Faisel LAIBI SAHI
Faisel LAIBI SAHI
فيصل لعيبي ساهي

Faisel Laibi Sahi  Born 1947 Basra, Iraq

Laibi Sahi studied in Baghdad in the late sixties before furthering his education in Paris. Since 1966, Laibi Sahi has held many solo shows in Iraq, Algeria, Britain, Italy and Germany, as well as participating in numerous group shows the world over

An important figure in modern Iraqi art, Faisal Laibi Sahi works with oils, acrylic, water colors and ink to create lively, colorful paintings which convey a distinctly Iraqi style of painting and expression. Many of his vibrant painted works complexly depict everyday Iraqi life in history, including coffee shop scenes, while he has also worked with detailed ceramics and simplified linear drawings.

Faisel’s style had already evolved in Baghdad through his artistic exchange with significant Iraqi artists, even before he left for Paris to study at the National Superior School of Fine Arts of Paris in 1974

 Living outside of Iraq for about three decades and now settled in London, Laibi Sahi acquires continual inspiration from the rich cultural heritage of pre-Islamic Mesopotamian civilisations, namely Sumer, Babylon and Assyria. Influences from these civilisations are mixed with modern techniques and skilfully woven into his works. His coffee shop pieces often depict a variety of influential figures within Iraqi society, sometimes containing political references. His paintings and drawings express a keen sense of historical identity that surpasses patriotism

While abroad, the Iran-Iraq War broke out and was followed after by the Gulf Wars, convoluting the formation of a consistent artistic identity in the third wave of Iraqi contemporary art. Many artists had fled the country but only a few have continued to maintain the lion’s share of attention. Faisel Laibi Sahi created his own creative canon. He became one of Iraq’s leading proponents of the arts, expressing the collective imagination of his country with an aesthetic and language of his own. Pictorial dreams that project nationalist imagery in a trans-cultural dialogue. The artistic world that Faisel creates is rooted in what it means to be Iraqi.

The highly acclaimed Baghdadi Coffee Shop series is Faisel’s answer to Iraq’s late modernism’s formulation of painting in terms of flatness and opticality. He gives us an extremely articulate introduction to the Western alternative, the concept of the tableau - new perceptual approaches to reality - Modern Realism.

Last year he celebrated 50 years of painting. His retrospective follows a sequence of forms emulating the once Iraqi social sphere. Rendered in a pop-like colour spectrum, the works demonstrate Faisel’s consummate skill as a painter. The masterful composition together with an eye for decorative details in planes of pure colour, obliquely unfold stories that tend to abstraction. Without a doubt, his allusion to the figurative is thoroughly conceptual. Quintessential Iraqi scenes are masterfully rendered and cannot be compared to those produced by the most novel of «isms.» It leads us back to the artist dealing with creation of the self. Faisel is an “other”, as well as all others.

Artworks

Books

Faisel Laibi Sahi - Agony And Recreation
الفنان العراقي فيصل لعيبي صاحي البحث عن الذات

Videos

Iraq | Two Faces at Albareh Art Gallery, Bahrain