Tawfiq Abdel Al
1938-2002

Tawfiq Abdel Al was born in Acre in 1938. He lived in an old three-floor home in the al Majadleh neighborhood. The house had an ornamented ceiling and ivory stairs overlooking the sea. Tawfiq’s talent and interest in arts became apparent at an early age. His first art exhibition was held at his public school under the supervision of his teacher, George Fakhouri. He was only ten years old! Following the Nakba in 1948, he was forced to leave Palestine with his family. They moved to Lebanon, where he went on to graduate from high school. Tawfiq Abdel Al never completed his academic art studies, yet that did not stop him from developing and honing his talent.

At the time, the cultural and arts scene in Beirut –the Lebanese capital- was at its prime, compared to other Arab capitals. In the 1960s and 70s, Beirut was a hub for Arab artists and intellectuals from over the world. This rich atmosphere had a positive impact on polishing Abdel Al’s talent and allowed him to share his works with his Lebanese counterparts. Moreover, Tawfiq participated in several regional exhibitions with other artists in Beirut, Baghdad, Damascus, Tripoli-of-the-west, in addition to in other countries including Turkey, France, Switzerland, Yugoslavia, and Portugal. Abdel Al also participated in exhibitions organized by the General Union of Palestinian Plastic Artists, of which he was a founder. The artist also made important tactical contributions to the Palestinian national movement. Abdel Al designed several posters and illustrations in newspapers and magazines published by the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, of which he was an active member.

 

Memberships, Publications, and Awards

·      Member in the Lebanese Artists Association for Painting and Sculpture, 1960

·      Published the Palestinian Plastic Art Album- Palestinian Liberation Organization, 1968

·      Published the Resistant Arabic Plastic Art Album- Arab Liberation Front

·      Founding member and Deputy Secretary of the General Union of Palestinian Plastic Artists, 1970

·      Recipient of an honorary degree from the Sursock Museum - Beirut, 1970

·      Member of the One-Dimension Group, 1971

·      Volunteer in humanitarian work for the Palestinian Red Crescent, 1971

·      Lecturer in Plastic Arts for Teachers in the United Nations, 1971-1973

·      Founded the One-Dimension Group- Lebanon, 1973

·      Published the Palestinian Plastic Art Album- Research Center, 1974

·      Member of the “We’re all love and peace” Committee during the Lebanese Civil War, 1975

·      Founding member and responsible for the People’s Hall for Plastic Arts, 1977

·      Published the Palestinian Plastic Art Album- Palestinian Red Crescent Association, 1977

·      Member of the General Secretariat and Executive Office of the Palestinian General Union of Plastic Artists, 1979

·      Member of the Arab Union of Plastic Artists, 1980

·      Artistic consultant for the Palestinian Red Crescent Association, 1980

·      Member in the Palestinian Writers and Journalists Union, 1980

·      Member in the International Association of Plastic Arts, 1980

·      Recipient of the “Shira’ Dhahabi” Award, 1980

·      Book feature – “Palestine: Colors and Lines” - First edition, 1980

·      Book feature – “The line, the color, the design” - Dar Ibn Rushd, 1983

·      Artistic consultant at the Naji al Ali Cultural Center, 1991

·      Recipient of the Medal of the Martyr Artist - Naji al Ali- Damascus, 1991

·      A number of Abdel Al’s works are distributed among global and Arab museums around the world, including world leaders and embassies.

·      A large number of Abdel Al’s resistance art posters and murals have been published.

 

Solo exhibitions

·      Lebanon Alia- National University, 1962

·      Lebanon Brumana- National Brumana High School, 1963

·      Lebanon Beirut- Lebanese Artists Association, 1964

·      Lebanon Beirut- Lebanese Artists Association, 1966

·      Lebanon Beirut- Beirut Arab University, 1967

·      Lebanon- Saint Joseph High School, 1968

·      Lebanon- Beirut, American University, 1969

·      Lebanon- Saida Cultural Club, 1969

·      Turkey Istanbul- Berekeci Hotel, 1970

·      Italy Venice- Hall of Saint Marco Church

·      Iraq Baghdad- Iraqi National Museum, 1970

·      Iraq Baghdad- Baghdad International Expo, 1971

·      Lebanon Beirut- Carlton Hotel, 1972

·      Lebanon Burj al Barajneh- Cultural Club, 1973

·      Iraq Mosul- 10th Arab Kashfi Conference, 1974

·      Lebanon Beirut- Beirut Arab University, 1975

·      Iraq Baghdad – Grand Expo Hall, 1976

·      Libya Tripoli- Tripoli International Expo, 1976

·      Yugoslavia Zagreb- Snownsky Center, 1976

·      Lebanon Beirut- Beirut Arab University, 1977

·      Lebanon Beirut- al Sha’b Hall, 1978

·      Switzerland Geneva- United Nations Headquarters, 1979

·      Portugal Lisbon- Modern Art Museum, 1979

·      Qatar Doha- Ramada Hotel, 1980

·      Lebanon Beirut- Beau Rivage Hotel, 1981

·      Lebanon Beirut- Al Sha’b Hall, 1981

·      Lebanon Beirut- Dar al Karameh, 1982

His last exhibition came after a ten-year absence. Abdel Al had not organized an exhibition since 1982 when all his works were destroyed in a fire during the Israeli invasion of Beirut. He resurfaced in February 1992 with an amazing collection, that was part of an exhibition in the Glass Hall of the Lebanese Ministry of Media.

Tawfiq Abdel Al has been honored with several medals, including the Lotus Medallion in Moscow, and an honors degree from Sursock Museum (1970). He also received Naji al Ali’s armor in Damascus (1991). Lastly, Abdel Al was awarded the Jerusalem Medal in a celebration organized by the Union of Fine Arts in Syria on February 19, 1993

Artworks