Aref el Rayess
A native of Aley, Mount Lebanon, El Rayess started out as a self-taught, multi-media artist, who practised painting, etching, sculpture and tapestry. He lived in Africa for many years, travelling between Senegal and Paris. When based in France, he joined several ateliers, while also studying at the ‘Académie de la Grande Chaumière’. He then spent time in Florence after gaining a scholarship from the Italian government. In 1963, El Rayess returned to Lebanon, where he worked and taught at the Lebanese University and the Lebanese American University.
A modern avant-garde artist, he embraced several genres during his career, from Naïve to Expressionism, before moving to abstract art. His work has featured in many collective and solo exhibitions worldwide and can also be found in public and private collections, including at the UNESCO Palace in Paris and Palestine Square, Jeddah.