Dalloul Art Foundation

Dalloul Art Foundation

YVETTE ACHKAR YVETTE ACHKAR

YVETTE ACHKAR, Lebanon (1928)

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Bio

Written by Wafa Roz

Yvette Achkar was born in 1928 in Sao Paolo, Brazil, a twin in a family of nine children.  Born to Lebanese parents, she was ultimately raised in Lebanon. Her first love was not visual art, but music; she aimed to become a professional pianist, but was rejected when she applied to the Lebanese National Conservatory. Achkar was physically petite and was explicitly denied entry to the conservatory due to her tiny hands.

After her application did not yield the hoped-for results, Fernando Manetti, a professor of art at ALBA (Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts), suggested that Achkar shifts to visual arts instead. She applied to the academy and was accepted, crediting her sharpened sensitivity to aesthetics through music for her relatively smooth transition to painting. Achkar pursued her artistic studies at ALBA from 1947 to 1952 and was a member associated with a group of young artists who considered themselves pioneers, a new generation that was determined to break with the artistic traditions of the past and move into new, freer forms of expression. Achkar’s career took off after she graduated from ALBA when she went to Paris to study on a scholarship granted by the French government. After concluding her studies, Achkar returned to Lebanon, where she taught painting at ALBA and the National Institute of Fine Arts of the Lebanese University from 1966 to 1988.

Trained by Manetti and influenced by Georges Cyr, Achkar began as a figurative painter. Later, she developed a personal style in line with abstract expressionism, characterized by the use of bold colors and strident yet delicate lines to convey a sense of the artist’s emotions and inner self.

Achkar tries to take full control of each move in her oil paintings. She spends hours gazing at the canvas before approaching it with color, creating tension through feathery, almost splinter-like brushstrokes and blurring lines between positive and negative space. Though in many works her hand is evident in her fragmented brushwork, in others the artist conveys a strong will to erase the labor from of the painting, to step beyond the physical presence of the brush by brushing, spraying, sponging and rubbing until the viewer is left with pure, emotional, even spiritual color. Achkar’s oeuvre creates a sense of vastness, which might stem from her personal experiences of space; as a child, she used to hide in corners, overwhelmed by the sheer size of the world around her, and as a small individual continued to perceive the earth as outsized through her adulthood

Yvette Achkar’s first solo exhibition in 1960 at La Licorne Gallery in Beirut was a success, and she became a recognized artist almost overnight. The artist still lives in Lebanon.

Sources

Abillama Nour Salamé, Marie Tomb, Amin Maalouf, joseph Tarrab, Cesar Nammour, Maha Azize Sultan, Faycal Sultan, and Gregory Bucakjian. Art from Lebanon: Modern and contemporary artist 1880-1975 V I. Beirut, Lebanon: Wonderful editions, 2012. 

Fani, Michel. Dictionnaire de la peinture au Liban. Paris: Escalier, 1998.

Farouk, Youssef. “إيفيت أشقر رسامة المعاني التي تثق بالتجريد." Al ARAB, November 25, 2015, 8.

Khal, Helen. The woman artist in Lebanon. Beirut, Lebanon: The Institute, 1987

Khal, Helen, Cesar Nammour, Gabriela Schaub. Resonances 82 Lebanese Artists Beirut, Lebanon: Fine Arts Publishing,2011

"Yvette Achkar." YouTube. January 12, 2015. Accessed September 28, 2017. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVgrHx1A4aM

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CV

Selected Solo Exhibitions 

2004

Paintings, Janine Rubeiz Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

2003

Janine Rubeiz Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

1996-89

Janine Rubeiz Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

1984

Galerie Platform, Beirut, Lebanon   

1970

Gallery One, Beirut, Lebanon 

1965

Gallery One, Beirut, Lebanon


1963

Culturnog Center, Belgrade, Serbia

1961

Alecco Saab Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

1960

La licorne, Beirut, Lebanon

Selected Group Exhibitions

2020

Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950-1980s, Grey Art Gallery, New York University; Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Illinois; Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Cornell University, New York; McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College; University of Michigan Museum of Art; US

2019

At the still point of the turning world, there is the dance, Sursock Museum, Beirut, Lebanon

2016

The Short Century begins, SHARJAH MUSEUM, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

2012

Tajreed, CAP Kuwait, Kuwait

2009

Exhibition by Yvette Achkar & Francois Sargologo, Janine Rubeiz Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon 

2001

International Art Contemporary Art Exhibition,Janine Rubeiz Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

2000

International Art Exhibition" Artual ",Janine Rubeiz Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
Art-Deco Simaa Show, Janine Rubeiz Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon 

1999

International Exhibition of Contemporary Art "Europ'Art 99", Geneva, Switzerland

1998

Special Janvier, Janine Rubeiz Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon 

Roots: the event, modernity, Alba, Beirut, Lebanon 


1995

Accroche d’été, Janine Rubeiz Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

1993

Pour Janine Rubeiz, Janine Rubeiz Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

1986

Exhibition at the Grand Palais, Paris, France

1984

Baghdad Biennale, Iraq

1981

Exhibition at the Sursock Museum, Beirut, Lebanon

1972

Exhibition at the Galleria Baracaccia, Rome


1971

Traveling exhibitions from Mannheim, West Germany 

1967

Alexandria Biennale, Egypt

1966

Exhibition at the Galerie Mourgue, Paris, France

1962

Exhibition at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome
Paris Biennale, France

1961

Exhibition in Italy and Yugoslavia
Sao Paolo Biennale, Brazil

1959

Paris Biennale, France

1957

Exhibition at UNESCO, Beirut, Lebanon

Awards and Honors

1975

Prize of the Minister of National Education of the Fine Arts, Lebanon 

1967

Prize of the Festival of Baalbek, Lebanon.


1959

UNESCO Prize, Beirut, Lebanon

Collections

Kuwait National Museum, Kuwait
The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman, Jordan
Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France
British Museum, London, UK
Digne-Les-Bains Museum, France
Sursock Museum, Beirut, Lebanon
KA collection, Beirut, Lebanon

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Documents

A glance at what Lebanese art is worth, or, M. tries to conquer her fear of numbers and excel spreadsheets
artsbeirut.wordpress.com, English, 2011

Essay

This is the revenge of the female artists
Marie Tomb
Gallery Magazine, English, 2019
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Press

Première vente aux enchères de Farouk Abillama
lecommercedulevant.com, French, 2019
فنانة ترسم لتتذكر وتتذكر لتمحو
فاروق يوسف
alarab.co.uk, Arabic, 2015
MENACE D’OMBRE ROUGE ; ‘LE CORBEAU’ D’YVETTE ACHKAR
Jacques Aswad
agendaculturel.com, French
Yvette Achkar : La peinture, c’est la rencontre avec moi-même...
Edgar Davidian
lorientlejour.com, French, 2018
Meet the 3 Lebanese Artists Featured at Christie’s Dubai
M. Srour
the961.com, English, 2019
الرسامة الرائدة إيفیت أشقر في معرض شامل . التجريد انعكاس لموسیقى العالم الداخلي
مھى سلطان
daharchives.alhayat.com, Arabic, 2004
ايفيت اشقر و فرانسوا سرغولوغو في غاليري جانين ربيز
Al Mustaqbal, Arabic, 2009
اعتراف شرعي
لور غريّب
newspaper.annahar.com, Arabic, 2016
Modern women: 13 Lebanese female artists in “LEBANON MODERN!” at the Beirut Art Fair 2016
artradarjournal.com, English, 2016
Reprendrons-nous illico le chemin des expositions ?
Zéna ZALZAL
lorientlejour.com, French, 2020
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Videos

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Exhibitions

YVETTE ACHKAR Artwork

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