Fatima El-Hajj, Gardens of the Soul

From 16 September to 8 October 2011 - Galerie Claude Lemand

  • El-Hajj, A bientôt.

    A bientôt, 2011. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 150 x 170 cm. Donation Claude & France Lemand. Museum, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. © Fatima El-Hajj. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

Claude Lemand - Fatima El-Hajj, Gardens of the Soul.

Fatima El-Hajj’s land­scapes are inspired by the gar­dens and parks of the many cities she enjoyed and observed whilst trav­el­ling across Lebanon, Yemen, Morocco and France. Her palette and her memory pre­serve the live­li­ness of the shapes, colours and light from these places and their inhab­i­tants.

More often, her paint­ings are a reflec­tion of her own garden which she had laid out in front of her studio in Rmaileh, sim­ilar to how Claude Monet cre­ated his garden in Giverny and made it the main sub­ject matter for his paint­ings during the last thirty years of his life. Yet Fatima El-Hajj’s garden is much more modest and dif­ferent by nature than that of the Impressionist master.

She end­lessly paints the count­less facets of her inte­rior garden filled with silence and beauty, a woman lost in her reading or con­tem­pla­tion, a couple enrap­tured by the music or small groups of people attending the vil­lage’s or city’s fairs. She likes to sug­gest that her paint­ings are an invi­ta­tion for the viewer to seek for his own inte­rior garden, a par­adise which is within us and brings us serenity, beauty and enchant­ment.

Fatima El-Hajj does not con­ceal her admi­ra­tion for the painters Edouard Vuillard, Henri Matisse, and espe­cially Pierre Bonnard, as well as the Lebanese and Parisian artist Shafic Abboud, who had been her teacher and whom she admired and respected. Fatima El-Hajj is a fol­lower of this school of painting and she is very grateful to all these great mas­ters who helped her find her own path.

Copyright © Galerie Claude Lemand 2012.

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