Mohammad El Rawas’ (b. 1951) latest exhibition showcases a new body of work and highlights some older paintings, including two monumental works which were produced forty years apart, Train I and Train II. The former was the artist’s final-year project at the Lebanese University’s Institute of Fine Arts, from which he graduated thereafter in 1975 with honors. Having not seen this painting again until 2015, El Rawas produced Train II as a reflection on the earlier work.
The year of El Rawas’ graduation marked the beginning of the civil war in Lebanon, leading the artist to stop painting and to leave his country for Rabat, Morocco where he remained for two years, teaching art and eventually resuming painting. He returned to Beirut in 1979 to hold his first solo show, before joining the Slade School of Fine Art in London in the same year on scholarship from the Lebanese University. Upon his return to Beirut in 1981 with a Masters Degree in printmaking, he started his academic career at the Lebanese University and the American University of Beirut, which lasted for 27 years. Since 1979, El Rawas has held 11 individual exhibitions in Beirut, London and Dubai and has participated in more than 40 international art biennials and exhibitions in the UK, USA, Norway, Tunisia, Brazil, Japan, Kuwait, France, Netherlands, Egypt, UAE, Poland and China. In these international shows he won five prizes and honorable mentions including, in 2007, the award of the Alexandria Biennale for Mediterranean Countries,
8 March - 23 April, 2019
14 March - 6 April, 2019
Around one hundred years ago, two diplomats representing two empires met secretly and agreed to divide the Middle East between them. Little did they know that the line they drew in the sand created, not only nations and nationalities, but conflicts and tensions which have lasted to this date and will last for many years to come creating countries, ideologies, and struggles along the way.
Since this line is here to stay, it is the artist's duty to celebrate it artistically for what was a secret line over a hundred years ago has now become a public and deadly
expression of one’s own boundaries; and this is the reason that this exhibition has become a necessity.
Mahmoud Hojeij is a Lebanese artist born in 1975. He holds a doctorate degree in Media and Philosophy from the European Graduate School in Switzerland and a master’s degree in Media Studies from the New School in New York. Undocumented is his third solo exhibition with Agial Art Gallery. Photographer, filmmaker, author, media analyst, professor and father, Hojeij is currently working on his second feature film.