The Lebanese Foundation for the National Library has teamed up with SV Gallery for a six-show collaboration that blends art and books. “Artbooks and Modern Sculpture,” which opened Tuesday, is the first show.
Curated by Cesar Nammour, the founder of Jbeil’s Modern and Contemporary Art Museum, the show comprises 30 sculptures of varying styles by 30 renowned Lebanese artists.
“We wanted to do a thematic exhibit that shows the art and different material chosen by the artist bronze, wood, marble,” FLBN president Randa Daouk said. “Some of the sculptures are from the artist’s collections and some are from MACAM, but they worked together with Cesar to see what is best for the show and the layout etc.”
Founded in 2000, FLBN is a non-profit that worked closely with the recently reopened National Library to oversee the restoration of precious books and manuscripts and encourages the preservation of national heritage and culture.
Alongside each work on show is an art book about their career or a specific group of works.
“It’s very important for [the foundation] to show not just literature and manuscripts, but to show art books,” Daouk said. “These books on display are part of MACAM’s library but we also have a big selection of art books at the library and will be adding some of these to our collection.”
Works on show includes Ginane Makki Bacho’s “Cedar Tree” made from shrapnel, Nadim Karam’s “Walking Memory,” which bends stainless steel into calligraphy and an untitled, brightly painted tower by Charles Khoury.
Rudy Rahme’s bronze piece “Arzat al-Ajsad” is also on show, forming a cedar tree out of several twirling bodies.
“In Lebanon the children of this land have grown up as if prayer is mixed into the earth. All the old tales of this nation use the cedar tree as the emblem of this country,” Rahme told The Daily Star. “It’s become a symbol that is disconnected from today’s people so this piece is about shaking things up.
“To say ‘don’t forget that this symbol that you claim is god’s creation, holds all the history in the trunk and this is where we take our strength,’” he added. “That’s why here I made the cedar the body of the people one person is looking up, one is helping another, and one is dancing but all are supported by the leg of one person, opposite of the thick tree trunk, because our hope and faith is the only tenuous link and support left to us.”
The book “Hibir al-Masafa” (The Distance of Ink) is open on stand next to the sculpture, taking the reader through the various media Rahme has used and some of his most iconic pieces, like “Walking Rock” which is currently touring Asia.
Boutros Farhat says his stone piece “Al Lika’,” which looks like a stylized ampersand, is about gatherings, meaning “between loved ones, a large group or communication between two groups.” His chosen book is “Helm al-Hajar,” (Dream of Stone) which gives a complete look at all the pieces he created between 1991 and 2017.
In the coming year, FLBN will be holding the next exhibitions in series, each targeting a different medium. Daouk says the next two will feature glass work and works on paper.
“Artbooks and Modern Sculpture” is up at SV Gallery, Saifi Village, until Jan. 19, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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