Mansour El Habre
About his work
Painting or reality? On simple observation, there is seemly no duality between the object known and the thing perceived, according to classical optics. But when reality becomes disfigured and madness is no longer an escape, but rather the metaphysical condition under which things disclose themselves, how is visual culture and the production of images to articulate the boundless singularity the world has been fragmented into? Mansour El Habre's paintings and at times erratic works on paper do not answer the question but address the condition. Surrealism is here not simply a mechanism or a politics of desire, but a gravitational force that allows the observer - in this case the painter - to hold reality together piecemeal. The apparently figurative works and worlds collapse into theatricality and psychosis. A childish theme appears as the subject becomes deconstructed and reduced to its primary units of cognition and recognition. While at times, a narrative is attempted, the filters of reality protecting the sanity of the war observer become augmented and augmented until everything dissolves into those primary forms and colors; it is the world of a child.
Mansour El Habre was born in Lebanon in 1970, and is a multidisciplinary artist working across painting, printmaking and new media. He holds a bachelor's degree from the Lebanese University and a master's from the University of Balamand. He is an instructor at ALBA.
In addition to exhibiting on a regular basis in some of Lebanon’s foremost art spaces, El Habre has been featured in galleries and festivals across the Gulf, Europe and North America.
Since 1993, he has held solo and group exhibitions with Galerie Janine Rubeiz in Lebanon, and other venues in Switzerland, Kuwait, England and the United Arab Emirates: “Scenes de vie”, “Football” (2002), « Coup d’œil : Passé et Présent I» (2005), “Fiction” (2008-2009), « Artistes Libanais » Galerie Janine Rubeiz & Dar Al Founoun, « Lignes et Couleurs » (2008), « Republicafe » (2012) and « Clin d’œil » (2014). In 2010, he participated in the exhibition “Convergence - New Art from Lebanon”, at the Katzen Art Center at the American University in Washington DC. His work has been showcased in Art Dubai and Abu Dhabi Art with Galerie Janine Rubeiz, where his work is permanently exhibited.