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Biography

Video still of Chaouki Choukini, Art Dubai Portraits, 2018. Courtesy of Art Dubai and Forward James

Since the late 1960s, Chaouki Choukini has developed an astoundingly consistent aesthetic worldview. His sculptural works, mainly in wood but occasionally in marble or stone, range from horizontal Lieux and Paysages to upright, anthropomorphic, almost totemic figures. At first glance, the works may appear somewhat primitivist. A closer look, however, reveals a sophisticated interrogation of organic and mechanical worlds, where curvaceous mounds are punctuated by a regiment of pegs, or undulating bases bristle with teeth-like crags. Discursively, Choukini layers an eerie latency into his works: mazes of slits, recesses, and multi-level cavities evoke some vanished human presence on the tense horizon line; the ubiquitous “cord” is a taut yet silent marker of dormant sound.

Installation view of Chaouki Choukini, 2019 at Green Art Gallery, Dubai. Photo by Anna Shtraus

Born in 1946 in Choukine, Lebanon, Chaouki Choukini received his degree from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts de Paris in 1972. He was awarded the Prix de la Jeune Sculpture in 1978, followed by the Taylor Foundation Prize in 2010. He was also awarded the Prix de la Fondation Pierre Gianadda, from de l’Academie des Beaux Arts, France in 2015.

Choukini has participated in various solo and group exhibitions including Choukini: 10 Recent Sculptures, Espace Claude Lemand, Paris, France (2020); Chaouki Choukini, Green Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2019); Le monde arabe vu par ses artistes, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France (2018); Beloved Bodies, Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE (2017), Poetry in Wood, Green Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE, (2016), Portrait de l'Oiseau qui n’existe pas, Musée de l’Hospice Saint-Roch, France (2014); Tajreed (Arab Abstract Art), Contemporary Art Platform, Kuwait (2013); Le Corps decouvert, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France (2012); International Aswan Sculpture Symposium, Cairo Biennial, Egypt (1997); Paris Sculpture, Centre de Sculpture Contemporaine, Paris, France (1973).

His recent monograph, Corpus, was published in November 2019 with Kaph Books, Beirut. He lives and works in Paris, France.

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