NABIL ANANI | UNTITLED
signed in Arabic and dated 2001
mixed media on wood
94.4 by 79cm. 39 by 31 in.
Please note: Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.
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This work is in very good condition. Any surface irregularities are inherent to the work. There is a thin film of dust throughout the piece. There are no signs of restoration under UV light.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner
Saqi Publishing, Nabil Anani: Palestine, Land and People, London 2018, p. 153, illustrated / in colour
Nabil Anani is a key figure in the Palestinian contemporary art movement. His oeuvre is distinguished by his use of local media such as leather, henna, natural dyes, wood, copper and various other materials. He is indeed revolutionary, but unlike his peers, this is not necessarily through the subject matter and themes he has chosen to portray. He is revolutionary in his intentional use of medium; it is a subtle rebellion and his act of solidarity with his homeland.
His earlier works from the 1970s to the mid-1980s were perhaps painted from a less reactionary perspective. Their intention was largely, to be celebratory of a collective Palestinian memory: inspired by shared history and visual culture – an homage to national identity and connectedness to land. He did this through the revival of traditional arts and a folkloric style. It was in the late 1980s, after the first Intifada that the political undertones in his work became more evident. This can be seen in his more experimental style, and his commitment to only use materials locally found rather than imported.
This work dated 2001 is one such example. While Anani mostly used local leather, this piece is done on wood. The shapes, while abstract, are meant to portray Palestinian women – their different forms are an homage to the depth and centrality of women; importantly their role in preserving a sense of family and unity in otherwise tenuous circumstances. Symbols of women border the piece, protecting the inner core: the grouping of shapes, alluding to the family unit and community.
This poignant narrative brings out figurative shapes in what may seem like an abstract rendering, and it is indeed a formidable work by Nabil Anani.