NABIL KANSO: PAINTINGS
12½ X 11 inches, clothbound, 112 pages
96 color pates, 18 b&w. NEV Editions 1997.
The FAUST volume offers a visual expression of the human drama whose protagonist sold his soul to the devil in order to obtain the knowledge, power, youth, and love that he thirsted for. Evoked by the action and character of Goethe's epic poem, the Faust series created in 1976-79 consists of over 150 works of which 95 paintings are represented in the book. In dealing with Faust as a subject for painting without straying into a pictorial exegesis of its literary source, the series flows freely in expressing the characters vibrant intimacy and their physical and spiritual torment.
Grappling with the intricate entanglement of human relation, the paintings carry their own vocabulary of forms in tackling the sensuality and eroticism embedded in various scenes including those in which Goethe's poems were omitted from most editions because the censor considered them obscene.
The picturesque characters, the Walpurgis Night, the enticement of the angels, and the great intensity between good and evil coalesce into a vigorous series in which each image relates its own world and field of luminosity. The abundance of intermingling images appealing to both the eye and mind offers a delight to the spirit and an exhilarating experience to the senses.