Growing Wild
signed and dated in Arabic (lower left); signed and dated 'SAMIA HALABY 2010' (lower right); signed in Arabic, signed, titled, numbered and dated 'No. 693 Samia Halaby 2010 "Growing Wild" (on the reverse)
acrylic on canvas
5978 x 72in.(152 x 183cm.)
Painted in 2010
The Artist.
Private Collection.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2016.
Beirut, Ayyam Gallery, Samia Halaby: New Works, 2010.
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Lot Essay

Christie’s is proud to present a work by one of the pioneering female Arab artists of abstract expressionism, Samia Halaby. Growing Wild is a 2010 work by Halaby that is a testament to her continuous innovative and experimental approach to painting. Samia’s 2000 works are characterized by her departure from the use of clear geometric shapes to smaller brush-strokes that create more painterly abstractions. Halaby describes this as a turn towards ‘more complex geometry of nature,’ which because of its complexity, ‘tends to be invisible due to the small scale of repeat patterns.’ (S.Halaby, quoted in ‘Five Decades of Painting and Innovation: An Interview with Samia Halaby,’ in Jadaliyya, 31 March 2015).

Influenced by movements and artists like the Russian avant-garde, Monet and Seurat, and taking inspiration from her surroundings with a desire to continuously reinvent herself, Halaby creates a more intuitive composition guided by her brush, colours and light. Like the name suggests, Growing Wild is an untamed landscape in pastel and dark hues which, through its abstractionism, Halaby looks for potential to connect with her viewers. In fact, the title of the work, Growing Wild, was inspired by a conversation Samia had with one of her collectors who had admitted to having quite a wild youth.

Halaby’s works have been collected by international institutions since the seventies. This includes the collection of the Guggenheim Museum of Art, New York; Yale University Art Gallery, Connecticut; National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; Art Institute Chicago; Institut de Monde Arabe, Paris; the British Museum, London; Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah and Dalloul Art Foundation, Beirut.

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