Born in Ain El Sindianeh (Shoueir) Matn - North Lebanon.
1947: Graduated from the «International College»
of the American University of Beirut.
1948-1953: Worked as a clerck in the filing section
offices of the (I.P.C.)Irak Petroleum Company in Tripoli-Lebanon.
Joined the «Académie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts»,
1957-1966: Sojourn in Paris:
- Joined the «Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts»
de Paris (Atelier Brianchon pour la peinture, et Atelier Cami et
Bercier pour la gravure).
- Frequented l’atelier Goetz et l’atelier Brayer at the Académie
de la grande Chaumière.
- Frequented «L’Académie André Lhote».
- Made several individual exhibitions and participated in collective
- Visited Munich, Stuttgart, Basel, Dornach, London, Bruge, Rome,
Athens, Quebec, Montreal, Los Angles, Chicago, Milwankee and New
York. Made contacts with artists and galleries.
Activity (Individual exhibitions):
«Alumni Club» of the American University of
1961: The hall of «Rudolf Steiner House»
in Stuttgart – Germany.
1962: Gallery «Maison des Beaux-Arts»
Rue des Beaux-Arts, Paris.
1963: «Gallery Triades» Rue de la Grande
1963: «Gallery Michel Harmouche» Starko
1964: «Gallery Triades» Rue de la Grande
1965: «Gallery Triades» Rue de la Grande
1966: An exhibition in the house of the novelist
and sociologist Dr. Halim Barakat, Beirut.
1967: «Gallery One», Beirut.
1970: «House of Art and Literature»
(Dar El Fan Wal Adab), Beirut.
1970: An exhibition and a lecture in the hall of
the «Thursday Seminar» in the city of Baalbeck.
1973: «Gallery Centre d’art» de Brigitte
Chehadeh, spouse of the poet George Chehadeh, Beirut.
1982: «Gallery Damo» - Antelias – Lebanon.
1986: «Gallery Damo» - Antelias – Lebanon.
1987: «Gallery Janine Rubeiz», Beirut.
1991: The hall of «Goethe Institut »,
1994: «Gallery 50 x 70», Beirut.
1995: «Gallery Rencontre», Beirut.
1998: «Gallery Janine Rubeiz», Beirut.
2002: «Studio – Gallery» of the painter
George Khayralla, El – Mtayn – Lebanon.
Mikhael, Bikfaya, Lebanon.
Participation in International Biennals and Saloons:
Participation in the Yearly “Salon de l’Ecole Nationale Supérieure
des Beaux Arts, Paris.
1958: «Salon de l’Ecole Natinale Supérieure
des Beaux-Arts», Paris.
1960: Exposition «La peinture Internationale»
at the Maison Internationale in the Cité universitaire, Paris.
1969: Biennal of Alexandria for the Mediterranean
1970: Biennal of Sao-Paulo, Bresil.
1981: Biennal of Sao-Paulo, Bresil.
1984: «The 8th British International Print
Biennal» in Bradford City, England.
1984: «The 4th International exhibition of
small forma engraving» in Lodz City, Poland.
1987: Exhibition of «Cent Artistes pour Tyr»
Sponsored by «l’Association Internationale pour la Sauvegarde
de Tyr» Au Palais Mazarin. Paris.
1993: «First Egyptian International Print
1993: «Salon d’Automne» at the «Grand
Lebanon in the following Festivals and Exhibitions:
Exhibition of «Peintres-Graveurs de l’Ecole de Paris»
organized by Brigitte Chehadeh, in honor of the late frensh painter
George Cyr who lived in Beirut. The exhibition included works for
the following artists: Clavé, Compigli, Fiorini, Guitet,
Ortiga, Courtin, Marino-Marini, Piza, Sugai, Friedlander, Zadkin,
1974: «Festival International de la Jeunesse
Francophone» in the city of Quebec - Canada. Participated
in an exhibition and collaborated with eight artists coming from
France, Canada, Belgium, Luxembourg, Haiti and Maurice Island, in
the decoration of what was called the «Mur International»
which is a part of the big wall that surounds the courtyard of the
palace where the Festival took place. The design he made was chosen
for that purpose.
1994: « Exhibition of The love encounter
of the Arab Plastic Artists» in the city of Lattakieh, in
the context of «The Sixth Love Festival» under the patronage
of the syrian Prime Minister Mahmoud El Zuoubi and Madame Najat
El Attar Minister of culture. From each Arab Country, one artist
was chosen for this encounter.
Biennals and Exhibitions:
«Arab Art Exhibition» organized by the British company
for tobacco «Carreras Graven «A»» The works
where chosen by a british-lebanese committee headed by the english
art critic Mr. Hugh Scrutton. Eight paintings were chosen for eight
artists belonging to each of the following arab countries: Lebanon,
Syria, Jordan, Irak, Kuweit, Bahrain and Egypt. The exhibition took
place successively in London, Paris, Rome, Cairo, Manameh, Amman,
Kuweit, Bagdad, Damascus and Beirut.
1971: «Exhibition of Arab Artists»
1973: He was one of the lebanese artists who were
invited to Bagdad to participate in the formation of the «Association
of the Arab Plastic Artists».
1974: «First Biennal of the Arab Countries»
1974: «Arab Art Exhibition» in the
city of Tunis, «Center of living Art - Museum of Modern Art»
included 34 artists from ten arab countries.
1986: «Contemporary Arab Art» in «Mall
Galeries» London sponsored by the «League of Arab Countries»,
included 32 Artists from eleven arab countries.
1988: «The London Arab week : A Festival
for books, Poetry, Art, Music» sponsored by «Riad El-Rayes
Books, Ltd.» London.
Exhibitions Festivals and Saloons:
Exhibition «Lebanese Painting» in the city of Manhein
- Germany sponsored by «Goethe center» Beirut.
1988: Exhibition « Contemporary Lebanese
Artists » in « Kufa Gallery » London. Included
1988: Exhibition «The Lebanese Art Festival»
organized by the (Platform International and Myriam Ancient Art
Galleries) in collaboration with Ramsi Rihani. The exhibition took
place in New-York and in Washington. It included eleven artists.
1989: Exhibition «200 years of Lebanese Painting»
in «Concours Galleries Barbican Center». It took place
in London and in Paris. Sponsored by «The British Lebanese
1994: Exhibition «Contemporary Plastic Art
in Lebanon». Sponsored by «The Arabic Foundation of
Culture and Art in Lebanon». It took place in «The people’s
Hall» in Damascus, in collaboration with «The Association
of Fine Arts» in Syria.
2002: Exhibition «Lebanese painters in the
sixties» sponsored by the Bikfaya –Mouhaidsy municipality
– Bikfaya. Lebanon.
-Regular participation in the «Spring Exhibitions» held
by the ministry of national culture and fine arts, at the UNESCO
palace, and in the «Autumn Saloon» arganized by Sursock
Museum, as well as in the collective exhibitions held at the «Hall
of Sheikh Zayed» in the Lebanese American University, organized
by the Alumni association and also in the collective exhibitions
organized by the International College.
Artistic and Literary Writings:
Publication of the book «The mytamorphosis of line and colour»
deals with the psychic and mental motives underlaying contemporary
and modern plastic-artistic movements since the impressionists and
up till now.
1995: Publication of the book «The Eye of
Contentment» (Ain El Ridah) consisting of contemplations and
meditations on Art and the being of man (an interior voyage in the
being of man artist, throwing lights on the creative consciousness
of the unconscious).
2000: A renewed, enlarged and revised second edition
of the book «The Mytamorphosis of line and colour»
- Numerous artistic and literary articles and essays in the cultural
reviews, magazines, papers, and Journal Supplements.
First prize for engraving of the «Annual Exhibition
of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts» de
Paris, as a foreign artist.
1962: A reminding of the First Prize.
1963: Laureat of an artistic contest organized
by the ministry of national education and fine arts and obtainment
of a grant for three years study in Paris.
1969: Obtained an «Honorable Mention»
from the Biennal of Alexandria for the mediterranean countries.
1997: Honored by «The Cultural Movement -
Antelias», in the cadre of «Eminent men of culture in
Lebanon» and was offered the shield of the cultural movement.
2000: Honored by the Balamand university and granted
the Medal of Saints Peter and Paul of the order of big commandor
by his beatitude the Patriarch Ignatius the 4th.
2004: Honored by the «Fine Arts Institute»
of the «Lebanese University» as a retired professor
of the institute in recognition his endeavors and accomplishments,
and was offered the institute’s shield.
and Public Collections:
«Soursuk Museum» Beirut .
2 - «Museum of Mate Formi Grafiki Gallery»
City of Lodz-Poland.
3 - «Museum of Modern Art» city of
4 - Participation in the decoration of the “Mur
International” in the City of Quebec – Canada.
5 - «Saddam Center for the Fine Arts»
6 - «Museum of Amin El Rihaneh» El
Fraykeh - Lebanon.
7 - «Museum of Modern Graphic Arts»
Cairo - Egypt.
8 - «Museum of Modern Arab Art» in
the city of Daouha –Katar.
9 - «Collection of the ministry of culture
and fine arts» - UNESCO palace, Beirut
10 - «Collection of the Airport of King
Khaled (a mural tapis) in the city of Riad - Saoudi Arabia.
11 - Collection of the Academie Libanaise des
Beaux-Arts - Beirut.
12 - Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris.
13 - Collection of the «Cultural Council
of Matn - North» - Beirut.
14 - Collection of the «International College»
of the AUB - Beirut.
15 - Collection of the Republican Palace - Beirut.
16 - Realization of twenty large engraved copper
plates for the decoration of the «Jewelry grand magazines»
in the city of Daouha - Katar.
17 - Realization of twelve large engraved copper
plates for the decoration of the café «La Barrique»
in the city of Tripoli – Lebanon.
18 - Realization of artistic drawings for collections
of poems, literary books, reviews & periodicals.
The parisian hebdomadary «arts» N°3, 9/4/1963.
2 - «Liban Moderne» by Pierre Lyautey.
Edit. Jullard 1964 Paris. Page 137.
3 - «Triades» revue trimestrielle de
culture humaine N°4, winter 1966 page 86, Paris.
4 - «Note book of Modern Arab Culture»
by Issam Mahfouz, edit. «House of Lebanese Book» 1973,
5 - «Contemporary artistic movement in some
arab countries» by Mouna Saoudi edit. UNRWA – UNESCO, Beirut,
6 - «Contemporary art in Lebanon» by
Edward Lahhoud, edit. Dar El Shark 1974.
7 - «Hundred Years of Plastic Art in Lebanon»
by Richard Shahin. Edit. Gallery Shahin 1982, Beirut.
8 - «Modern Arab Art» by Afif Bahnasi
edit. UNESCO, 1982, Paris.
9 - «Catalogue of the 8th british international
print biennal», Bredford –England, 1984, page 109.
10 - «Catalogue of the 4th international
exhibition of small graphic forms» Lodz city, Poland, 1984,
11 - «Al Azmina» a cultural bimonthy
review N°December 1988, pages 73-82, Beirut.
12 - Catalogue «200 years of Lebanese painting»,
Gallery Barbican center, London 1989 page 131.
13 - Catalogue «Abstract painting in Lebanese
art» Alumi Association of Lebanese American University, 1995,
pages 34-35, Beirut.
14 - : «Names Dictionary of Families and
Persons» by Ahmad Abou Sad. Edit. «Dar el elm lilmalayeen»
Beirut. 1997. Page 188.
15 - «Arab Society in the twentieth Century»
a book by Dr. Halim Barakat, 2000, page 700, Beirut.
16 - «Rouwad Min Lubnan» (Pioneers
from Lebanon) edit (ADPEC) 2002 Beirut, pages 609-612.
«Benézit» Dictionnair Critique et Documentaire
des peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, Nouvelle edition,
Librairie Grund Paris, 1999.
17 - «The White face of Lebanon» Dictionary
of the twentieth Century edit. M.C.A. Sarl. Company. Hoursh Tabet
– Beirut. 2004. Pages 753-754.
18 - «Lebanon – A century in Pictures»
(1900 – 2000) edit, Dar An Nahar, Beirut, 2003 Page.241.
19 - «A story of a human body» (Dialogues
& memories of the pioneers of the artistic movement, about Maryam,
the first nude model in the ALBA) by Nadia Nammar, edit. Dar An
Nahar, Beirut 2001. pages .85 – 89.
20 - «Janine Rubeiz et Dar El Fan»
(Regard vers un patrimoine culturel. Edit, Dar An Nahar, Beirut.
2003. pages. 77, 196, et 2004 – 205.
21 - «In front of the tableau» by Cézar
Nammour. Edit. Maison de Beaux – Arts. Beirut. 2003, pages 136 –
and Etching by Halim Jurdak:
I am the first
Lebanese artist to work in this medium on an equal footing with
painting and drawing. I have had a large and varied production and
have presented the European, Arabic and Lebanese public with exhibitions
of engraving and etching. I have won prizes and have participated
in numerous international and Arab World Exhibitions, salons and
biennials. It has been my privilege to initiate the first young
generation of Lebanese artists into this art, when I began teaching
at the Institute of Fine Arts of the Lebanese University in Beirut
after my return to Lebanon in 1966.
I consider myself fortunate to have studied this art with Robert
Cami at the Beaux Arts in Paris. He was an artist who worked very
well with the burin. Working with the burin has been the foundation
of engraving throughout history, from Durer to Rembrandt to Picasso
to Jack Villon to Adam. This type of engraving has been practiced
by few artists, since it demands great attention and an ability
to draw with a steady unhesitating hand. Their number has diminished
over the years because the great masters have passed away one after
the other, and also because rapid procedures, and other new printmaking
devices have been found to meet the rising demand of the market.
The technique of engraving with the burin involves working directly
on the copper, zinc or other metal plate. Another indirect way of
etching is by using acid. I have worked in both, in addition to
applying other procedures that I discovered through working. Sometimes,
I combined two or three ways or even more on the same plate. I introduced
the colored paper technique of soaking rice paper in a variety of
watercolors then cutting them in different specific shapes and distributing
and composing them on the engraved and inked copper plate ready
for printing. The result is a print colored in an innovative way.
The art of engraving and etching is open and unending in its possibilities,
whether in black and white or in color.
The line produced by the burin is special. It may resemble the lines
drawn with Chinese ink, but goes beyond them in its quality, substance,
strength, and suggestibility.
In the other kinds of drawing, the line depends on the hand and
takes from it warmth and vibrancy. But the line that the steel burin
ploughs into copper carries the hardness of steel and the toughness
of the metal. In spite of this, I manage to give it warmth and pulse.
I integrate into it finesse, tenderness, lightness, malleability,
the sun and shades, and still manage to retain its distinct fundamental
traits of strength, frankness and wiry character.
It was this clarity, strength and dynamism of the engraved line,
that attracted me to it in the first place. I managed to activate
its melodic and colorful possibilities. I made it resonate like
a well-tuned string and glitter like a jeweled color. I included
in my compositions a variety of different lines, surfaces, shapes
and textures. The white became many whites and the black different
blacks and the gray a gradation of grays. Every surface, area or
gathering of lines or planes was endowed with breath, light and
Due to such a plastic approach and concern, my work represents,
as the critics and connoisseurs believed, an original expression
of the temperament and profundity of our cultural and artistic heritage.
I was not concerned with being Eastern or Western, but always to
fulfill my pleasure in what I saw in front of me on the white surface,
of weaving, moving lines and surging colors. Line and color attracted
me in themselves. They entice me to plunge into and play in their
world. In this diving and playing, I meet my people, nature and
In addition to my dealing with the copper plate according to the
generally known convention, I thought of liberating it from being
just an etched plate that would be used for printing and then destroyed,
or rendered out of use so that no more prints beyond the decided
number could be made. In this new venture, I worked on the copper
plates themselves, treating them as art works on their own.
This new qualitative venture was followed later by a second venture
in transforming the copper plate, about which I shall speak in due
by Halim Jurdak:
I had developed gradually from academic realism to cubism, to figurative
abstraction, to non-figurative abstraction, then to free non-objective
forms, patterns and compositions born from the qualities of pure
abstract disengaged colors and lines, and what is in the power of
these colors and lines to incite in the beholder as feelings, thoughts
and suggestions. Sometimes these periods overlapped, other times
they went side by side.
In the academic
period and in almost all my later periods, I took the human figure
as subject matter, for its warmth,elasticity and its ever living
harmonies and cadences. It is the Lyre of Apollo that resonates
with the music of the spheres from which it is crystallized.
Ingres said that “drawing is the probity of art”. I would like to
add and say, that “the human figure is the probity of the artist”.
I start my abstract
work from pure colors and lines, which are as abstract as the paints
squeezed on a palette and as the lines scribbled or doodled on a
paper, or as the musical notes Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Si with
which musicians compose music.
I start from a "soulful condition," from a "color
and linear mood," from a state of "lust" for colors
I never developed the habit of referring to a sketch or design or
any preliminary notes on paper or in a notebook. The immediate and
direct work is my starting point.
I start with
play that soon turns serious.
What urges me on, is the restlessness of the artist in man. It is
the demanding and alerting concern for renewal and quality. This
unceasing movement protects me from falling into the grip of habit
that would tie me into a stylistic fashion or make me exclusively
dependent on any plastic means or material.
me is also a sort of bathing in a color bath where I balance between
warm and cool colors, between the high key and low key voices of
colors and their inbetween tonal values. When the painting becomes
cold I open the warm color tap. When it gets too warm, I open the
tap of cold colors. Sometimes I take either a cold shower or a warm
one, according to the seasons and conditions of colors, which are,
at the same time, seasons and conditions of the human soul.
In other words, I say: "There is no more a palette here, from
which the colors are carried to the pictorial surface, because the
pictorial surface itself has become the palette. The visual concept
or reality does not go from my head to the pictorial surface, but
is generated through the meeting of the two in midway.
find it odd that I oftentimes refrain from selling my art works.
I too am an art collector. And I feel happy and pleased in acquiring
art works, just as in making them.
It is my habit
to invite my students as well as my friends and fellow artists to
visit my studio. Joseph Tarrab, noted this in one of his articles.
This is a habit that I have kept since the days of Paris, when we,
artists and friends, used to meet in our studios to discuss and
talk about things without caution or fear of one another. These
visits have left traces on art students and artists, young and old.
of the artist's artwork
the artist in Art Direct Sale!