Mohammad El Rawas

Mohammad El Rawas is one of Lebanon’s most prominent contemporary artists.  He was born in 1951 in Beirut, Lebanon, where he studied at the Institute of Fine Arts at the Lebanese University, and later moved to London to study printmaking at the Slade School of Fine Art.  El Rawas’ earlier work, produced during the late seventies and early eighties, relates to the violent conflicts wrought by the Lebanese Civil War.  Through observing the disaster effects of conflict on his native Beirut, El Rawas produced complex spatial works, presenting juxtaposed images that muse on the memories, traumas and complex sociopolitical contradictions that make up the city.  Soon after he fled to Damascus and Morocco where he began to experiment with his earlier collage works, developing techniques from graphic and printed images that moved him away from more representational paintings. His mixed media canvases begun in the 1980s and 90s incorporated wood, aluminum and string, and called on abstract expressionist and pop art gestures, an experimental and evolving style that is also reflected in his installation works. El Rawas has been exhibited internationally, and he has won notable awards for his work.