CHAOUKI CHOUKINI, SCULPTURES 1978-2014.

From 6 January to 14 February 2015 - Espace Claude Lemand

  • CHOUKINI, Spring’s Celebration.

    Spring's Celebration, 2011. Iroko wood, 128 x 50 x 8 cm. This piece is unique. Donation Claude & France Lemand. Museum, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. © Chaouki Choukini. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • CHOUKINI, Liberté fauve.

    Liberté fauve, 2012. Iroko wood, 145,5 x 43 x 26 cm. This piece is unique. Donation Claude & France Lemand. Museum, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. © Chaouki Choukini. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • CHOUKINI, Les environs de Damas.

    Les environs de Damas, 2012. Iroko wood, 45 x 143 x 4,5 cm. This piece is unique. Donation Claude & France Lemand. Museum, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. © Chaouki Choukini. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • CHOUKINI, Lieu.

    Lieu, 1978. Iroko, 72 x 60 106 cm. This piece is unique. Donation Claude & France Lemand. Museum, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. © Chaouki Choukini. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris..

  • CHOUKINI, Dulle Griet.

    Dulle Griet. Homage to Breughel, 2001. Oak, 45 x 50 x 52 cm. This piece is unique. Donation Claude & France Lemand. Museum, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. © Chaouki Choukini. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • CHOUKINI, Edith Small Flower.

    Edith Small Flower, 2000. Wangue, 122 x 36 x 16 cm. This piece is unique. Donation Claude & France Lemand. Museum, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. © Chaouki Choukini. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • CHOUKINI, L’heure de Midi.

    L'heure de Midi, 1978. Wangue, 72 x 60 x 106 cm. This piece is unique. Donation Claude & France Lemand. Museum, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. © Chaouki Choukini. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

Chaouki Choukini, Sculptures, 1978-2014.

Marie Tomb. Native to Choukine in South-Lebanon, Chaouki Choukini studied art at the ENSBA in Paris, between 1967 and 1972. A long stay in Japan in 1984 had a pro­found impact on his work: it intro­duced him to Zen phi­los­ophy and min­i­malism.

Choukini makes wood sculp­tures. The bewil­dering, yet simple, works dis­play formal orga­ni­za­tion and rely on the effects of light on hol­lowed, carved, broken and pol­ished wood. Choukini punc­tures wood with window-like open­ings, giving the impres­sion that light pierces the work. Always imposing and sophis­ti­cated, his sculp­tures con­trast the soft curves of pol­ished wood with the dan­gerous cracks and crevasses within relief labyrinths.

Although far from life­like, Choukini’s sculp­ture is never entirely abstract – although it has some­times been cat­e­go­rized as abstract Symbolism. The works are effec­tively sym­bols; they evoke objects, places, events and char­ac­ters, real or myth­ical. Odd, even strange at times, the works are touching rather than unset­tling, even when they bring to mind the atroc­i­ties of war, as in the bronze Cheval de Guernica.

Choukini effort­lessly switches from the his­tor­ical to the con­tem­po­rary with, for instance, sculp­tures mate­ri­al­izing the plight of the chil­dren of Qana or Gaza (Petit Prince. Enfant de Cana, Petit Prince. Enfant de Gaza), or denouncing the destruc­tion of Palestine’s olive trees. A Pieta becomes a symbol of Lebanon’s dev­as­ta­tion: a frail piece of cedar stands for Christ, with the Holy Virgin, sym­bol­ized by a ver­tical piece of wood, holding him. The works speak of emo­tion, music and mem­o­ries of the places that mark us, taking us, at times, as far as remote vil­lages at the edge of the desert.”

(Marie Tomb, Art from Lebanon. Published by Nour Salamé Abillamma, Beirut, 2012).

Copyright © Galerie Claude Lemand 2012.

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