Graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Painting from the Institute of Fine Arts at the Lebanese University in Beirut in 1975, Mohammad El Rawas began his artistic career at the onset of the Lebanese Civil War. Fleeing to Damascus and then to Rabat, he finally ended up in London where he pursued a Master’s Degree in printmaking at the prestigious Slade School of Fine Art in 1981. He started teaching at the Institute of Fine Arts at the Lebanese University in 1982, and taught at the Department of Architecture and Design at the American University of Beirut from 1992 until 2004, where he founded the etching, engraving, and silkscreen studios.
The artist’s early work, produced during 1970s and 80s, reflects the turbulent days of the Civil War. After fleeing his home country, he began to experiment with collage, creating graphic and printed images that moved away from his earlier representational paintings. He started producing mixed media canvases in the 1980s and 90s using wood, aluminum and string, influenced by abstract expressionism and Pop Art.
The work of Mohammad El Rawas has been shown at numerous exhibitions and biennales, both in Lebanon and internationally, and has been collected by prestigious institutions, including, Sursock Museum, Beirut, Lebanon; National Museum of Modern Art, Baghdad, Iraq; British Museum, London, UK; Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Norway; Sharjah Museum of Contemporary Arab Art, UAE and Darat al-Funun Amman, Jordan