Born in Beirut, in 1970, Marwan Sahmarani’s practice reflects on the increasing political turmoil and tension felt throughout his native Lebanon. He explores the cyclical patterns of violent history manifesting throughout the Middle East so that what persists in his practice is an expressive exploration of violence - of feeling, bodily motion, nature and its man-made counterpart.
The conflict between inner and outer is central but the real crux of his inquiry is simple: how two people can arrive at a point where they attempt to destroy each other. In his landscape paintings, looser brush strokes dissolve into symphonies of colour to capture the exuberance within nature.
This transition in location, from urban to rural, has transformed his work into what he identifies as more personal and more intense. What emerges from the landscape work in this context is the connection between violence and expressivity: how the brutality of nature shows a primal energy of the elements, especially when compared to its man-made counterpart. Sahmarani is the winner of the Abraaj Group Art Prize 2010 and he currently lives and works between Beirut and Spain.