El Rawas had participated in more than 40 international art biennales and claimed several prizes. His meticulous three-dimensional structures and mixed media works offer a complex visual and conceptual experience - compelling, enigmatic and vigorously challenging. He “quotes” images from European art, as well as from his Middle Eastern roots, which in their new contexts, remind us of the continuity of human creativity.
    El Rawas invites us to interrogate our experience of the world across time and cultures, through juxtaposed images and icons that shimmer with the contingency of the moment.
    Mohammad El Rawas is well known for his complex mixed media and assemblages. In his work “Each surface is carefully mapped out, divided into sections and ‘framed’ which suggests containment whether in form of dominant cultural hierarchies or proscribed spaces. The juxtaposition of different materials, their associated meanings, and the images work to subvert these constrictions in various ways and to introduce contradiction.” (Fran Lloyd, from the artist’s exhibition catalogue of his show at the Janine Rubeiz gallery in Beirut, November 2000)
    “Juxtaposing words and images, and visual iconography from high art and popular cultural sources, the work of Mohammad El Rawas expresses a fundamental ambivalence demonstrating both a dept to, and an ironic distance from, modernist traditions. El Rawas’ complex multi-media [works] speak to the contemporary experience of fragmentation that is at once universal, and, one suspects, distinctly middle eastern.” 
    (Helena Reckitt, ibid)
    The talk is followed by a Q&A.
    Mohammad El Rawas studied painting at the Institute of Fine Art of the Lebanese University, and graduated in 1975 with honors, receiving  the Lebanese University Scholarship to study abroad. The year of his graduation marked the beginning of the civil war in Lebanon, leading the artist to stop painting and to leave his country to Morocco where he stayed for two years in Rabat, teaching art and resuming painting. He returned to Beirut in 1979 to hold his first solo show before joining the Slade School of Fine Art in London in the same year. Upon his return to Beirut in 1981 with a Masters Degree in printmaking, he started his academic career at the Lebanese University and the American University of Beirut, that lasted for 27 years. Mohammad El Rawas also served for nine years as General-Secretary of the Association of Lebanese Artists, and is a founding member of the Syndicate of Lebanese Artists. 
     Since 1979 El Rawas has held eight individual exhibitions in Beirut and London and has participated in more than 40 international art biennials and exhibitions in England, USA, Norway, Tunis, Brazil, Japan, Kuwait, France, the Netherlands, Egypt, the UAE, Poland and China. In these international shows he claimed five prizes and honorable mentions, including, in 2007, the Prize of the Alexandria Biennial of the Art of the Mediterranean Countries, for his first installation and video art piece.
    His work is found in many Museums and public collections in Lebanon, Tunis, Iraq, Jordan, Sharjah, Norway and England.