Art on 56th is pleased to announce Nostalgia For Tomorrow, a solo-exhibition of works by Louna Maalouf. An established Lebanese artist, Maalouf’s works aim to preserve the city of Beirut through its people.
Daughter of a great painter, Maalouf grew up in a family and environment of artists. She received a diploma in Arts, with a specialization in Painting from the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts (Alba) in 1988. Since then, she is both a professor and an artist, committed to teaching, as well as exhibiting. In 1997 she received a grant from ALBA to pursue silkscreen printing and photography at the National School of Fine Arts in Cergy, Paris. She has participated in several solo and group shows and her work has been displayed both locally and internationally.
Maalouf’s paintings chronicle the identity of a transient city and its people. She seeks inspiration from Beirut, a place overridden by contradictions. Both charming and magical in its ephemerality, the Lebanese capital rests on an unstable foundation. Destroyed and rebuilt countless of times, it never fails to attract and pull people in, like a magnet bringing the expats home. A city of gathering and of wonder, Beirut’s core is layered with history and heritage. Maalouf addresses the depth of her hometown’s individuality through its nation, and especially through its youth. She believes that her duty as an artist, and more importantly as a Lebanese citizen, is to preserve the city through art and culture, and to engage with and support its community.
Nostalgia For Tomorrow showcases Maalouf’s thoughts and initiatives in the conservation of Beirut and the guarding of the city’s next generations. She invites the viewers to seek closure from the past and focus on what is yet to come, to work on the present in order to secure a better future. The artist’s paintings weave abstraction to figuration, inserting a human presence in the midst of a setting in metamorphosis. Her silhouettes embody hope and serve as visual reminders of the legacy of a resilient city. Her sober blue and grey tones refer to (re)construction, while her oragnic oranges, ocres and whites symbolize growth and promise. Her painted surfaces are accumulations of images, of culture, of history and of a landscape undergoing a continual renaissance. Maalouf’s gestural application of color and form exude a sense of freedom, a harsh, untamed hand that marks a canvas and protects its people.