Untitled’s composition epitomises the concepts and beliefs that inspired Douaihy’s admired later works. The painting showcases a deep understanding of the minimalist aesthetic, and the artist’s exceptional ability to handle two key elements in formalist painting: colour and shape. The present work portrays a dominating expanse of deep blue adjacent to a thick white plane, interrupted around the edges by variously shaped narrow red, orange, green and light blue angular stripes. Dissimilar in size and colour the planes transport the eye from the main focal blue to the outer right white edge, tracing the four edges of the canvas and back to the centre again. While the flatness and the geometric precision of the individual planes allude to a lack of perspective, the vibrancy of the different colours and the intuitive positioning of the shapes throughout the composition challenge the sense of two-dimensionality. These distinct planes express depth and space, consequently referencing the artist's fascination with Lebanon’s landscapes. The combination of these asymmetrical planes embodies Douaihy's unique interpretation of the sublime and infinite space, creating the illusion of a world that spreads beyond the boundaries of the composition hence evoking a feeling of tranquility and peace in the contemplator.
The present painting was originally in the collection of the important Arab poet, translator, theorist and political activist and two-time Nobel Prize nominee, Adonis. The poet has been described as a visionary and a pioneering Arab writer of the modern era. A contemporary and close friend of the artist, Adonis was born in Qassabin, a small village in Syria located only a few hours away from Douaihy’s birthplace. In addition to publishing twenty books and translating into Arabic over a dozen significant works such as the complete version of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Adonis was the editor of three of the most influential Arab literary magazines of the 20th century. Adonis produced and edited Majallat Shi'r (Poetry Magazine, 1956- 1964) alongside Youssef El Khal's, a poet and the owner of the legendary Gallery One in Beirut where Douaihy exhibited his works on numerous occasions.
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