“ART IS LIFE, WHICH IS ART IN ITSELF” ~ A. MADOUN
Ahmad Madoun was a renowned Syrian artist born in 1941 Palmyra. His creative approach calls to mind the brilliance of early modernist painter Marc Chagall. Like Chagall, Madoun combined the symbolism of his culture with an accomplished sense of colour in a contemporary style. Madoun’s use of colour ranges from the sombre to the brilliant, depending on the period he was working in, and the media he employed.
After completing high school, Madoun was assigned a scholarship to study trade & economics in Egypt. Ahmad stated that his artistic life began in 1956 when he first painted the countryside, indulging the primitive taste of his fellow countrymen. Madoun’s birthplace of palmyra would always be the main source of artistic inspiration for the images he created.
Having completed his studies at Cairo University, Madoun was issued his B.Sc. in Commerce and was delegated to Japanto study Computer Science. Tokyo hosted a private exhibition of Madoun in 1967. Madoun occupied numerous positions in different ministries. He was first appointed to work in the governmental cabinet, then was transferred to the Ministry of Culture to work as “Director to Fine Arts” and later as “Manager to Adham Isma’eel Centre for Fine Arts” following a course in Britain on the principles of teaching children how to draw.
Mr. Madoun was a prolific artist. He worked in water colour, oil, print making and graphite over the 27 years he actively created. Madoun developed the skill of “plastic drawing” using the symbols of nature and his homeland. He was a teacher to a number of well-known Syrian artists, yet for many years no exhibitions were organized in Syria to show his own work. The reasoning behind these long years of non-exhibition was his own feeling that he had not yet reached the artistic level that satisfied his conviction proving that “Art is life which is art in itself”. Because of this, not a single drawing was exhibited for a period of fifteen years.
Syrian heritage and the countryside environment of Palmyra are always tangible in the drawings of Ahmad Madoun, who had always endeavoured to incorporate the glorious arts and culture that once flourished in the ancient days of prosperity of Palmyra. To come to this aim, he used “Art as a means to catch up with the passing away of moments of time”, which is a phrase used by the late water colour artist and national treasure Waleed Izzat. The first exhibition to host the drawings of Ahmad Madoun was organized by a group of artists in 1972. He then began to organize exhibitions of his own drawings in 1976.
Ahmad Madoun was killed in an auto accident in 1983. At 42 years of age, his artistic career was brought to an abrupt halt and his distinguished creative style came to a halt. Madoun has work in the National Museum of Damascus, the Museum of Modern Art in Damascus, and private collections in Syria, Egypt, Germany, America, France Switzerland, Sweden, Japan, India, Kuwait, Mexico and Belgium.
Madoun’s family currently have many of his pieces for sale. Please visit the Ahmad Madoun website for more info and to see available work, or contact Kathryn here. All monies raised by the sale of Amhad Madoun’s artwork will go to help his family rebuild their lives since the destruction of the war in Syria.