Dalloul Art Foundation

Dalloul Art Foundation

SAMIA OSSEIRAN JUNBLAT SAMIA OSSEIRAN JUNBLAT

SAMIA OSSEIRAN JUNBLAT, Lebanon (1944)

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Bio

Written by Liam Sibai

Samia Osseiran Junblat was born in Saida, South Lebanon, in 1944. She graduated from Beirut College for Women with a BA in Fine Arts in 1965[1] and received her MFA in 1967 from the Pius XII Institute in Florence, Italy[2]. Afterward, she returned to Lebanon, where she taught at BCW from 1971 to 1973, which by then was named the BUC[3]. Shortly after, she received scholarship from the Japanese Embassy in Lebanon. Osseiran enrolled at the University of Fine Arts in Tokyo in 1974 as a graphic art student[4]. These two schools would go on to become a distinct and lasting presences in the artist’s work. In 1977 Osseiran founded the “Artisana of Saida and South Lebanon” organization, in a bid to encourage women to endeavor in artistic practice[5].

The artist’s work was not just a product of particular educations but of the milieu of abstract painting in the nineteen sixties. She would even join the highly regarded abstract painter Helen Khal (1923-2009) in long studio sessions[6]. Though Osseiran was perhaps too late to part take as a major figure in this localized movement, she has throughout her career produced several more conventionally abstract works.

Osseiran’s Florentine humanism[7] appears in her work’s demeanor and arrives as the product of contextual subject matter. Many of her shows were built around important events in her life and the lives of those in her immediate orbit. Her brother’s untimely death in the early nineteen seventies was the contextual nucleus of a bleak yet terribly rich and spirited series of works she exhibited at the Manoug Art Center in 1972[8]. While her mother’s death in 2007[9], inspired a very different kind of response; a series of oil on canvas paintings that celebrated a life, instead of mourned, or seriously confronted a death. She painted flowers, almost as if bringing them to a burial.

It is perhaps easy to dismiss the presence of graphic design in her work as purely technical. But, this highly practical training endowed the artist with the capacity to create in diverse and distinct artistic modes. Her recurring themes of the floral, the vegetative, the anthropomorphic, the populous, or the solar, return each time with a completely different logic, as result of a different kind of exercise. The early black and white pieces that were produced and displayed after her brother’s assassination were ink pen landscapes, portraits, and geometric abstractions. However, they were largely produced in a code of sorts. In this period, many of the bodies of her subjects were either separated by, or made up of nets of thin black lines.

Oranges, 1997, takes an impressionist approach to representing the topology of its subjects; Instead of mimicking what the fruit looks like from a certain angle Osseiran uses explicit brush strokes to allude to certain articulated focal points of the bodies. Therefore, recreating the moment of seeing, instead of reproducing what one sees or what is actually there. Just one year later, she does almost the opposite in a series of landscapes, where the paint is often a means to highlight the intricacies of the drawing paper, showing the audience exactly where the surface rises and falls. She even continues this emphasis on the surfaces beneath the paint in a series of portraits from the early two thousands. The series featured a thin layer of quite prominent colors. Looking at Bengali Cook, 2005, one experiences the heat of the red in the subject’s face that still manages to articulate the canvas’s patch like material. An earlier work, Sunset, 1968, shines a different kind of light on the notion of surface. She places us in a strange trench, with a warm orange sun in the sky.

Samia Osseiran Junblat lives and works in her home in Bramiyeh, Saida. A home, which has been the subject of and breeding ground for much of her work[10].

[1] “Samia Osseiran.” Accessed September 9, 2020. https://artscoops.com/artist-details/osseiran-samia.

[2] “Samia Osseiran.” Accessed September 9, 2020. https://artscoops.com/artist-details/osseiran-samia.

[3] “History.” Accessed September 10, 2020. https://www.lau.edu.lb/about/history/.

[4] Nammour, Cesar. “Between Painting and Piano, Samia Chose Art.” In Samia Osseiran Junblat, 12. Beirut, Lebanon: Fine Arts Publishing, 2010.[P.12]

[5] Nammour, Cesar. “Between Painting and Piano, Samia Chose Art.” Essay. In Samia, Osseiran, Junblat, 12. Beirut: Fine Arts Publishing, 2010. [P.12]

[6] Nammour, Cesar. “Between Painting and Piano, Samia Chose Art.” Essay. In Samia, Osseiran, Junblat, 12. Beirut: Fine Arts Publishing, 2010.[P.12]

[7]Nammour, Cesar. “The Brush and The Pen.” In Samia Osseiran Junblat, 7. Beirut, Lebanon: Fine Arts Publishing, 2010. [P.7]

[8] Nammour, Cesar. “Between Painting and Piano, Samia Chose Art.” Essay. In Samia, Osseiran, Junblat, 12. Beirut: Fine Arts Publishing, 2010. [P.12]

[9] Nammour, Cesar. “Between Painting and Piano, Samia Chose Art.” Essay. In Samia, Osseiran, Junblat, 13. Beirut: Fine Arts Publishing, 2010.[P.13]

[10] Nammour, Cesar. “The Brush and The Pen.” Essay. In Samia, Osseiran, Junblat, 8. Beirut: Fine Arts Publishing, 2010.[P.8]

Sources

“History.” Accessed September 10, 2020. https://www.lau.edu.lb/about/history/.

Nammour, Cesar. Samia Osseiran Junblat. Beirut, Lebanon: Fine Arts Publishing, 2010.

“Samia Osseiran.” Accessed September 9, 2020. https://artscoops.com/artist-details/osseiran-samia.

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SAMIA OSSEIRAN JUNBLAT Artwork