Saâd Ben Cheffaj, Nature morte, 2013, Oil on canvas, 100 x 100 cm, Courtesy L’atelier 21
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Abdul Rahman Katanani is a Palestinian artist born and living in Sabra refugee camp in Beirut, Lebanon. His monumental sculptural works are made from barbed-wire and corrugated metals – materials that are found in the camps and which mark the exclusionary zones that separate its inhabitants from Beirut’s city centre. Bringing to light narratives of innocence and freedom, his captivating works of children playing or nature, as with his wave series, imbue his use of harsh materials with an elegance when brought into the gallery space. Bringing the world of the camps from the periphery into the global art market – which has rewarded his work on numerous occasions, including a sale at Christie’s auction house – Katanani brings a political sensitivity to the fore. Beginning his artistic career as a political cartoonist, Katanani later went on to pursue an MFA from the Lebanese University in Beirut and was selected for residencies at Cité Internaionale des Arts and at Centre d’Art de Nanterre, in Paris, France. His work has been exhibited widely in Beirut, Doha, Paris, Munich, London and Malaysia and is held in numerous public and private collections.