Joseph El Hourany
An architect, urban planner, university professor and musicologist, El Hourany is one of only a few sculptors in Lebanon who uses wood as his medium. He holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as part of a cotutelle with the University of Quebec in Montreal, focused on the architectural parametric principles in the age of cybernetics, as well as additional degrees in Philosophy and Musicology.
Using morphing and mutation tactics, his wooden sculptures are focused primarily on the interplay between an initial idea or sketch and the material used for carving. El Hourany has acknowledged that it is difficult to categorise the various typologies of his sculptures, with all faces and sides of equal importance to him. No predetermined hierarchical relations exist, rather they comprise a form indebted to the fluctuating processes that shaped them.
This procedural experimentation has resulted in what are hallmark unpredictable forms, with neither composition nor style in mind. The used sculpting practices can be characterised in folding, form‐finding, deconstructed geometries, free‐form and hybrids.
El Hourany has worked on several architectural and urban planning projects in Lebanon and abroad over the years, while also teaching and lecturing at various research institutes and universities. He is a published author and his work has been exhibited in Lebanon and abroad, including a ‘Retrospective 1995-2020’ in 2021 at Saleh Barakat Gallery and shows in the US, Canada and the UAE.