Hussein Madi’s marvel of the unchanging inner structure of nature manifested the walls of Nabad Gallery on the opening of Women, Birds and Pomegranates. The show which will run till the 10th of October, showcases thirty nine eye arresting and formally provoking pieces that demand a transcending experience; a contemplation for the rhythmic relationships and the lively play on line, shape,color and space.

Hussein Madi with HRH Princess Ghida Talal at the opening reception of Women, Birds and Pomegranates

Madi who is a Lebanese painter, sculptor and printmaker has held over sixty solo shows in addition to international biennales throughout his lifetime. After moving to Italy, his career has further flushed with sundry medias making him a master in fresco, mosaic and graphic art. Given his notable past, his work has far reached various significant museums such as the British Museum, the Venice Biennale and Tokyo’s Ueno Museum. Such breadth in experience has manifested his current show leaving no stone unturned with various mediums explored.

Hussein Madi, from Women, Birds and Pomegranates, Nabad 2018

Although Madi does not consider his work to be abstract, still he presents us with an orchestrated quintessence representation of nature via primal lines that meet to form geometric interpretations of women, birds and pomegranates. The work further downpours you with his forte in giving life to a static subject with a single contour line besides a harmonic (yet a little bit fauvist I must say) interplay of colors. His use of such vibrant and in some cases neon colors further creates a contemporary feel to an approach that relates to modern artists like Matisse and Picasso.

I don’t like the word abstract. I don’t see that there is anything that could be abstract because everything we see, even if we do not know what its role or name is, is in itself an existing reality. I have removed the word ‘abstract’ from my dictionary of Art… You see a tree, you draw it as it is, that is the craft of Art. That is how you learn how to draw, how to see. Then you remove branches from it, you add a leave here, a leaf there… Suddenly, the tree is no longer a tree. It is the elements you used from that tree on the surface you have. You are abstracting nature from its role and giving it a new one.
Hussein Madi, from Women, Birds and Pomegranates, Nabad 2018

Being galvanized by God’s genius in creating nature -and by nature he also refers to the beauty of the human form, especially that of a woman’s-, Madi has made sure he glorified such form by dint of his exaggerated figurative expression. Such an approach keeps the viewer engaged in a loop of lines and colors creating a pleasurable visual experience for the eyes to appreciate all what it can abbreviate from the core of life.

In the end, Art speaks for itself via the shapes and the colors.. And I have taken it all from nature and life.
Hussein Madi, from Women, Birds and Pomegranates, Nabad 2018

In like manner, the eyes would certainly muse over the unexpected amalgamate of the sharply curved figures within the fragmented space. Moreover, the strong black outlining of the forms leave the viewers with an unapologetic sense of a liberated hand. Such an experience is  achieved however with no compromise for the continuity and the flow of the space across the surface. Hence, at the hand of this precisely studied spontaneity lies the area where the work holds you hostage.

Hussein Madi, from Women, Birds and Pomegranates, Nabad 2018

On a final note, Madi believes that given his long and rich artistic journey which created his identity as an artist today; the completion of the academic basics was the most essential step after all. With a pen and paper, he demonstrated his advice to the rising artists stating;

The rising artist’s duty is to work to reach. How? Observe nature. In order to create your own identity, you have to draw the pomegranate as it is first [he said while drawing a pomegranate]. When he has perfected its study, he will have the right to recreate it… [Madi adds details to his sketch]. Rising artists have to know the basics of drawing first… Get an anatomy book and see the bones and muscles of the human figure. The head, the spine, arms,chest. If they do not complete this stage, they cannot continue.

All images courtesy of Nabad Gallery