Marwan - Untitled
Tempera on canvas. 195 x 130 cm. Framed. Signed 'Marwan'. Verso on stretcher frame signed and dated 'Marwan ok. 78'.
Commenting on the “Head Paintings”, created in later years, Jörn Merkert wrote the following words in the Marwan Exhibition Catalogue of the Museum of Modern Art in Baghdad in 1980:
“This increase [in the artistic approach whereby the artist aims to create free colour and a pure painting], however, must also be understood as a further-reaching spiritual exaltation of the image that Marwan had of man. Marwan added a radical element to his painterly resources. In his depiction of heads he took a very close view of each face. […] The eyes and the mouth often touch the edges of the painting, and the oversized proportions and excessive size of the depicted subject goes beyond the physical scope of the picture. This greater closeness to the subject is accompanied by an even further-reaching dissolution which - in the way that colours are handled- matches the level of abstraction that has become almost absolute. Yet at the same time, the artist has given up none of the obfuscating spontaneity of the paintbrush which seems to be evident in both form and content. Rather, he has taken it even further. […] If we agree to enter into a patient and persevering dialogue with these paintings, we can discern a face emerging very slowly from the abstract turbulence of those colours which, at first sight, appear to provide a solemn fired-up backdrop. This does indeed happen slowly, thus appearing to contradict the artist's fast-paced application of paint, but then it only does so for a brief while which comes to us as a sudden flash of sensory experience. A moment later the face - which we have just seen so clearly - very gently becomes submerged again within the maelstrom of colours. (Jörn Merkert, Marwan, exhib.cat., Museum of Modern Art Baghdad, Berlin 1980, p.53)
With verbal confirmation from the artist, Berlin, on 4.10.2013.
Private ownership, Germany