Afaf Zurayk Biography

Born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1948, Afaf Zurayk graduated from the American University of Beirut with a BA degree in Fine Arts in 1970, and pursued graduate studies at Harvard University, obtaining an MA degree in Fine Arts in 1972. She taught studio art and art history at Beirut University College [now the Lebanese American University] in Lebanon, and drawing and painting in Continuing Education at the Corcoran College of Art and Design and Georgetown University, both in Washington, DC. She currently teaches painting at the American University of Beirut and the Lebanese American University, both in Beirut, Lebanon.

In addition to her many solo exhibitions, both in Beirut and Washington, DC, Zurayk has participated in a number of group shows, most notably the exhibition “Forces of Change” held in 1994 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC. Her work has been reviewed in The Washington Post, The Washington Review and the Arabic daily Al-Hayat among other publications.

Zurayk has published three books: “My Father. Reflections” [2010] is a personal rendition of a complex relationship through photographs of her clay sculptures; “Lovesong” [2011] is a celebration of love through her own poetry and painting [Rimal Publications]; and “Drawn Poems” [2012] is a portfolio of ink drawings. Inspired and guided by both music and poetry, Zurayk in her artwork probes emotional experiences through turbulence to acceptance. Her style serves this vision by contemplating the human face and figure, and by playing motion against stillness, line against color, and active brushwork against solid spaces. Her latest paintings move away from this ‘murmur’ into a resounding silence where space expands emotionally to both contain and emit energy.

Afaf Zurayk now lives and works in Beirut, Lebanon.