Hussein Madi is born in 1938 in Chebaa, Lebanon. A prominent Lebanese painter, sculptor and printmaker, Hussein Madi is best known for his colourful works inspired by abstract design and Islamic art. Between 1958 & 1962, he studied painting at the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts in Beirut before moving to Rome in 1963 to continue his studies at the Accademia di Belle Arti. He then decided to settle in Rome where he lived for 22 years, learning everything from frescoes and mosaics to bronze work.
Madi believes that the best source of artistic knowledge starts with a thorough understanding of the elements that he encounters, whether it is nature, an animal or the human body. By scrutinizing the living object, Madi studies its spiritual component and reduces its graphic expression to one unit. Each of these units follows their particular set of rules; varying in size, position, number, and colour, while the core structure remains constant. By superposing an abstract form that refers to a bird, Madi explores the interactions of the colours with each other. The artist’s abstract shapes assemble in lines; they invite spectators to read and decipher their interrelations, movements, and relationships to reach their essence. These shapes form an alphabet removed of any semantic reference, resembling a cuneiform script. Madi’s practice can be seen as a journey towards the origins of writing all while alluding to the principles of Islamic art. The persistent repetition of the abstracted forms retraces a Sufi dynamic; within the multiplicity, Madi achieves unity.