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Dalloul Art Foundation

OUSSAMA BAALBAKI, Lebanon (1978)


Written by L’Or Iman Puymartin Oussama Baalbaki was born in Lebanon in 1978. Baalbaki and his six siblings are all successful musicians and painters, following in the footsteps of their...

Written by L’Or Iman Puymartin

Oussama Baalbaki was born in Lebanon in 1978. Baalbaki and his six siblings are all successful musicians and painters, following in the footsteps of their father, multitalented artist Abdul Hamid Baalbaki. Baalbaki graduated from Lebanese University’s School of Fine Arts in 2002. 

Baalbaki’s work addresses a question that has haunted artists since the nineteenth century: what is the role of painting in the era of photography? His paintings simultaneously evoke the painterly, expressive brushstrokes and dreamy color palettes of Impressionist landscapes and the snapshots of sunsets and fireworks that populate Instagram today. This play between painting and photography is ultimately a play on time; while the photograph captures a split-second freeze-frame of a fleeting present, painting has a more fluid, flexible relationship to time. Baalbaki’s landscapes and cityscapes evoke a sense of motion, slow but insistent, that suggests the passage of time, as if to stretch a period of minutes or even hours over the canvas rather than “embalming” an instant photographically.

Most of Baalbaki’s work takes on traditional subject matter, including landscapes, cityscapes, and portraits. The artist prefers self-portraiture because he considers himself his most reliable model, as he is most familiar with his own features, gestures, and emotions. Many of these self-portraits are rendered in greyscale, and at first appear to be charcoal or pencil drawings; upon closer inspection, however, they are acrylic on canvas, painted with the same gestural brushstrokes he brings to his landscapes. Still others, such as Dissatisfaction (2018) and An Exhausted Night (2018), utilize palettes of blues, pinks, and yellows similar to his virtuosic images of the sky in liminal states of dawn and dusk. Thinning the line between realism and expressionism, Baalbaki strives to capture images of quotidian life in its emotional as well as physical forms, often imbuing his self-portraits with a sense of boredom, exhaustion, or melancholy.

Oussama Baalbaki lives and works in Beirut. 


"Baalbaki, Oussama." AgialArt. Accessed September 12, 2017.

Ghaddar, Maryam. "When reality haunts works of art." The Daily Star. Accessed September 12, 2017.

Stoughton, India. "Oussama Baalbaki's disquieting dystopias." The Daily Star. Accessed September 12, 2017. 

العراوي، ميموزا. "أسامة بعلبكي رسام الألم المرئي و المسموع في غابة السكون الكبير. Accessed October 16, 2017.أسامة-بعلبكي-رسام-الألم-المرئي-والمسموع-في-غابة-السكون-الكبير

Tarrab, Joseph. "Agial Art Gallery presents “Rituals of Isolation” by Oussama Baalbaki from May. 5- May. 21." May 03, 2011. Accessed October 16, 2017. https://artofthemideastdotcom.....


Selected Solo Exhibitions


Watercolors, Agial Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon


Against the Grain, Saleh Barakat Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon


Pleadings of the Light, Agial Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon


Specters of the Real, Agial Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon 


Shadows of Gloominess, Galerie Tanit, Beirut, Lebanon


Rituals of Isolation, Agial Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon


Less smoke, and more…,Agial Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon


Scenes of Isolation, Safana Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon


Paintings in Black, Dar El Nadwa, Beirut, Lebanon

Selected Group Exhibitions


Out of Context, Saleh Barakat Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon


Face Value: Portraiture, Saleh Barakat Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon


Betasarof, Lebanese National Library, Beirut, Lebanon


Thin Skin: Six Artists from Beirut, Taymour Grahne Gallery, NY, USA


Pen to paper, Athr Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


Connecting Heavens, Green Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE


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

Rituals of isolation
Alain Tasso-Joseph Tarrab- Pierre Abi Saab
Agial art Gallery, English,Arabic,French, 2011


Spectres of the Real
Waddah Faris
Agial Art Gallery, English, 2016


Pleadings of the Light
Natasha Gasparian- Waddah Faris
Agial Art Gallery, English/Arabic, 2017
Against the Grain
Natasha Gasparian
Saleh Barakat Gallery, English, 2018


Oussama Baalbaki Shadows of Gloominess
Agial Art Gallery/Tanit Gallery
English/Arabic, 2014

Exhibition Catalog

Oussama Baalbaki Rituals of Isolation
Agial Art Gallery
English/Arabic, 2011

Exhibition Catalog

اأسامة بعلبكي رسام الألم المرئي والمسموع في غابة السكون الكبير
Mimosa Araoui
Al Arab, Arabic, 2015
أقل دخاناً أو أكثر" معرض للتشكيلي اللبناني أسامة بعلبكي . لحظة المشهد تتجلى بعين شعرية
Maha Sultan
Al Hayat, Arabic, 2009
Agial Art Gallery presents “Rituals of Isolation” by Oussama Baalbaki from May. 5- May. 21
Joseph Tarrab
Art of the Middle East, English, 2011
Baalbaki on the sincerity of painting
Kaelen Wilson Goldie
The Daily Star, English, 2011
When reality haunts works of art
Mariam Ghaddar
The Daily Star, English, 2016
أسامة بعلبكي: أنقّح ألواني بالسينما..فالواقع أكثر تشويقاً من الخيال
Mimosa Arawi
Al Modon, Arabic, 2016
معرض "أطياف الواقع" للبناني أسامة بعلبكي: جماليات الطبيعة المنتهكة
Youssef Bazzi
Al Ain Al Ikhbariya, Arabic, 2016
أسامة بعلبكي.. شاعر الغيم
Abbas Baydoun
24, Arabic, 2017
أسامة بعلبكي الجوال الحر في حقول الضوء
Dr. Maha Sultan
Al Hayat (through Al Jasra), Arabic, 2017
أسامة بعلبكي يؤسس بالضوء صورا بيروتية موحشة
Mimosa Arawi
A l Arab, Arabic, 2017
أسامة بعلبكي: بيروت والأشجار وملاحقة غيمة
Lara Abboud
Al Arabi Al Jadeed, Arabic, 2017
أسامة بعلبكي... بيروت مرتعاً لـ «مرافعات الضوء»
Nicole Younes
AL Akhbar, Arabic, 2017
أسامة بعلبكي: في محاولة القبض على الزمن
Ashraf Al Hassani
Al Arabi, Arabic, 2018
أسامة بعلبكي.. ضوء ضد التيار
Lara Abboud
Al Arabi Al Jadeed, Arabic, 2018
أسامة بعلبكي… «العازف المنفرد» على وتر أحلامنا!
Nicole Younes
Al Akhbar, Arabic, 2018
Agial Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon, English, 2019
مائيات أسامة بعلبكي: المكان من وجهة نظر اللون
Tagreed Abdel Aal
Al Arabi, Arabic, 2019
Lebanon glimpsed in watercolor
Veronica Merlo
The Daily Star, English, 2019
معرض أسامة بعلبكي.. شراكة شخصية مع العزلة
Moustafa Dib
Ultra sawt, Arabic, 2019
أسامة بعلبكي شاعر المنظر الطبيعي الشامل... بريشته المائية
Abdo Wazen
Independent Arabia, Arabic, 2019
زرقة حلم بيروتي مُكتئب في معرض أسامة بعلبكي
Nicolas Tohme
Al Mayadeen, Arabic, 2019
Pen to Paper exhibition and Ayyam Gallery’s grand opening attractions of Jeddah Art Week
Roberta Fedele
Saudi Gazette, English, 2013
‘Thin Skin’: ‘Six Artists from Beirut’
Holland Cotter
New York Times, English, 2014
Six Contemporary Artists from Lebanon at Taymour Grahne Gallery
Lisa Pollman
Culture Trip, English, 2017
Arie Amaya-Akkermans
The Mantle, English, 2014
Thin Skin. Six Artists from Beirut
Wall Street International Magazine, English, 2014
Oussama Baalbaki Watercolors
Galerie Magazine, English, 2019

Issue #4

Out of Context
Nasser Hussein
Galerie Magazine, English, 2019

Issue #4



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