Desert Dreams Chaouki Chamoun
Desert Dreams by Chaouki Chamoun
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Khawla Art Gallery in Dubai is thrilled to host Desert Dreams, a solo exhibition by Lebanese artist Chaouki Chamoun which delves into his connection with the desert. The works on display demonstrate his longing to dive into its beauty, capturing the impact it has had on his art. The exhibition will be open to the public until the 1st of February, 2024.

The exhibited series of paintings embodies Chamoun’s deep emotions and experiences during nights spent in the open desert in the fall of 2008. The artworks reveal a hypnotising interplay of stars and sand and evoke a profound sense of homecoming. According to the artist, the latter is exactly what he felt when he found himself in the desert. 

Chaouki Chamoun, Desert Dreams (installation view). Khawla Art Gallery, Dubai, 2024.

About the artist

Chaouki Chamoun (b. 1942, Sariine, Lebanon) was among the students of the Fine Art Institute (the Lebanese University, Beirut), from which he graduated with a Diploma of Higher Studies in 1972. He was granted a six-year fellowship to study in the USA and obtained his MFA degree from Syracuse University (New York) in 1975, majoring in Painting with a minor in Sculpture and Ceramics. The same year, Chamoun became a full-time fellow in the Art Education Department (New York University): he attended a PhD program on Aesthetics and Studio Art. When the artist earned his doctorate in 1979, he was awarded a Meritorious Commendation for High Scholastic Achievement.

Chaouki Chamoun, Desert Dreams (installation view). Khawla Art Gallery, Dubai, 2024.

Chamoun’s art practice has been constantly changing. While studying at the Fine Art Institute, he was interested in Cubism. In the USA, the artist discovered American Abstract Expressionism and turned to less structured painting, focusing more on the process rather than the result; his art pieces continued to feature elements of Cubism, though. 

Famous for his landscape paintings, Chamoun employs thin lines or geometrical shapes to highlight the structure of his artworks. At one point, he began to add tiny people to his scenes. Standing with their backs to the spectator, these figures gaze at a natural scenery, a cityscape, or an abstract artwork. Sometimes, they look into nothing, becoming the subject of the painting itself. The presence of these miniature figures, which are Chamoun’s signature, in his paintings creates an optical impression of scale enlarging the rest of the work.

Chaouki Chamoun, Feel the Wind Rippling Plows, 2014. Acrylic on canvas. 135 × 135 cm

Chamoun’s work has been the subject of multiple monographic exhibitions, which include Chaouki Chamoun Horizons (Mark Hachem Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon, 2019); Peace in Waiting (Galerie Mark Hachem, Paris, France, 2015); The Art and Life of Chaouki Chamoun (London, UK, 2013); Marriott Hotel (New York, USA, 1992); and others. He has also taken part in numerous group shows and art events such as Arab Collective Art Exhibition (Galerie Mark Hachem, Beirut, 2015); The Written Image (Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Hong Kong, 2012); Abu Dhabi Art (Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2010); Alexandria Biennale (Egypt, 2008); Algeria Pan Arab Art Exhibit (Algeria, 2007); Al-Khorafi Arabic Biennale (Kuwait, 2006); and many others. 

To get more information about Desert Dreams, please visit the exhibition’s official web page.

You might also be interested in attending Desert Displacements by Ishmael Randall Weeks.