CMS Collection presents Nabil Nahas at Château La Coste
Château La Coste and CMS Collection presents Rooted in the Sky, the first solo exhibition in France by Lebanese American artist, Nabil Nahas. For this comprehensive exhibition, Nahas has created two new series of works which will be on display across two gallery spaces – the Renzo Piano Pavilion and the Old Wine Storehouse – alongside a previously unseen monumental outdoor sculpture.
For the Renzo Piano Pavilion, Nahas has filled the walls with four large-scale canvases from his new series “Constellation”. The visitor becomes immediately absorbed in the dance of these spiral compositions that unfold like musical scores, expressing joy, and drawing audiences into the cosmos. Whilst the works evoke the celestial skies above, they also echo the patterns found on seabeds highlighted by the presence of sea star. Situated outside the gallery, Nahas has created his largest sculpture to-date, continuing the artist’s exploration into organic forms that are at once abstract, yet also recall structures found in nature.
Concurrently on show in the Old Wine Storehouse, Nahas will display a more personal series of work linked to his origins in Lebanon. Featuring olive trees, palm trees and cedars, which are critical to the history, culture and ecology of his homeland, the works rise up to form a gallery of botanical portraits. In Untitled, 2022 a large yellow composition has been used on a black background to show a raging forest fire. Whilst elsewhere, burnt olive trees are depicted against a background of a burning landscape. These works are a direct reference to the devastating explosion in the port of Beirut in August 2020. Whilst the somber palette and expressive brushwork portrays the collective pain and shock of this violent incident, there is a defiant manner in which Nahas depicts these trees. The strong, dark masses stand as symbols of a rich history and heritage, simultaneously evoking both pride and national trauma.
CMS Collection is a young company created in 2018 by three friends who wanted to build a collection of artworks, mainly dedicated to the presentation of emerging artists who they share a mutual admiration for. There is no strict organisation, but rather a fluidity in the roles of each member.
Today, the collection includes more than 25 works and 9 artists, including recent acquisitions from Anas Albraehe and Nabil Nahas. The collection features works by Yunyao Zhang, Sam Falls, Jean Marie Appriou, Huong Dodinh, Marcella Barcello, Jeremy Demester, Alex Foxton, and Alain Bozbiciu. Drawing from their experiences in the art world, the project aims to actively support artists throughout their artistic careers.
CMS Collection also produces and organises exhibitions with the dual ambition of financially supporting artists through the purchase and inclusion in the communal collection and the development of a platform for launching or representing artists. The only rule is that the artists supported must have unanimous support from the three founders.
The creation of projects is therefore at the heart of CMS Collection, such as curating exhibitions in museums, institutions, art fairs, and collaborations with galleries, in order to offer the greatest possible visibility for the selected artists’ work.
So far, CMS Collection only represents artists present in its collection, but they are also interested in internationally recognised artists (such as Nabil Nahas) who have not yet received the recognition they deserve in France or Europe.
About Château La Coste
Situated in one of the oldest winemaking regions of France, between the historic city of Aix- en-Provence and the Luberon National Park, Château La Coste is a vineyard where wine, art and architecture co-exist in harmony. Since it opened to the public in 2011, Château La Coste invites visitors to discover over forty major works of contemporary art installed in the open air and five gallery spaces dotted across the 500-acre site.
Each year artists and architects are invited to visit the domain and discover the unique beauty of this Provençal landscape, with its famed cypresses, stone pines, olive trees and ancient oaks. They are given the freedom to create a site-specific work in an area of the site that inspires them, so Château La Coste continues to evolve as new projects and installations are developed. Artists and architects who have created permanent works at Château La Coste include Frank O. Gehry, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Louise Bourgeois, Richard Rogers, Sophie Calle, Tracey Emin and Jean Nouvel.
Rooted in the Sky
Location: Renzo Piano Pavilion
Duration: 1st April – 29th May 2023
Location: Old Store Winehouse
Duration: 1st April – 13th June 2023