ABOUT THE ARTIST
Welcome to Liane Mathes Rabbath’s world of collage. This artist’s stunning artwork ranks her high in the rising generation of Lebanese painters. All is but colour, symmetry and creativeness, adding to the captivating geometrical forms, the inviting colours and the precision of the curves. The result is guaranteed enchantment. Her collages overflow with energy, light and freedom. They speak of oriental reminiscence, but also modernity, always with a hint of fun. Moreover, they are based on a single material: calligraphied Damascus paper. The artist cuts out tiny bits of dreams and emotions. She rolls, folds and trangles them up, turning them into original and baroque arabesques.
The thoroughness of her work and detail-oriented vision convey a passionate and very touching devotion. All have been meticulously thought of, pondered upon, scrutinized. The architectural embossments turned abstract geometrical forms bathe in the mesmerizing colours and lights of her compositions.
Who is Liane Mathes Rabbath? Is she a self-taught painter? Or a vocational collage artist? Regardless of the answer, her path has certainly been quite unorthodox.
For Liane Mathes Rabbath, a Luxembourger by birth, Lebanese by heart for more than 20 years, art and creation have no secrets. "Offering and offering oneself pure moments of pleasure through each of one's creations", will be the leitmotivs of this artist who has found in art, a mode of expression that perfectly suits her sensitivity to others. And painting will be a passion that will shape and accompany her throughout her life.
It was with Tania Bakalian Safiedine (Tanbak) that she discovered her passion for collage, a technique that would "stick" to her skin.
In the 2000s, she fell under the spell of Damascus paper, a thin, satin-finished cigarette paper used to wrap cigarettes, rich in highly geometric calligraphic patterns and arabesques. She tamed this material, which would reign as an absolute master in all her works. And under her artist's fingers, the paper is transformed, shaped according to her desires and imagination. Sometimes rolled up, sometimes applied, she will affix it and align it to the nearest millimetre, to compose paintings, with magnificent geometric shapes, aligned to the nearest millimetre, that attract and captivate the eye. This material, so sensitive, and so delicate at the very beginning, will take on an aspect that inspires strength and even rigidity. She deliberately added a touch of brightly coloured oil or acrylic paint to the rigour of the arabesque, giving her canvases bright and changing reflections, creating a superb chromatic explosion. And when she doesn't roll her paper, she cuts it into strips, chisels it into slices, folds it into fans, shapes it into grids or moucharabiés, into full and empty effects, into frames within the frame, into western rosettes or eastern "chased away".
Sometimes, overwhelmed by her own instinct of order, she gives free rein to her instinct of disorder and throws her "cigarettes" on the board in bulk. "When you create, freedom of expression knows no limits. It is the only place where one can express oneself and launch oneself, without fear or barriers," says the artist, presenting the different techniques she has explored over the years. Thus she will use the "dripping" method, which consists in covering her tubes with cigarette paper and paint. In 2016, the "Artybubbles" period will follow: she will develop a technique in which she works this time on paper for rolling skinny, white cigarettes. The paper is first cut, rolled, then painted and rolled again in circles of different sizes to form tables of up to 1.5 metres.
Her paintings evoke celebration and dreams, where bursting bubbles of life and energy with vibrant colours and cylindrical motifs of cosmic and astral aspect. And then she pushed her passion for painting further and introduced gold leaf into her work, despite the extreme fragility of this material. Her works will then be worked on a paper base twisted into strings, then reworked with gold leaves after collage on the canvas.
This artist, who navigates between the colours of her adopted country Lebanon and the palette of her native country, Luxembourg, continues her research in this direction, which has nourished her inspiration and filled her thirst for beauty and creation.