18th September - 18th December, Thessaloniki
Born (1970) in Beirut, Lebanon. He studied at the École Supérieure d'Arts Graphiques Penninghen, Paris and is currently living in Lebanon; therefore, his paintings can be seen as an extension of painterly practice from two cultures. The context, the light, the colors, the history can affect and inspire his work. It becomes reminiscent of a sensibility that is timeless and universal. Recent Exhibitions: The Wolf is crying like a child, Kashya Hildebrand Gallery, Zurich, 2011; Rebirth, Beirut Exhibit Center, Lebanon, 2011; The Feast of the Damned, Museum of Art & Design, New York, 2010; The Dictators: Studies for a Monument, Selma Feriani Gallery, London, 2010; Told/ Untold / Retold, Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Quatar, 2010; All about Beirut, Kunsthalle whiteBOX, Munich, 2010; American University Museum-Washington, 2010.
Marwan Sahmarani’s work is deeply rooted in and linked to his Middle Eastern origins. His oil paintings, drawings, ceramics and performative work are a reflection on the mediums themselves, while also being a journey through personal and collective drama, often in the context of the regional turmoil in Lebanon and its surroundings. Sahmarani’s work is a timely reminder of the cyclic histories of violence in a region where conflict and invasion are constant self-perpetuating realities.
Sahmarani ventures between his European education and his Oriental identity. Islamic and Mesopotamian art meets with the Greco-Roman iconography as well as with the strong influence that great masters, such as Uccello, Rubens and Picasso, had on his practice. He sources from art history themes that remain timeless and reflect current issues, such as the individual human experience and the experience of people worldwide.
Sahmarani’s work is mainly focused on politics, sociology, war and sexuality. The content of his paintings and drawings has a palpably surreal atmosphere, where the limits between dream, fiction and reality disappear in order to create a singular universe which is characteristic and recognizable throughout Sahmarani’s work.