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MARWAN: Early Works 1962-1972
from 11 JUL 2014 to 12 OCT 2014
‘Marwan: Early Works 1962-1972’ presents over 140 paintings and works on paper produced between 1962 and 1972 by the celebrated Syrian painter Marwan.
The exhibition reflects the ambition of the programme of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art to introduce new perspectives on artistic production and its histories.

Mohamed Marouan Kassab-Bachi, known simply as Marwan, is internationally recognized as one of the great contemporary Arab artists. Born in Damascus in 1934, he left Syria in 1957, settling in Berlin, where he continues to live and work. It was in post-War Berlin, as a student of the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, that he came into first hand contact with European painting, and with a younger generation of artists including his contemporary Georg Baselitz with whom he was associated with the so-called New Figuration.

The works produced between 1962 and 1972 are an exemplary group of the formal and thematic originality of a body of work that draws on features from another time and place. A large number of works - especially those on paper - have rarely been exhibited outside Germany and are still in the artist’s possession. These pieces highlight several themes which are recurrent in Marwan’s work, including portraits and self-portraits, ‘head-landscapes’, silhouettes covered by veils hiding faces and young figures, alone or in groups, representing the collective and anonymous figures. These paintings, watercolours and drawings bear witness to an obstinately individual experience with painting, in which introspection and intimate obsessions come together in the expression of the restlessness and frustrations shared by a generation of Arab artists and intellectuals, to which Marwan belongs.

Curators: Catherine David, Deputy Director of the Musée National d’Art Moderne at the Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris)
Organization: Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art

Image: Marwan, Selbstbildnis [Selfportrait], 1964. Oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm. Private collection. Photo: Jörg von Bruchhausen
Related Activities

10 JUL (THU), 22H00-24H00, FREE ENTRANCE

11 JUL (FRI), 19h00, Museum galleries
With Marwan and Catherine David (curator of the exhibition)

12 JUL (SAT), 15h00, Museum galleries - Guided tour for Members
By Catherine David (curator of the exhibition) 

25 SEP (THU), 21h00, Museum Galleries
Reading of the play "The Adventure of the Slave Jabir’s Head", by  Saadallah Wannous
In partnership with the programme ‘Readings in the Monastery’, Teatro Nacional de São João, Porto.
The play "The Adventure of the Slave Jabir’s Head" (1969), by Syrian playwright Saadallah Wannous, was conceived to be read outside the theatre room and with the participation of the audience. What will be the impact of the shared reading of this text on the experiencing of Marwan’s paintings? 


20 JUL (SUN), 12h00–13h00, Museum Galleries 
By Raquel Correia

17 AUG  (SUN), 12h00–13h00, Museum Galleries 
By Sónia Borges 

14 SEP (SUN), 12h00–13h00, Museum Galleries 
By Raquel Correia

12 OCT (SUN), 12h00–13h00, Museum Galleries 
By Sónia Borges

06 SEP (SAT), 15h00–18h00, Multipurpose Room
By Raquel Correia and Sónia Borges 
What is a portrait? What else do we see in a portrait aside from the features of a face? How can colour, texture and line reveal more than what our eyes see? Based on Marwan’s work, we will explore the portrait-landscape, playing with size, form and colour to deform, transform and alter the face. 
Dramaturgy seminar

04-05 OCT (SAT-SUN), 10hOO–13h00, Museum Galleries
Dramaturgy seminar by stage director Rui Catalão on recurring themes in Marwan’s oeuvre. 

01 OCT (WED), 21h30, Auditorium
Omar Amiralay: There are so many things still to say (1997), 50’
Documentary based on an interview with Syrian playwright Saadallah Wannous where he relates his sombre and relentless reflections on the Arab-Israeli conflict, source of disillusion for his generation. 
Omar Amiralay was a Syrian documentary film director and prominent activist. He played an important role in the events of the Damascus Spring of 2000.  

02 OCT (THU), 21h30, Auditorium
Hala Al-Abdallah: I am the one who brings flowers to her grave (2006), 105’
Exiled for twenty five years, Syrian filmmaker Hala Al-Abdallah reflects on loss and human resilience in a personal exploration of her homeland of Syria. Between resignation and quiet hope, this film unravels an image of Syria and the people who have chosen to live in exile, both within and geographically. 
The film won the award for Best Documentary at the Venice International Film Festival in 2006. 


THEATRE | 3 and 4 Oct. (Fri. and Sat.), Serralves Auditorium
"Av. dos Bons Amigos" by Rui Catalão 
Through a set of personal and generational memories linked to the recent history of the country, Rui Catalão embarks on an imaginary journey into themes that are common to us but that we have become used to relegating to the realm of privacy: the panic of death and how the inhibitions we subject our bodies to generate a relationship of fear with the unknown.

DANCE | 5 Oct (Sat), 22:00, Auditório de Serralves
"Síncopa" by Tânia Carvalho
Based on a text by Walter Hugo Mãe, Síncopa is a reflexive work on human existence and its condition. The play marks the return of choreographer and interpreter Tânia Carvalho to the solo format.  
Exclusive Sponsor of The Museum
  • LocationSerralves Museum
  • Days 11 JUL 2014 - 12 OCT 2014

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