International Architect Michel Abboud Unveils Exclusive Works of Art...

The architect of recognized buildings such as 45 Park Place in New York and One at Palm in Dubai, had built a reputation for provocative projects around the globe. His cutting-edge designs have attracted critical acclaim for their boundary-pushing nature and he was one of the youngest architects to design a skyscraper in New York. Having earned a Masters in Architecture from the University of Columbia subsequent to graduating from the American University of Beirut, Michel Abboud’s defiant no compromise stance has gained him respect among a loyal client base and fellow design professionals. He is known for designing the Park 51 Islamic Cultural Center a few blocks from Ground Zero in New York City, which further catapulted him into prominence, with one journalist dubbing him ‘the most controversial architect the US has known.’

In recent years he had begun to combine art and architecture by creating large-scale parametric sculptures. For him, art is as process-based as his architecture but it does not make it any less of an emotional endeavor.

Michel Abboud states “Unfolded is my debut solo exhibition in New York. After dedicating close to twenty years to my architecture career, I have finally decided to showcase a selected body of work of my first and life-long passion – Art. My work is all about an internal process that involves the canvas, the body and my emotions.”

This exhibition showcases his work of the past two years, which is heavily influenced by his childhood in a war-torn environment. Born in Beirut in 1977, he lived his first thirteen years in a violent civil war that he survived but never disremembered. Daily scenes of bombing were common and left deep wounds that he repressed for over twenty years, until he faced his canvas one day and recognized that the violence of his art was engrained in the scars of his painful memories.
Philppe Hoerle-Guggenheim, the gallery owner, comments: “Unfolded is a sincere perspective on Michel Abboud’s life, past and present. The artist re-imagines how the medium of art can be used to unfold an experience whether dark or light, as he focuses his personal life thread on canvas. You are pulled in radically, into his soul and point of view and can’t help but wonder what brought him here, where he is going, an open book beautifully layered on canvas, a read of Abboud’s world.”
The exhibition finally leads to his latest sculptural pieces of folded canvas on canvas that came as a result of years of experimentation with the materiality of form and content.

The artist continues: “After investigating the possibilities of manipulating the actual paint matter in a sculptural and material process, I have then proceeded to explore the physical support itself: the canvas. By stripping it from its frame, then slicing it, in order to finally fold it on to itself, I aim to blur the distinctions between content and container, support and object, medium and product. Both architecture and art are linked, identities are blurred but also merged. The dual conflicting nature of this process is at the essence of my art. “

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Elisa Smilovitz

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