Marwan - in Memoriam

On 22 October 2016 passed away the great artist Marwan Kassab-Bachi, a Syrian 'through and through' even though living in Berlin since the late 1950s.
Oct 2016

On 22 October 2016 passed away the great Syrian artist Marwan Kassab-Bachi, known worldwide just as Marwan, who has influenced generations of younger colleagues.

Marwan was born in 1934 in Damascus where he first studied Arabic literature. In April 1957 he arrived in Berlin, Germany, from where he wanted to travel to Paris, but he could not go there directly because of the political upheavals at that time. Therefore he started to study art in Berlin under Hann Trier at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, in the center of German Informal Painting.

Then, "with his own work, he entered the center of a new figuration that rediscovered expressive-convulsive beauty and that molded Marwan in his own way, which combines the Western and his homeland’s Oriental culture. He has not left this center" - until the end of his life.
(quote from an article by Matthias Flügge in Nafas)

"From the moment Marwan Kassab-Bachi looks up to take in the light descending from the heavens of revelation, he delves deeply into the mystery of colour and recreates that light on the surface of his rich canvas. This light is perhaps the light of Damascus which still shines in his eyes, although he left some fifty years ago. Or is it the light of Berlin which has permeated his inner being on his journey of self-discovery in every picture, sketch or stroke he has painted? Is it the light of childhood dreams, earlier dreams, which were to come true only when he was away from his homeland? But will there ever be a homeland other than that of the soul which, within itself, encapsulates the entire universe?"
(from an essay by Ismail Al Rifa’i in Nafas)

© Photo: Haupt & Binder

Marwan Kassab-Bachi

* 31 January 1934, Damascus, Syria.
+ 22 October 2016, Berlin, Germany.

Related Content:

Topographies of the Soul. Barjeel Art Foundation at Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah, 6 Dec. 2014 - 6 Feb. 2015. Essay by Ismail Al Rifa’I, Nafas, Jan. 2015.
Reflections on the work of the artist born in Syria, created in his early years in Berlin. By Matthias Flügge, Nafas, Sep. 2006.
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