• Im Bett (1972-74), etching, 34 x 45 cm.

    • Marwan, Gesicht II, 1972
      Marwan, Gesicht II, 1972
    • Marwan, Untitled, 1972
      Marwan, Untitled, 1972
    • Marwan, Untitled, 1974
      Marwan, Untitled, 1974
    • Marwan, Untitled (Face/Landscape), 1985
      Marwan, Untitled (Face/Landscape), 1985
    • Marwan, Kopf , 1989
      Marwan, Kopf , 1989
    • Marwan, Gesicht V, 1973, 1973
      Marwan, Gesicht V, 1973, 1973
    • Marwan, Kopf, 1973
      Marwan, Kopf, 1973
    • Marwan, Kopf , 1977
      Marwan, Kopf , 1977
    • Marwan, Kopf: Figur
      Marwan, Kopf: Figur
    • Marwan, Kopf: Figur, 1984
      Marwan, Kopf: Figur, 1984
    • Marwan, Mann und Frau, 1967
      Marwan, Mann und Frau, 1967
    • Marwan, Stillleben , 1984
      Marwan, Stillleben , 1984
    • Marwan, Untitled , 1972
      Marwan, Untitled , 1972
    • Marwan, Untitled , 1996
      Marwan, Untitled , 1996
    • Marwan, Im Bett, 1972/74
      Marwan, Im Bett, 1972/74
    • Marwan, Zwei Kpfe in Landschaft, 1972/74
      Marwan, Zwei Kpfe in Landschaft, 1972/74
    • Marwan, Rucken Und Profil, 1972/74
      Marwan, Rucken Und Profil, 1972/74
    • Marwan, Untitled, 1974
      Marwan, Untitled, 1974
    • Marwan, Gesicht II, 1972
      Marwan, Gesicht II, 1972
    • Marwan, Kopf, 1976
      Marwan, Kopf, 1976
    • Marwan, Kopf, 1977/79
      Marwan, Kopf, 1977/79
    • Marwan, Mann und Frau, 1967
      Marwan, Mann und Frau, 1967
    • Marwan, Untitled, 1973-1974
      Marwan, Untitled, 1973-1974
    • Marwan, Khardoush, 1971
      Marwan, Khardoush, 1971
    • Marwan, Untitled (Veil), 1972
      Marwan, Untitled (Veil), 1972
  • "A single canvas would carry many faces on top of each other and one painting would often need several years of work before it was considered finished by the artist.”

    Jimmy Dabbagh in: Marwan Kassab – Bachim an artist who challenged the landscape of portraiture, The Arab Weekly, 2016)

    Widely known by his mononym, Marwan, Marwan Kassab Bachi was born in Damascus in 1934. After studying Arabic literature at the University of Damascus from 1955 to 1957, he moved to Berlin where he studied under Hann Trier, an exponent of Art Informel at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, going on to graduate in 1963. This exposure to Art Informel - a form of Abstract Impressionism, with its characteristically expressive and gestural qualities, led to the development of the artist's highly distinctive style with which he explored the manifold complexities of the human condition.

     

    On his arrival in Berlin in 1957, Marwan, who had originally planned to study in Paris, found a city in the depths of political and social upheaval. Artists and intellectuals fed off the frenetic atmosphere, finding inspiration amidst the chaos. On November the 10th, 1958, Soviet Premier, Nikita Khruschev demanded that the Western powers of the United States, Great Britain and France withdraw out of West Berlin within six months, leading to the historic division of the city and the erection of the Berlin wall in 1961. It was here that the young Marwan found his place in the world, surrounded by an exciting new cultural milieu, most notably, a generation of artists that would come to be known as German Neo-Expressionists.

     

    More widely associated with the New Figuration movement of the 1960s that centered on the revival of figurative painting, following the trend for post-war abstraction in the West, the German Neo-Expressionists including artists such as Georg Baselitz and Markus Lupertz were known for their intense subjectivity and rough handling of materials. Marwan's use of layered colour and tone, textured, painterly style, and idiosyncratic approach to the human form placed him firmly within the movement.

     

    From the earliest stages of his artistic career, Marwan captured the dynamism of the human body in his painting and printmaking practices. Contorted, surrealistic bodies expressively conveyed the plethora of joys and torments of man's earthly experience. A notable early series titled, Khaddouj was inspired by his family's unusual looking domestic maid, back in Damascus. As well as her odd appearance, Marwan also associated her with many formative adolescent memories, leading him to channel her image into a visual metaphor that would reappear time and time again throughout his life's work.