• Slides Huguette Caland 1

     

    Huguette Caland, Eux (Them), 1975, Oil on linen, 100.3 x 100.3 cm. Courtesy of Private Collection.

  • Slides Huguette Caland 2

     

    Huguette Caland, Faces and Places II, 2010, Mixed media on canvas, 91.4 x 288.3 cm. Courtesy of Private Collection.

  • Slides Huguette Caland 3

     

    Huguette Caland, Le Grand Bleu (The Big Blue), 2012, Mixed media on canvas, 163.8 x 408.9 cm. Courtesy of Private Collection.

  • Slides Huguette Caland 4

     

    Huguette Caland, Bribes de Corps, 1973, Oil on linen, 119.4 x 119.4 cm. Courtesy of Private Collection.

  • Slides Huguette Caland 5

     

    Huguette Caland, Suburb, 1969, Oil on canvas, 100.5 x 100.5 cm. Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha.

Huguette Caland: Faces and Places

2 August 2020 - 30 November 2020

Tickets must be purchased online in advance of your visit.

Faces and Places is Huguette Caland’s largest solo museum exhibition in the world, featuring six decades of her paintings, drawings, caftans, smocks and sculptures, including a selection of never before exhibited works. The exhibition is organised around three different geographical locations that define Caland’s personal and professional journey: Beirut, Paris and California.

Born in Beirut in 1931, Caland was the daughter of the first president of the independent Lebanese Republic. She completed her formal education at the American University of Beirut, where she developed an intimate relationship with line drawing. One of her professors encouraged her to start drawing at the top of the page, not letting go until completion. She mastered this technique, which appears throughout her work as her practice evolves from figuration to abstraction.

As a young woman in Beirut, the concept of independence was critical for Caland; ‘Lebanon was fighting for its independence and I was fighting for my mind’, she said. She expressed this initially through her appearance. At the age of 34, one week after her father's death, she rejected the Western fashions worn by her peers for traditional abayas (caftans). These became an important aspect of her artistic journey.

Caland defied social expectations by moving to Paris in the 1970s. ‘I didn’t leave for my art because you can do art wherever you are. I left because I wanted a career.’ In Paris, she developed a series of paintings titled Bribes de Corps. These minimalist abstract works expose the different shapes and forms our bodies can take, challenging notions of beauty embraced by society. What was heavy became delicate; what was wobbly became a visual delight.  

Freedom of artistic expression drew Caland to California in 1987, where she shifted from abstract representations of the body to a more detail-oriented painting style, evoking cross-stitching techniques. These works capture the spirit of the woven textiles, rugs and tapestries, which Caland grew up with. Despite living thousands of miles away, her memories of Beirut and Paris – of family, friends, nostalgic imagery of her childhood in Lebanon, her own children – emerge in the paintings she developed while living in America.  

This exhibition traces Caland’s journey across three continents, encompassing the faces and places that inform her rich oeuvre, all while highlighting the predominant theme in her work, the line.