Critically acclaimed Lebanese painter, sculptor and printmaker Hussein Madi has a spiritual and philosophical side to his work. He explains: "The mystery of creation inspired my art. All things that are born and die respond to these four categories… type, number, colour and dimension… The repetition in my paintings is a way to honour the creator.”
Born in Chebaa, Lebanon, Hussein Madi (1938) studied at the Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts in Beirut. After working in Bagdad as an illustrator and cartoonist for a short period, he moved to Rome in 1963 to complete his studies at the Accademia di belle arti. Based between Rome and Beirut during the 1970s and 1980s, he was inspired by his research into the cultural heritage of the Levant and Egypt, and by the Old Masters’ techniques in frescoes, mosaics and bronze sculpture. While best known for colourful works that harmonise abstract design with Islamic art, he has also created representational subjects depicting the female form and animals such as horses or birds. Influencing generations of artists, he also spent time teaching at the Académie Libanaise des Beaux Arts and the Lebanese University.
Madi has participated in international exhibitions such as the Alexandria Biennale; International Biennale, Cairo; and International Biennale, São Paulo. His works have been acquired by the British Museum; The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts; Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah; Dalloul Art Foundation and the Sursock Museum, both in Beirut; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris and displayed at the Ueno Museum, Tokyo as well as Sharjah Museum.