School Bus of 1990 | Ink, Charcoal, Graphite, Fireworks on Burned Paper | 22" x 30" | 2012


Artist Statement: Reem Bassous employs a mixed media approach toward translating her experience under sectarian strife into a stabilized visual form. Drawing, painting, burning, cutting, and staining on paper and canvas formulate her explorations of the socio-political tensions that condition everyday life in Lebanon. Bassous’ work contextualizes historical references in the present by conflating past occurrences with current events. Rooted in her own memories and informed by archival documentation, Bassous investigates the haunting images of her youth in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War. Her memory constructions offer visions of how it felt in a war zone, providing viewers an entry point into her analytical wanderings amid thick passages of paint and pockets of graphite that read as deep voids beneath the surface.


Reem Bassous received her BA from The Lebanese American University in Beirut, Lebanon and her MFA from The George Washington University in Washington DC, U.S. She is a faculty member at the University of Hawai‘i in the Drawing and Painting Program, where she has taught since 2007. Her paintings and drawing installations have been featured in international exhibitions including the Millais Gallery in Southampton and the Brunei Gallery in London, England; and the RamsayOng Gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Bassous’ regional and national exhibitions include shows at the Honolulu Museum of Art, Hawaii, The Meadows Museum, Louisiana, and the Washington Studio School Gallery, in Washington DC. She is the recipient of the Glassman Award, the Langenkamp Award in Abstract Painting, the John Young award, and more recently the winner of the 2013 Kafiye Project Competition at Kaflab, New York City. Her work can be seen at: