Adu Dhabi Art: Alfred Basbous

22 - 26 November 2023
Alfred Basbous's works express a lifelong exploration of the human form and its abstract properties. Focused on the aesthetic principles of shape, movement, line and material, his sculptures display a deeply ingrained sincerity and a search for the essence of beauty. Working in the tradition of sculptors such as Jean Arp, Constantin Brâncuși and Henry Moore, Alfred Basbous explores the potential of noble materials such as bronze, wood and marble to express the sensuality and purity of the human form. This aversion towards frivolous and meaningless embellishments echoes the artist's philosophy rooted in simplicity and earnestness.
His first exhibition in Beirut, at the Alecco Saab gallery in 1958, marked the beginning of a long and significant trajectory as a sculptor.

In 1960, he received a scholarship from the French government and became a pupil of the sculptor René Collamarini at 'The National Fine Arts School in Paris' (L'Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Paris). In 1961, his works were included in the International Sculpture Exhibition at the Musée Rodin, in Paris.

Between 1994 and 2004, Basbous organised the International Symposium of Sculpture in Rachana, Lebanon, where famous sculptors from around the world were invited to create, sculpt and exhibit their works alongside his own.

Throughout his life, Basbous won many awards including the "Prix de l'Orient" in Beirut in 1963 and the price of Biennale in Alexandria in 1974. When he died in 2006, the President of the Lebanese Republic, in order to honour him, awarded him the "Medal of the Lebanese Order of Merit" in gold.

The works of Alfred Basbous are part of numerous public collections throughout the world, including the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, the Musée Rodin in Paris, the Hakone Open-Air Museum in Japan and the Modern and Contemporary Art Museum (MACAM) in Lebanon, among others. His monumental works are present in the public areas of Beirut and many Lebanese cities.