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Lot title: Mystery and Melancholy of the City

Lot description:

Oil on canvas
97 x 72 cm (38.19 x 28.35 in.)
Executed in 1965
Signed ‘Paul G. 65’ on the lower right
The painting is signed and dated on the reverse

 Provenance: A private collection in Lebanon



Artwork note:

The city scene is made of rhythmically repetitive elements arranged in a flat pictorial space. A cloudless Mediterranean sky lightens dramatically towards the horizon, a landscape of red and gray mountains. At any moment now, night will prevail. By contrast, the twilight world that surrounds it possesses no such visual logic. Although things are precisely delineated, they are without weight. Objects that have no clear identity or purpose seem to stand without any apparent means of support. It is a world that teeters on the edge of diagram.
This is a picture full of mystery. The greatest mystery, however, is the transfigured house, which seems illuminated by a shimmering light coming through a tiny window, only to be engulfed by dark earthy colors of melancholy and despair. The artist is taking on an existence somehow removed from everyday life. It is believed that this city is a representation of the slums of Beirut, where Guiragossian once dwelled.

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