Wait Pine Tree? ArtBooth
“Will You Wait For Me Under That Pine Tree?” at ArtBooth
   Reading 2 min

Collaborating with the Italian Cultural Institute in Abu Dhabi, the ArtBooth gallery is hosting “Will You Wait For Me Under That Pine Tree?”, a solo exhibition by Lebanese-Italian artist Gilbert Halaby. He presents a series of works paying tribute to his roots. Curated by Muriel Asmar (an independent art curator and art consultant), the show will be open to the public until the 29th of February, 2024.

The exhibits are 13 paintings inspired by what Halaby calls moments of light in his childhood. The artworks depict the serene landscapes of his home village, Dhour el Choueir in Lebanon, overlooked by a pine tree. Using bold and muted colours, the artist, who grew up during the civil war, portrays his happy childhood memories and refuses to bring back those of the dark times. Halaby employs delicate brushwork and careful layering of oil paint to depict the little houses that evoke a feeling of nostalgia and a longing for home.

Gilbert Halaby, SOROR, Rome, 2023. Oil on linen. 130 × 200 cm

The exhibition explores Halaby’s personal and emotional journey. Cherishing his solitude, he represents it with the solitary homes and pine trees he would see while playing in his village alone when he could be out of the shelter. Through the works on view, Halaby invites his audience to reflect on their memories and experiences.

About the artist

Gilbert Halaby (b. 1979), a painter and fashion designer, studied archaeology at the Lebanese University (Beirut). In 2003, he moved to Rome. Fascinated by the city, he opened a jewellery and handbag store there. In 2010, Halaby’s brand, Maison Halaby, launched its first women’s collection, and in 2016, the designer opened his accessories boutique of specially made leather handbags. It was similar to a cultural salon where he also houses many books by contemporary and historical authors and philosophers.

Gilbert Halaby, Pinus, 2022. Oil and collage on linen. 150 × 150 cm

In 2011, Halaby was chosen as Designer of the Year at Paris Capitale de la Création. In 2012, after his exhibition of the sculpted jewels at the Fondazione Volume! (Rome), Halaby was nominated as one of the Vogue Talents for Vogue Italia, which resulted in his collections of accessories being exhibited at the Palazzo Morando in Milan (Italy).

These days, Halaby occupies himself with art, his longtime passion. In his abstract expressionist and figurative paintings, which are executed in vivid colour palettes, he reflects numerous states and scenes he witnesses in daily life, particularly in Rome where he still resides. Another important theme that is central to the artist’s work is home. As a child, he was enchanted by the beautiful landscape in Mount Lebanon, his birthplace, and it continues to serve as a source of inspiration for him.

Gilbert Halaby, DHOUR, Rome, 2023. Oil on linen. 90 × 90 cm

In 2023, he held his first solo exhibition Domus Berytus at Beit Beirut Museum (Beirut). His second solo show Une Comédie Romaine took place in Rome. Among his international collectors who acquired Halaby’s work is the UAE Royal family.

To get more information about “Will You Wait For Me Under That Pine Tree?”, please visit the ArtBooth gallery’s official website.

You may also be interested in attending Distilled Lessons: Abstraction in Arab Modernism at Mathaf.

To stay tuned and be sure that you will not miss our latest art news, you can join our Telegram channel.