Fateh al-Moudarres (1922–1999) was one of the pioneers of modern art in Syria. He studied in Rome and Paris, before returning home in the early 1960s to establish his artistic career. Inspired by Surrealism, he developed his own idiosyncratic approach, which, though minimalist and pushing toward abstraction, never relinquished figuration. Personal struggles combined with his commitment to the intellectual and political causes of his time shaped the subjects of his images and coloured their pictorial mood.
Jesus Christ and his Passion became a recurrent theme in al-Moudarres’s art. They present altered narratives reduced to a few signs pointing to classical canonical scenes, as in this painting of the Last Supper, which features a table and some food items. Jesus and his three (possibly female) companions are minimally represented in a loose geometric fashion, yet they still convey a dynamic humanness.
The Atassi Foundation
The Last Supper, image courtesy of the Atassi Foundation.