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Lebanese painter presents on her work and inspiration

Fatima Al-Hajj talks about her life and artwork during a guest lecture at LAU Beirut.

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Lebanese painter Fatima Al-Hajj, a professor of fine arts at the Lebanese University, flipped through hundreds of slides of her work during a guest lecture at LAU Beirut.

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A discussion ensued following the presentation with audience members about contemporary art.

Lebanese painter Fatima Al-Hajj dazzled an audience of art enthusiasts, students, and LAU fine arts faculty members, with a presentation on her life, work and inspirations, on April 28 at LAU Beirut.

Al-Hajj, professor of fine arts at the Lebanese University, flipped through hundreds of slides offering a glimpse into the evolution of her paintings beginning with her early days as a student in Lebanon, Russia and France, before moving on to her more recent work.

“I always come back to my original style,” Al-Hajj said, explaining how from time to time she experiments with new elements in her art before returning to themes of nature and family.

Her children, a strong source of inspiration, appear in several of her paintings. Many paintings are also set in her garden near Sidon where she raises roosters.

“I don’t sit down and say that I’m going to paint the nicest painting today,” she said. “When I sit down I don’t know what I’m going to make. Maybe something small, or maybe I want to use different materials. … It takes a lot of time.”

Al-Hajj has been exhibiting her work since the 1980s across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

The presentation was followed by a passionate discussion between the artist and several LAU faculty members on changes in contemporary art and Al-Hajj’s positions on 21st-century artistic movement.

The event was organized by LAU’s Fine Arts Department.


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