Saloua Raouda Choucair is a pioneer of abstract art in the Middle East. She is an artist with a multifaceted career who did not only create paintings and sculptures but also helped shape thinking about design processes and production. Through her product, furniture, textiles and jewelry design drawing and production, combined with her prolific and experimental sculptures, the reader will discover Choucair’s work.
Exploring a large range of materials, she combined her knowledge in science, Islamic geometry, engineering and poetry to produce many of the design works made over a period of five decades. Despite the many challenges faced by Choucair during her career, she went on making work that was both modern and Arabic. Based on her own Arab heritage, rather than western traditions and forms, she introduced geometric abstract art with a modernist approach. She was fascinated by Sufi geometry and the concept of infinity. She had a particular interest in developing interlocking shapes and building modular forms while exploring, manipulating and combining new materials in developing solutions not only for sculptures and paintings but also for design products. She confronted those who saw her work as too “feminine” or too European, and refused to be categorized as a woman artist, or a Lebanese artist. For her, art and design were universal. Her approach in eliminating the boundaries between art, architecture and design will continue to inspire present and future generations of artists and designers.
This book celebrates Choucair’s remarkable body of work as a significant figure in the history of twentieth-century art and design.