Elie Kanaan

artist painter

(1926 - 2009)

I- Introduction:

Between nature and its abstract representation lies the undefined power of the coloring, which aims to achieve a double objective. It is color which first strikes the eye, constituting the means of visual apprehension that confers on the link we have with the form the right to go as far as the smallest detail; then comes the form which passes from cerebral abstraction to the palpable state by its intrinsic plastic power.

Thus the abstract art of Elie Kanaan is principally based on nature, making nature its raison d'être. Far from escaping from his natural roots, this experience of abstraction to which the artist gives
himself up continually brings him back to those roots.

Elie Kanaan stands apart from those Lebanese painters for whom art is but an endless and tranquil progress; he belongs among that minority who start from a ceaseless inner questioning and wish to elevate their work to the level where the essential question of artistic quality is posed and to which the eye alone, if satisfied, can provide an adequate response.

II- Biography:

Elie Kanaan was born in Beirut in 1926. He studied at the Academie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris. He visited Italy before returning to Lebanon where he began to exhibit in 1950 and has continued since then with regular yearly exhibitions both in Lebanon and abroad. He has won a number of awards, notably the First Prize for oil-painting offered by the Sursock Museum in 1965. Between 1963 and 1974, he taught drawing and painting at the collège Notre-Dame de Jamhour and at the Lebanese University and at ALBA.

Particular Expositions:

1949 Audi Gallery
1950 Ecole Supérieure des Lettres
1951 Ecole Supérieure des Lettres
1952 Ecole Supérieure des Lettres
1953 Ecole Supérieure des Lettres
1953 Fakhreddine Gallery
1954 Fritz Gothelf
1955 Bristol Gallery
1956 Bristol Gallery
1958 La Licorne Gallery
1960 Bristol Gallery
1960 Sao Paolo
1962 Orient Gallery
1963 Excelsior Gallery
1964 Grenier des Peintres
1965 Grenier des Peintres
1967 Entracte (Lausanne)
1968 Dar el Fan
1969 Orient Gallery
1970 Vendôme Gallery
1971 Vendôme Gallery
1972 Vendôme Gallery
1973 Delta Gallery
1974 Vendôme Gallery
1977 Gab Center Gallery
1979 Obegi Better Home Ltd Gallery
1981 Gab Center Gallery
1981 Damo Gallery
1983 Gab Center Gallery
1984 Gab Center Gallery
1985 Gab Center Gallery
1986 Epreuve d'Artiste Gallery
1987 Gab Center Gallery
1989 Epreuve d'Artiste Gallery
1990 Brigitte Shéhadé Gallery, Paris
1991 Epreuve d'Artiste Gallery
1991 Center of Art, 53 Avenue Montaigne, Paris
1992 Marguerite Motte Gallery, Genève
1993 Anne Mouilleron Gallery, Strasbourg
1993 Galerie de l'Orangerie, St Paul de Vence
1993 Epreuve d'Artiste Gallery
1993 Jeanine Rubeiz Gallery
1993 Annabel's Gallery, Barbizon, France
1994 Kasper Gallery, Morges, Suisse
1996 Epreuve d'Artiste Gallery
1997 Annabel's Gallery, Barbizon, France
1997 Art et Tableau Gallery, St Germain-en-Laye, France
1997 Epreuve d'Artiste Gallery
1998 Pierre-Michel D Gallery, Paris
1998 Fransabank Sal
1999 Etienne de Causans Gallery, 25 rue de Seine, Paris
1999 Claire M. Maurin Gallery, Aix-en-Provence, France
1999 Epreuve d'Artiste Gallery
2000 Chahine Gallery
2001 Chahine Gallery
2005 Epreuve d'Artiste Gallery
2006 Claude Lemand-Paris Gallery

Collective Expositions

Salon du Printemps, Unesco
Salon d'Automne, Musée Sursock
Musée de Beyrouth, 1949
Salon des Peintres Témoins de leur Temps, (Grenier)
Orient's Gallery
Italian Cultural Institute
Goethe Institute
Biennale de Paris, 1959
Biennale d'Alexandrie, 1963
Smithsonian Institute
Expositions itinérantes dans les Musées de Belgique et de Hollande (K.L.M.)
Belgrade : Gallery of the State
"La Baracaccia" Gallery of Rome
Exposition itinérante à travers l'Allemagne fédérale (Institute Goethe)
Ville de Moscow's Gallery
Biennale de Koweit
Biennale d'Egypte
Gab Center, Espace 2000
Musée Sursock
L'Entracte Gallery à Lausanne, 1968
Gab Center, Solemar
Portémilio (Chahine gallery)
Ministère de l'Education Nationale, Palerme, Italie
Université Américaine de Beyrouth
Association des Peintres, Beyrouth
Sensitive Gallery, Paris
Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris
Salon d'Automne, Paris, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995
Art International de Genève, 1994
Artuel - Salon International d'art contemporain (Beirut Hall) 1998


Many national and international museums and organisms had acquired Elie Kanaan's works to enrich their collections.
Musée Sursock (Liban)
Ambassade du Liban à Paris
Musée de la Résidence St Sulpice (Suisse)
Mairie de Doha (Emirates Arabes Unis)
Galerie de l'état de Moscou
Institut Crawford à New York (USA)
Musée de Belgrade
And others....

Awards - Prix

1956 Lauréat du Salon d'Automne du Ministère de l'Education Nationale. (Prix de la Présidence Mme Zalfa Chamoun)
1957 Prix Dame Alighieri
1958 Premier Prix du Président de la République, S.E.M. Camille CHamoun
1958 Prix de l'UNESCO
1966 Lauréat du Salon d'Automne du Musée Sursock
1966 Prix de l'UNESCO
1967 Lauréat du Salon d'Automne du Musée Sursock
1967 Prix Vendôme accordé par un jury international
1974 Lauréat du Grand Concours de la T.M.A. accordé par un jury international
1974 Prix du Président de la République, S.E.M. Soleiman Frangié


- Encyclopaedia of international contemporary art 1958
- Benezit (Dictionary of the painters sculptors draughtsmen and engravers )

Featured Works

Affiche, poster - Oil on canvas, 80 x 100 cm Private collection Mr. Charles Jamati
Landscape, 1966, Oil on canvas, 76 x 100 cm, signed bottom left, Nicolas Ibrahim sursock museum
Port scene in Italy
Abstract work, 64 x 50 cm
Walking, Abstract work, 100 x 80 cm
Nature, Abstract work, 40 x 50 cm
Abstract art work, 40 x 50 cm
Abstract art work, 46 x 55 cm
Abstract Art work, Boat, Bateau de pêches, 37 x 47 cm
Abstract art work, 32 x 45 cm
Abstract Artwork, Group, 40 x 50 cm
Abstract painting, 34 x 45 cm
Landscape, 60x50, Oil painting
Art Direct Sale