The art of the painter, sculptor and printmaker Hussein Madi has been viewed by thousands of people around the world at such venues as the British Museum, the Venice Biennale and Tokyo’s Ueno Museum. However, it has never before been made available as a published retrospective. This long-overdue book contains an invaluable overview of Madi’s work of four decades, in which his intensely personal fusion of European and Islamic influences always presents itself with a force that is both arresting and subtle.
Madi’s joyful experiments in colour and form have resulted in a unique body of work that relates to modern artists like Matisse and Picasso as well as to the principles of divine harmony that inform the abstract designs of Islamic art. Whether in two or three dimensions, Madi’s lines sing with a spontaneous freedom that belies the careful, even exacting, calculations that the artist invests in each work. This combination of meticulousness and sensuality is everywhere evident in Madi’s work, inspired by his profound belief in ‘God’s universal order, in which everything is different and yet composed of the same cosmic elements.’
A tireless and highly prolific artist, Madi has achieved a lifetime output of virtually countless works in a variety of media. This book – with over 500 colour plates – will serve as a touchstone for both long-time admirers and initiates to his oeuvre.
About the Author
Hussein Madi, painter, sculptor and printmaker, is considered among the Arab world’s foremost artists. Born in 1938 in Chebaa, Lebanon, Madi studied painting at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (ALBA) in Beirut. In 1963 he travelled to Rome to pursue his studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti, the Accademia San Giacomo and a number of the city’s free ateliers. Madi resided in Rome for the next twenty-two years, eventually obtaining Italian citizenship. In 1987 he returned to live permanently in Lebanon. He has had more than sixty solo exhibitions the world over.
‘A milestone for Lebanese art in particular and art from the Arab and Islamic world in general.’
The Daily Star
'A stunning collection of work from the 'Picasso of the Orient.' Madi's drawings are filled with symbols and rich with artistic conventions in simplifie forms; they are an enchanted script, a resumé of figurative art.'