Nabil Nahas

Nature figures prominently in the vibrant artwork of Lebanese-American artist Nabil Nahas, who intersects geometric patterns inspired by Islamic art with Western abstract painting techniques. His work often explores the emergence of order from disorder through patterns, fractals and labyrinths. To capture what he refers to as “the geometry of nature”, Nahas mixes substances like pumice, powder and volcanic rock into his paints to create different textures.

In one body of work, Nahas, born in 1949 in Beirut, paints recognisable forms of cedar, pine and olive trees – all of which are native to Lebanon and hence reveal the artists origins. He often adorns his paintings with gold as often happens in Islamic art and uses blue to represent the Mediterranean sky. Nahas’ large-scale paintings are striking, often inspired by the beauty of nature and the intricacy and complexity of Middle East culture. In another series of works, Nahas used bodies of starfish, sometimes cast in acrylic paint, on top of which he layered high-chroma acrylic paint.

Nahas has exhibited throughout the United States and Europe.