Well-known and prolific Lebanese artist Jean-Marc Nahas says that when he draws, it’s like “I’m writing a book, poetry, like I’m writing a letter to someone”.
Many of these “letters” deal with the issues of war and peace, but The Middle East in London newspaper wrote of Nahas: “Unlike some of his fellow artists for whom the drawn-out conflict appears to have had little tangible impact on their artistic expression, for Jean-Marc, the scars of war run deep within his psyche, healed only by the cathartic practice of drawing”.
Nahas was born in Beirut in 1963, surrounded by civil conflict and political turmoil. He moved to Paris at the age of 17 and with no formal artistic training. Due to many years of accomplished drawings to his credit, Nahas was admitted to the Ecole des Beaux Arts where he studied for five years after which he moved to Montreal, which he later described as “a bad dream” in hindsight. He now lives and works in Beirut.
One reviewer described the work of Nahas, as brushwork that matches his rapid tumble of words: “He covers his canvasses with bold lines and blustery washes of colours. His gestures are quick and rhythmic, like sketches that have been committed to paper in a period of restless activity”.
His work is held in collections such as The British Museum, and Bank Audi.
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2011 Ginette Concept Store, Beirut
2010 Atelier Jean-Marc Nahas, Beirut
2009 Rose Issa Projects, London
Sultan Gallery, Kuwait
2008 Naila Kettaneh Kunigk, Beirut
2006 “Catastrophie”, Zico House, UMAM, Beirut
2005 French Cultural Centre, Beirut, Lebanon
2004 Berytech, Beirut, Lebanon (Naila Kunigk)
2003 French Cultural Centre of Chouf, Deir El Qamar
2002 French Cultural Centre, Beirut, Lebanon (Naila Kunigk)
2000 Ecole Supérieure des Affaires (ESA), Beirut, Lebanon (Naila Kunigk)
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2011 Subtitled: “with Narratives from Lebanon”, Royal College of Art, London
Rebirth, Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut
2008 “Reorientations: Contemporary Arab Representations”, European Parliament, Brussels
2004 “Fall Exhibition”, Sursok Museum Beirut, Lebanon
1987/88 “Fall Exhibition”, Sursok Museum, Beirut, Lebanon
1999 International College, Beirut
1997 Biennale Latakiah, Syria