Dalloul Art Foundation

Dalloul Art Foundation

CHAOUKI CHAMOUN CHAOUKI CHAMOUN

CHAOUKI CHAMOUN, Lebanon (1942)

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Bio

Written by Nathalie Bsat

Lebanese artist Chaouki Chamoun was born in the Bekaa Valley in 1942. After attending night classes in art and design for several years, he joined the Fine Art Institute at the Lebanese University in Beirut in 1968. During his second year at the Lebanese University, Chamoun became interested in modernism after visiting artists such as Said Akl, Aref Rayess, Yvette Achkar, and Chafic Abboud, who piqued his interest in abstraction. He graduated first in his class with a Diploma of Higher Studies in Painting in 1972, at which point he was awarded a six-year fellowship from his alma mater to pursue graduate studies in the United States. Relocating to New York, he received his Master of Fine Arts from Syracuse University in 1975, majoring in painting with a minor in sculpture and ceramics. From there, he chose to pursue a Ph.D. in the Art Education Department of New York University, where he concentrated on aesthetics and studio art. When he earned his doctorate in 1979, he was awarded a Meritorious Commendation for High Scholastic Achievement.

Given his academic background, Chaouki Chamoun hopes to be remembered as “the one who never stopped learning.” In keeping with this philosophy, Chamoun’s artistic practice has been marked by relentless experimentation, evolving continuously since the very beginning of his career. During his last year at the Fine Art Institute in Beirut, students were given the freedom to explore beyond the traditional academic styles of painting that had thus far structured their training. At this time, Chamoun was drawn to Cubism as a genre he felt allowed him to explore his creativity while maintaining an essential structure or set of rules.

Once in the United States, however, he discovered American abstract expressionism and subsequent movements that similarly prized spontaneity, experimentation, and aesthetic or artistic essentialism. His practice shifted towards less structured painting, with a greater focus on the process rather than the result. Though Cubism was no longer his primary point of reference, elements inspired by the movement continued to appear in his work. This tendency can be seen in a series of pastel drawings called Bandages for the War in Lebanon (1976-77). The theme of bandages was addressed to convey the constraint the artist lived while watching from afar, his country being devastated by war. The use of overlaying tapes onto his drawing was an esthetical means he added to his dialogue.

Also Known for his landscapes where angles made their way into his compositions to become more evocative of minimalist aesthetic trends than Cubism, the artist used thin lines or rectangles to highlight the structure of his painting. As landscape became a more frequent subject in his work, the artist began to populate his scenes with lines of people, always painted on a tiny scale relative to the composition. His figures stand with their backs to the viewer, gazing intently at something – a vast expanse of natural scenery, often, a cityscape, or a work of abstract art. Sometimes, they stare into nothing, becoming the subject of the painting itself instead of mere guests in a larger composition. These rows of people have become the artist’s signature; minuscule, their presence in his paintings creates an optical impression of scale that enlarges the rest of the work, endowing the works with an impressive, almost intimidating vertiginous quality. 

Throughout his career, Chamoun has taught at various universities in the United States and Lebanon. He currently teaches at the Lebanese American University in Beirut and continues to develop his lively art practice.

When Chamoun worked as a designer in the US, he designed the interiors of many major stores in New York, including one in the World Trade Center. After the destruction of the two towers, Chamoun painted a work he called “Toppled City,” which sold at a Dubai Christie’s auction in November 2007. At the time, it set the record price for a work by a living Lebanese artist.

Sources

Chamoun, Chaouki. The Art and Life of Chaouki Chamoun. London: Saqi Books, 2013.

Abillama, Nour, Marie Tomb, Tamara Zantout, and Pia Bou Khater. Art from Lebanon. Beirut, Lebanon: Wonderful Editions, 2012.

Nammour, Cesar, and Gabriela Schaub. Resonances, 82 Lebanese artists reviewed by Helen Khal. Beirut: Fine Arts Publishing, 2011.

Chamoun, Chaouki, Amal Traboulsi, and Albert Saikali. Chaouki Chamoun: 2006-Present. Beirut: Beirut Exhibition Center, 2013.

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CV

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2019

Chaouki Chamoun Horizons, Mark Hachem Gallery , Beirut, Lebanon

2018

Transformation by Chaouki Chamoun, Mark Hachem Gallery , Beirut, Lebanon

2017

Beyond Walls, Mark Hachem Gallery , Beirut, Lebanon

2015

Artworks on Paper Cut to Order, Mark Hachem Gallery - Beirut, Lebanon
Peace in Waiting, Galerie Mark Hachem, Paris, France

2014

Peace in Waiting, Galerie Mark Hachem, Beirut, Lebanon

2013

Beirut Exhibition Center, Solidere , Beirut, Lebanon
The Art and Life of Chaouki Chamoun, London, UK

2011

Emile Lahhoud Cultural Center, Dbaiyah, Lebanon

1999

Installation Cana, Beirut Hall, Beirut, Lebanon

1996

Hariri Foundation, Saida, Lebanon

1992

Marriott Hotel, New York, USA

1976

Anti War Manifestation, UN, Plaza, New York, USA

1975

International Living Center, Syracuse, New York, USA

Selected Group Exhibitions

2016

Galerie Mark Hachem, Paris, France

2015

Arab Collective Art Exhibition, Galerie Mark Hachem, Beirut, Lebanon

2012

Art From Lebanon, Beirut Exhibition Centre, Beirut, Lebanon
The Written Image, Sandaram Tagore Gallery, Hong Kong

2011

Rebirth, Beirut Exhibition Centre, Beirut, Lebanon
The Written Image, Sandaram Tagore Gallery, New York and Los Angeles, USA

2010

Katzen Museum Washington, USA
Old Beirut City Center, Lebanon
Abu Dhabi Art, Abu Dhabi, UAE

2009

UNESCO Palace Beirut, Lebanon, Presentation and tribute by LIONS CLUB of Lebanon and ME

2008

Sursock Museum, Beirut, Lebanon
Alexandria Biennale (Representing Lebanon), Egypt                 

2007

50 Years of Lebanese Art Movement, Lebanese Artists Association, UNESCO
Algeria Pan Arab Art Exhibit( Representing Lebanon), Algeria               

2006

Al-Khorafi Arabic Biennale (Prize winner), Kuwait
Tripoli first Sculpture Symposium, Tripoli, Lebanon
Sursock Museum, Beirut, Lebanon
Lebanese Artists Association, Verdun, Beirut Lebanon
Emile Lahoud Cultural Center, Dbayieh, Lebanon

2005

Lebanese Artists Association, (small work), Beirut, Lebanon

2002

Lebanese Artists Association, Verdun, Beirut, Lebanon

2001

Karami international exhibit hall, Tripoli, Lebanon

2000

National Council of Culture and Art, Kuwait
Lebanese Art in the collection of Sursock Museum and the Ministry of Culture, Sursock Museum, Beirut, Lebanon

1999

Unesco Palace, Collectors Exhibit, Beirut, Lebanon

1998

Lebanese Plastic Art, Cairo, Egypt
Lebanese Painting, Dubai, UAE
Unesco Palace, Arab Art, Beirut, Lebanon

1997

Aspects of Lebanese Art, Museum of Modern Art, Cairo, Egypt
Cultural Center, Tripoly, Lebanon
Alwan Art Gallery, Kaslik, Lebanon
Martyr’s Square Exhibition Hall, Beirut, Lebanon
Biennale, Kaslik University, Kaslik, Lebanon
Cultural Center, Tripoly, Lebanon
Art Deco / La Fiad, Beirut Hall, Beirut, Lebanon
Graphic Art, LAU, Beirut, Lebanon
Graphic Art, Amman, Jordan
International Art Exhibit, Vienna, Austria

1996

Art Museum, Sharja, UAE
Parliament Hall, Beirut, Lebanon
World of Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

1995

Ministry of art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon         
World of Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
Aquarella Gallery, Collina Club, Rabieh, Lebanon
Martyr’s Square Exhibition Hall, Beirut, Lebanon
Contemporary Lebanese Art, National Museum, Kuwait

1991

Platform International, Washington, D.C., USA

1984

Sursock Museum, Beirut, Lebanon

1979

New York University, New York, NY, USA

1977

Fall Salon, Zouk, Lebanon

1976

New York University, New York, NY, USA

1975

Low Art Center, Syracuse, NY, USA
Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, USA

1974

Rochester Museum, USA

1968-
1973

Spring Salon, Beirut, Lebanon

Publications

2013

Chaouki Camoun, The Art Of Life of Chaouki Chamoun, Saqi Books, London

Collections

Ramzi and Saeda Dalloul Art Foundation, Beirut, Lebanon
The collection of the Ministry of Culture, Beirut, Lebanon

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Videos

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Exhibitions

CHAOUKI CHAMOUN Artwork