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 Lot title: The Last Boat

 Lot description:

Acrylic on canvas
100 x 160 cm (39.37 x 63 in.)
Executed in 2001
Signed ‘Molaeb’ on the lower right

 Provenance: The artist’s studio

 Literature and references:

Fine arts publishing, Jamil Molaeb a Self Portrait, cover page, illustrated picture in color, picture p. 92



 

Artwork note:

Born in Beyssour, Lebanon, to Druze parents, Molaeb is a curious mixture of a thinker and mystic. He shows throughout his abstract work his interest in the Druze cabalistic tradition and the way it conflates notions of boundless space with divine light. Molaeb paintings are much rougher and tougher than they appear in reproduction. They are restated and worked over, and this gives them real physical presence. The ‘Last Boat’ is a studied examination of atmosphere; it is a painting made of many abstract gestures, one of them being the impressive flower vase on the beach. As you get closer, it is extraordinary to see how beautifully simple the boat itself is painted. Here, you can see the glowing sunshine on the canopy and a nearby wave falling as it reaches the golden shore. The thickness of the paint is very obvious, but the true brilliance of the white, straight out of the tube, defines the luminosity in this lusterless environment. The background itself is feathered in the way that it layers over and over until the end, where it blurs between the tones. It is the simplicity of the strips that creates the elegance and beauty of this composition. The artist thinks very carefully about the color, hue and movement of the brush strokes on the canvas, and this is what defines Molaeb’s mastery of many different styles within one painting.

 

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