Modernist Meeting: Alfred Basbous

1 December 2020 - 5 January 2021

"Human and animal forms occupy a central place within his oeuvre."

Modernist Meeting is a digital solo exhibition of esteemed modernist Lebanese sculptor, Alfred Basbous. Having been educated and spending his formative years in Europe studying in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts and socialising with influential figures in sculpture such as Henry Moore, Basbous is part of a pivotal movement that saw post-war, modern approaches to sculpture and the spirit of avant-gardism of the time translate into the topics and aesthetics which were pertinent to the Middle East. 


The artist is known for his intimate understanding of human and animal forms which occupy a central place within his oeuvre. Basbous was particularly adept at articulating his appreciation for the female figure into material form as witnessed here in the selected works such as Bédouine (1993) and Pudeur (1988); his sculptures in bronze fluidly blend faces and figures into sublime abstraction. Vache (1964) and Squirrel (1964) exhibit the artist’s long-standing and deep-rooted affinity with organic forms, nature and animals. Other works such as Tête Allongée (2004) and Tete (1975) are explicitly primal suggesting that Basbous was keen to not only extend Western modernist sculpture to his native land but also extend his own country’s history through artworks that feel at once like artefacts while elegantly modern.