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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Exhibited

    Beirut, Emmagoss Art Gallery, L'Empire Des Meres, March - June, 2008

  • Catalogue Essay

    Paul Guiragossian is one of the seminal pioneers of Lebanese Modernism.Oscillating between semi-abstract and figurative depictions, Guiragossian portrays slim, elongated figures that are both graceful and melancholic.Born to survivors of the 1926 Armenian Genocide, and having lived through the turbulent conflicts of the Lebanese civil war, Guirgaossian often depicts sombre scenes of women and infants flanked by solemn, mournful figures.The absence of a male presence in his compositions not only points to the fragmentation of the family unit which occurs as a result of war, but highlights how those who suffer in times of conflict are often the most vulnerable and defenceless members of society.
    Paul Guiragossian's Le Centre du Monde represents a mother with her new born surrounded by her other children and loved ones in an atmosphere of joy, welcoming the child. One of the figures on the left of the mother is playing the flute, also adding music to the piece showing a family celebrating the new comer or perhaps a blessing of a new child.
    Paul's philosophy was in his own words ‘When the woman carries in her the child, she would be in fact carrying the Universe, and her love is therefore as great as this Universe.'
    From this idea comes the title Centre Du Monde (centre of the world).The subject of motherhood was very important to Guiragossian and was constantly repeated throughout his artistic life.This came from his childhood and the lack of his mother's affection. A survivor ofThe Armenian Genocide, Paul's mother had to raise her two sons on her own after her and her husband lost each other during war. She placed her children in boarding schools and worked to support them.This greatly affected Paul since he use to think that his mother didn't want him.
    "I lived my childhood deprived from the affection of a woman. I have spent my childhood in private convents, without knowing my mother that I looked for so long to find in my paintings."
    After growing up Paul understood his mother's sacrifices to give her sons an education and a better life, this made women become HEROES to him.He saw in a woman the courage, the power and the unconditional love she has for her child and made sure he expressed it in all his works.
    Phillips de Pury & Company would like to thank Nima Sagharchi for his contribution to the Middle Eastern and Iranian artists' essays in this catalogue.


Le Centre du Monde (from Motherhood series)

c. 1983
Oil on canvas.
100.5 x 75.5 cm. (39 1/2 x 29 3/4 in).
Signed 'Paul G.' lower left.

£60,000 - 80,000 

Contemporary Art Evening Sale

18 Oct 2008, 7pm