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On the steps outside the Mark Hachem gallery, Fadi Basbous remembers the home of his father, Lebanese sculptor Alfred Basbous.The sculptor's son finds more recent modern and contemporary art to have taken a sullen turn.Born in Rachana, Alfred Basbous (1924-2006) was the younger brother of Michel Basbous (d. 1981) and the older brother of Youssef (d. 2001).When the elder brother worked to transform the family village to an open air sculpture museum, Alfred began working with stone as his brother's assistant, finding his own voice in the latter '50s. The brothers festooned Rachana with modernist sculpture, setting abstractions alongside traditional village architecture even after Lebanon veered into Civil War. Then on show at Mark Hachem gallery, the sculpture's subject is clearly evoked through its beige hue, the head held between its knees and the faint traces of spine across its back.The figure's marble form seems impossibly supple, yet the nature of the material was not ignored.
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