Born in Beirut in 1973, Raffi Yedalian studied Etching at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Art and Fine Arts at the Academy of Fine Art Toros Roslin. Yadalian’s etchings, paintings and wood and bronze sculptures are characterized by stylized human faces whose angular features convey a sense of eternal longing.
Rached Bohsali is a trained architect and painter whose work has been exhibited widely in his native Beirut, the Arab world, Europe, and the United States. Bohsali works primarily with watercolor, producing still-life compositions that engage with the materiality of his objects to reveal the subtle interplay between light and shadow. Executed in a hyper-realist style, the artist imbues his reflective metal surfaces and inanimate objects with movement and depth, at the same time inviting a reflection on the importance of cultural preservation. He has received several awards including a Special Mention by the Salon d’Automne held at the Sursock Museum; the Shield of the Lebanese Ministry of Culture & Higher Education; and was one of 12 Prizewinners of the World-Wide Millennium Painting Competition organized by Windsor & Newton and IMOGEN in London. Receiving a BA in Architecture from the American University of Beirut and a C.E.A.A. in Domestic Architecture from the Ecole d’Archiecture Paris-Villemin, Bohsali continues to work in Beirut where he chairs the Fine Arts Department of the Lebanese American University.
Born in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Fatima Al Mazrouie received a degree in Visual Arts and Design from Zayed University, UAE. Her work seeks to interrogate and notions of womanhood, specifically what it means to be a Muslim woman in the Arab region.
Oussama Baalbaki was born in Beirut in 1978, where he studied at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Art. His delicate paintings, often executed in photorealistic detail, consist of black-and-white self-portraits, most containing a single surrealistic element imbued with symbolism. His expressionist landscapes, meanwhile, capture both the beauty of Lebanon’s natural scenery and the scars left on it by human presence. In addition to his paintings, Baalbaki began drawing illustrations for several Lebanese publications and designed several book covers for publishing houses. Baalbaki has exhibited his work at numerous cultural institutions including Green Art Gallery, Dubai, the American University Museum and the Sursock museum, Beirut. He has participated in leading regional art fairs including Art Dubai and Art Abu Dhabi in 2009, the same year he represented Beirut at the International Jeux de Francophonie where he was awarded the Silver Medal for painting. Baalbaki resides and works in Beirut.
Born in Basra in 1974, Saddam Jumaily lives and works in Jordan. He has a bachelor degree in Plastic Arts and an MA in Fine Arts-Painting department from the Basra University College of Fine Arts, Iraq, where has also lectured in Fine Arts.
Born in Hama in 1952, Edward Shahda studied at the Suhail Ahdab Center in Hama and the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Damascus, before undertaking a residency at the Anatoli Klankov Atelier in Russia
Born in Lebanon in 1954 Raouf Rifai lives and works in Beirut. He has a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the Sorbonne in Paris and teaches art at the Lebanese University. His large-scale acrylic paintings depict Middle Eastern men who are characterized by their large tarbush hats and traditional garments, rendered in bright warm colors that reflect the rich cultural heritage of the Middle East. At times his figures are abstracted with lines covering their facial features; elsewhere, their exaggerated facial features animate the canvas and attest to the expressiveness he seeks to capture in his portraits. In 2010, Rifai was awarded the first prize in the Sursock Museum’s Salon d’automne in Beirut, and a year later his work was successfully auctioned at Christie’s Dubai. Rifai has taken part in numerous collective shows in Europe, the United States, the Middle East, and Japan and has held more than fifteen solo exhibitions since 1984 in Lebanon, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Singapore, Malaysia, France, and the United States.
Born in Daraa, southwest Syria, in 1989, Mohammad Labash studied painting and drawing at Damascus University. His visually charged paintings are filled with vigorous energy, chaotic strokes, and blocks of color overlapping and abutting each other amid scribbled lines. His subdued palettes often feature autumnal colors and his semi-abstract compositions hint at figures lurking in the shadows, inviting the viewer to decipher the details embedded therein. Speaking of his practice, Labash states, a painting is like a child with relentless questioning, quest, discovery, and trial” – an inquiry that is reflected in his intense painterly technique. Heavily influenced by Damascus’ urbanity and socio-political realities, his paintings reflect the dynamism and the tensions that characterize the city.
Born in Homs in 1977, Mouteea Murad studied Fine Arts at the University of Damascus. His works are inspired by traditional Islamic art in which spirituality and formalism are unified in geometric form. His intricate geometric paintings borrow from the illusionistic perspective of Op art and the grid-like, rectangular forms of Suprematism, yet his bold use of color imbues his paintings with a more playful and contemporary aesthetic. His works invite a reflection on spatiality and order, embodying a mathematical precision that is visually satisfying. The compositional order works for which Murad is better known are in stark contrast to his earlier minimalist, monochrome gestural paintings, which dealt with the existential anguish of modernity. A monograph of the artist’s work was launched alongside the artist’s exhibition Thresholds, at Ayyam Gallery Dubai in November 2016. His work can be found in private and public collections internationally, including the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts. Murad lives and works in Sharjah, UAE.
Aula Al Ayoubi was born in Damascus in 1973 and studied mathematics and educational sciences at the University of Damascus.
B. 1988, Bojnurd, Iran
Born in 1970 in Beirut, Lebanon, Marwan Sahmarani studied at l’École Supérieur d’Art Graphique in Paris, France. His oil paintings are notable for his explosive use of color and frenetic brushwork that imbues the dense scenes he paints with energetic movement.