ANN: Commitment in the Artistic Practice of Aref El-Rayess: The Changing of Horses

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AMCA is delighted to announce the publication of the first book in its new series with Anthem Press, Commitment in the Artistic Practice of Aref El-Rayess: The Changing of Horses by Natasha Gasparian. (Paperback, 250 Pages. ISBN:9781785274626. November 2020. £35.00, $59.95)

This book is the first comprehensive study of El-Rayess’ seminal painting “The Changing of Horses.” Through her rigorous analysis, Gasparian offers a window not only into the Blood and Freedom exhibitions in which the work was displayed, but also into wider exhibition practices and debates around revolutionary artistic practice in Lebanon and the Arab world. 

“Starting from the micro-context (Aref El-Rayess’ 1967 painting “The Changing of Horses”), Gasparian retraces the big picture, in an original and brilliant way, using the artist’s metaphoric work in order to illustrate the new intellectual context that the 1967 defeat created.” — Silvia Naef, Professor, Department of Mediterranean, Slavonic and Oriental Languages, University of Geneva

“Gasparian’s in-depth exploration of El-Rayess’s seminal painting “The Changing of Horses” is a brilliant study in the correlation between artistic practice and political engagement. It provides a distinct entry point into some lesser explored aspects of one of Lebanon’s leading modernist artists, set against a comprehensive archival backdrop that weaves together cultural and political histories alike. A timely contribution to the literature on modernism and its various manifestations across the Arab World, and Lebanon in particular.” — Dr. Sam Bardaouil, Founder and Director at Art Reoriented, Munich and New York

Natasha Gasparian is an art historian and critic. She has collaborated on writing, research, and curatorial projects with numerous institutions in Beirut, Lebanon, including Agial, Saleh Barakat Gallery, Beirut Art Center, and the Saradar Collection.

Commitment in the Artistic Practice of Aref el-Rayess: The Changing of Horses, is available for purchase here.

The Anthem Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran and Turkey series publishes scholarly biographies for artwork in the region. Each publication traces the historical trajectory of an individual art work, from the circumstances of production (including artist’s biography and socio-cultural context of place) through its exhibition history with collectors and museums. This series is published in collaboration with The Association for Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran and Turkey (AMCA). Proposal guidelines are available at