Nabil Nahas




Nabil Nahas was born in Beirut in 1949 and lived in Cairo until his arrival in the United States for undergraduate studies in 1969. Nahas graduated with an MFA from Yale where he studied under the instruction of his long term mentor, Al Held. Throughout his career, Nahas drew inspiration from his home country of Lebanon. Islamic traditions are referred to in Nahas’ work, specifically its abstract geometries and chromatic qualities while his rich gold paintings call to mind Byzantine mosaics. Equally concerned with the natural world, from the early 1990s on, Nahas attached echinoderms to his works. After a hurricane had ravaged the shores of Long Island, Nahas discovered the thousands of starfish that had washed ashore, and was instantly inspired. Toying with the connotations associated with the organism, Nahas dwelled upon the idea of the pentagram shape, coincidently the position of Leonardo’s man, standing arms and legs stretched out. Some starfish are present subtlety in his work, as a basis of support and some extend in three dimensional projections. An additive process, Nahas incorporates paint chips, plastic molds and layered acrylic paint to construct works that stretch outward, in a style that is definitively his own.