Shafic Abboud 1926-2004

About his work
The most celebrated Lebanese painter of the 20th century and one of the most influential Modernists of the Arab world, Abboud spent most of his life in Paris where he apprenticed in the ateliers of some of the better known artists of his generation, becoming immersed in the abstract tendencies of Neo-Impressionism, Pointillism, Cubism and Fauvism, under art history names such as Leger and Metzinger. While this group of artists is not the best known today from that generation, they acted as the bridge between the early Modernists of the 19th century and the high Modernists of the 20th. Perhaps the first Lebanese abstract painter in a formal sense, Abboud yet incorporated folklore and storytelling in his extensive oeuvre, which abounds in religious symbolism from Oriental Christianity and the traditional landscapes he painted in his youth, embedded in his own abstract language. Chafic Abboud's interest in material cultures and objects led him to embrace the tendency of the age to work on pure materiality rather than themes, all of which is visible in his ceramics, terracotta sculptures, reliefs and etchings. Only ten years after his death, Abboud's work has been celebrated through large retrospectives and present in international auctions, and re-discovered as a major artistic achievement.


He was born in 1926.In 1946, he interrupted his studies in engineering and enrolled at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts before moving to Paris in 1947.
In 1949 he attended the Andre Lhote workshop. From 1952 to 1956,as an independent student, he studied at the National School of Fine Arts of Paris. In 1959 he participated in the first Biennale of Paris and in 1961 he received the Victor Choquet (Ministry of Finance, Paris).
In 1964 he won the prize of Sursock Museum, Lebanon).
In 1983 he participated in the FIAC 1991-2004.
During those years, Abboud travelled several times to Italy, visiting Venice, Rome, Florence.
In 1994, Galerie Janine Rubeiz organized its first solo exhibition for Abboud in Beirut, after a break of sixteen years of war.
Back in Paris, he exhibited at the Maison de l'UNESCO, the Institut du Monde Arabe and at the Protee Gallery.
Between 1997 and 2003, the Claude Lemand Gallery organized several solo exhibitions of Abboud's works. 
In 2011 a Retrospective exhibition in Paris, at the Institute of the Arab world. In 2012 a Retrospective exhibition in Beirut. 
Abboud's last solo exhibition in Lebanon was held at the Janine Rubeiz Gallery in 1999. Abboud passed away on 8th April 2004 in Paris.

Our collection in the gallery: