On The Square

Contemporary Artist Spotlight: Zena Assi

By Raya Mamarbachi, Artscoops

Apr 06,2016 | 15:00 EDT

Zena Assis contemporary work on canvas draws inspiration from the relation and conflict between the individual and their spatial environment, society and surroundings. Her pieces are punctuated by strong visual references to her native Beirut and the predicament of its citizens. The artist uses various media to document cultural and social change in Lebanon.  

Left: Zena Assi, Bouquet in autoportrait, 2011, Right: Zena Assi

Born in 1974 in Lebanon, Zena Assi lives and works in London. She graduated with honors from l’Academie Libanaise des Beaux Arts (ALBA), she then worked in advertising and taught at different universities. 

Assis work includes installation, animation, sculpture and most especially painting on canvas, seeking to convey the tumult, angst and chaos that often characterizes Beirut. Assi’s strong use of color, jagged angular shapes and intricate layering, imbue objects, landscapes and buildings reflect the emotional burdens of the population. Her work has been offered at auctions and art fairs in Christie’s Dubai, Sotheby’s London, Bonham’s London, Art14 and Art13 London, Abu Dhabi Art and Miami Art Fair. Her work is also a part of various public and private collections such as the Barjeel Art Foundation in Sharjah. 

Zena Assi, Jounieh #2, 2008 at auction April 9

Learn more about Zena Assi and upcoming exhibitions on ArtScoops