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Meeting Samia Halaby by Art Intelligentsia

In each issue of the magazine, Art Intelligentsia’s founder Dr. Barbara Stehle will introduce you to an artist and a work of art. Art Intelligentsia offers consulting services for all art collectors, from the beginner to the seasoned collector.


There is no artist I would rather visit and engage intellectually with than Samia Halaby. The painter stands by a body of work that has earned her a solid reputation. In the 1970s, American museums started collecting her work, and she is now the leading pioneer of contemporary abstraction in the Arab world. Halaby’s fifty plus years of visual research have led to writing; her publications on art constitute in themselves a great contribution.


In one of its last issues, Vogue magazine made Samia Halaby an icon of female creativity. A figure in the arts, her integrity, inventiveness and optimistic outlook are inspiring. At 80, Samia Halaby has reached a mastery only time, talent and hard work allow you to achieve. The artist is busy as ever with projects and fairs. Her Tribeca loft is filled with a lively creative energy.


The phenomenology of perception is at the centre of Samia Halaby’s abstract explorations. The artist has absorbed the structural rigour of constructivism and the analytical sensibility of impressionism. Her remarkable gift as a colourist can stop you in your tracks. Pale and Green, a luminous painting from 2015, illustrates her vision of the natural world. Looking closely, you will find that her brushstrokes travel space with ease, inscribing light through a meander of marks. Their elegant symphony evokes the changing colours of a landscape.


Text: Barbara Stehle

Cover: Samia Halaby, Pale and Green, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 153 x 203 cm © Courtesy of the artist

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