Saad Yagan is a Syrian artists, born in Aleppo, Syria in 1950, Saad Yagan is a leading contemporary Syrian painter.
He is regarded as a key member in the development of contemporary Syrian Art and is
one of the most significant modern-expressionist painters in the Middle-East.
Yagan began painting at the age of thirteen. He studied painting at the Plastic Arts
Center of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Aleppo and graduated in 1964. He held his first solo exhibition at the city’s National Museum five years later.
Yagan is widely known for chronicling the modern day experiences of Aleppo residents
and their instinctive attachment to the centuries-old city. Yagan’s atmospheric paintings
have followed two distinct tracts, and can be divided between scenes derived from
ancient mythology and literature such as his Gilgamesh and Arabian Nights series, and
compositions exploring the morose café culture that hosts Syria’s recluses, alienated
philosophers, and an assortment of other downtrodden clientele.
Yagan’s narrative threads feature stylized figures whose elongated faces appear worn
by time, adopting the lines and brushwork of their settings. Yet their muscular bodies,
which appear to be patterned after the perception of hallowed bodies found in religious
icons, are rendered with an aestheticized elegance.
Over the past 50 years, he has produced a vibrant, compelling and expressive body of
work in painting. His work is internationally acquired, and heavily reviewed in
newspapers, magazines and televisions. He has also been featured in several art books
and his personal art books titled; ‘Gilgamesh’, ‘Music’ ‘1001 Nights’, ‘Liberation’ and the ‘History of Aleppo’. He has served as a commentator for Syrian television, broadcasting
a series of documentaries on art. Yagan has also lectured extensively in local
To date, he has exhibited in over one hundred exhibitions at home and abroad.
His works are housed in the National Museum of Damascus and Aleppo and the Syrian
Ministry of Culture. Internationally his works can be found in Musee d’Art Contemporainde Montreal, Canada, Museum of Modern Art, Belgium and the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts.
The artist’s recent solo and group exhibitions have been held at Mark Hachem Gallery,
Beirut (2014); Art House, Damascus (2011, 2009, 2008); Katzen Center for the Arts,
Washington DC (2007); and Art Form Gallery, Montreal (2007)
In 2012 he was successfully auctioned at Christies, Dubai for his painting Bayaa’ al
Jara’id Abou Hosn (The newspaper Seller Abou Hosn) Saad Yagan currently lives in Beirut, Lebanon.
My art is universal as it portrays human feelings and psychology. Love, jealousy and other human feelings are the same whether you are in Japan, Denmark, Syria or Sudan. From boredom, to depression, to loneliness, I want to reveal what people are thinking. People mix in coffee shops and public places but deep down inside, they have a completely separate psychology and are each on their own.
My main aim is to illustrate oppressed people who are aware of their problems but unwilling to find a solution. I want viewers to receive that message and think whether maybe they can do something. Wherever there is a humanitarian crisis, the message in my paintings applies
1964 Graduated from the Plastic Arts Center in Aleppo
1965 Began participating in the state ceremonial exhibitions
1967 Earned the Merit Medal of cotton Fair
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- 1969 Solo exhibition at National Museum, Aleppo, Syria
- 1970 Attended the Faculty of Fine Arts and obtained first rank in the affiliation admission
- 1970 Solo exhibition ‘Black & White’ National Museum, Aleppo, Syria
- 1971 Solo exhibition at the soviet Cultural Center in Damascus, Syria
- 1971 Solo exhibition at the National Museum in Aleppo, Syria
- 1971 Solo exhibition at the Plastic Arts Center gallery in Lattakia, Syria
- 1971 Solo exhibition ‘Denial’ in the gallery of the National Museum, Aleppo, Syria
- 1972 Participated in a ‘Three Artists from Aleppo’. Participating Artists Louay Kayyali and Wahid Maghariba at the gallery of Dar El Fann and El Adab (Art and Literature House), Beirut, Lebanon
- 1973 Solo exhibition at the Aleppo Bar Association, Aleppo, Syria
- 1974 Solo exhibition at the Arab Cultural Theatre Center in Damascus, and at the gallery of the national Museum in Aleppo, Syria
- 1974 Participated in a collective exhibition at Contact Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
- 1977 Solo exhibition at the Arab Cultural Center in Damascus, Syria
- 1977 Participated in an exhibition which toured Syria
- 1979 Participated in the Canadian organization of Overseas Fairs Ltd., Montreal, Canada
- 1981 Solo exhibition in the gallery of the French Cultural Center, Damascus, and in the gallery of the National Museum, Aleppo
- 1981 Invited by the US government, together with 9 other artists to the USA on a special program to get acquainted with the modern American art.
- 1981 Solo exhibition at the American Cultural Center, Damascus
- 1981 Solo exhibition in watercolor at the Cultural aggregation gallery Al Furat – Nicosia – Cyprus
- 1983 Solo exhibition at the Arab Cultural Center, Damascus, and in the gallery of the National Museum, Aleppo
- 1984 Participated in the exhibition ‘Modern Arab Art’ exhibition which was organized by: The Arab Studies and Research Center, Montreal, Canada in Cooperation with the Montreal municipality.
- 1985 Solo exhibition at the Arab Cultural Center, Damascus, in the National Museum, Aleppo, Syria
- 1985 Lectured at the University of Aleppo and the University of Damascus.
- 1985 Juror of the international Biennale at the city of Gabrovo, Bulgaria; was invited by the Bulgarian Artists Union.
- 1986 Obtained first prize at the order of engineers Syndicate exhibition in Aleppo on the subject of environment pollution
- 1986 Worked for five years with the handicapped children of the Charity House, Aleppo, Syria
- 1986 Solo exhibition in the Catholic Youth gallery, Aleppo, Syria
- 1987 Solo exhibition at Ornina Gallery and the French Cultural Center, Damascus, Syria
- 1988 Exhibited at Ornina Gallery and in the Annoqta Gallery, Aleppo, Syria
- 1988 Teacher of art (drawing & painting) in the International School – Icarda – Aleppo, Syria
- 1989 Solo exhibition in Ashtar Gallery, Damascus, Syria
- 1990 Solo exhibition in Atassi Gallery, Homs, Syria
- 1991 Invited by Goeth institute, Germany, for an exhibition at the Gallery of Monika Pasck. Hamburg, Germany
- 1992 Solo exhibition in ‘watercolor’ at the Annoqta Gallery, Aleppo, Syria
- 1993 Solo exhibition at Ashtar Gallery 2, Damascus, Syria
- 1994 Solo exhibition in ‘watercolor’ in Levon Chante Gallery, Aleppo, Syria
- 1995 Solo exhibition at 50×70 Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
- 1995 Solo exhibition at Al-Khanji Gallery, Aleppo, Syria
- 1995 Solo exhibition at Shoura” Gallery, Damascus, Syria
- 1997 Solo exhibition ‘Gilgamesh Epic’ at Al-Jabiri Gallery, Aleppo, Syria
- 1997 Solo exhibition ‘Black & White’ in Qawaf Gallery, Aleppo, Syria
- 1997 Solo exhibition ‘Gilgamesh’ exhibition in Atassi Gallery, Damascus, Syria
- 1998 Solo exhibition “The Deluge and Women” at Shoura Gallery, Damascus, Syria
- 1998 Solo exhibition ‘Gilgamesh Epic’ at Four-Season Gallery, Los Angeles, and USA.
- 1999 Solo exhibition ‘Toward a modern Aleppo icon’ at Alsayed Gallery – Damascus – Qawaf Gallery – Aleppo, Syria
- 2000 Participated in a conference discussing the future of culture and arts, from the period after 2000 A.D at the Unesco Palace Beirut, Lebanon
- 2000 Solo exhibition ‘Tarab in Aleppo’ at Ashtar Gallery (Bilad Alsham) Aleppo, Syria
- 2001 Invited by the Kuwait National Council to exhibit at the Art Gallery in Abdullah Alsalem.
- 2002 Solo exhibition on ‘Liberation’ in Attasi Gallery, Damascus “Bilad Alsham Gallery, Aleppo.
- 2003 Exhibited in the Unesco Palace, Beirut upon invitation of the Southern Lebanon Cultural Council
- 2004 Solo exhibition ‘The Wall’ at Fateh Al Moudaress Gallery, Damascus
- 2004 Solo exhibition in small size painting for the book signing of ( Women and Flood ) in Dar Kalimat Gallery, Aleppo, Syria
- 2005 Solo exhibition ‘Saad Yagan diaries 2005’ in Ashtar Gallery, Damascus, Syria
- 2006 Duo exhibtion with the Canadian Artist Bernie Sorge on the occasion of the Canadian Cultural days in Syria at the Arts Syndicate , Aleppo and Fateh Al Moudaress Gallery, Damascus Syria
- 2006 Participated in the Liberation Exhibition (A Humanitarian Document ) at the Public Park, Aleppo and Al Assad Library, Damascus, Syria
- 2007 Solo exhibition at the Arti Form gallery in Montreal, Canada
- 2007 Participated in ‘ Art from Syria’ at the American University Museum, Washington, DC
- 2008 Solo exhibition ‘Thousand and one night’ – at the Art house gallery in Damascus, Syria
- 2009 Solo exhibition ‘Music’ at the Art house gallery in Damascus, Syria
- 2010 Exhibited ‘100 + 1’ ( Painting on ceramic plates ) at KARMA Art Gallery – Contribution for supporting Aleppo Citadel Friends Association
- 2011 Solo exhibition ‘The other’ at Art House Gallery, Damascus, Syria
- 2012 Successfully auctioned at Christies, Dubai for his painting Bayaa’ al Jara’id Abou Hosn (The newspaper Seller Abou Hosn)
- 2013 Solo exhibition at Orjowan Gallery, Beirut,Lebanon
- 2014 Solo exhibition at Mark Hachem Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
- 2016 Solo exhibition at ArtSpace gallery, Dubai, UAE.
- 2016 Solo exhibition at Tajalliyat gallery, Beirut, Lebanon.
- 2017 Solo exhibition –S.V Gallery- Saify VillageIn Cooperation With Kazah Showroom, Beirut,Lebanon.
- 2019 Solo exhibition ( Melhema Gilgamesh ) atClaremont university los Angeles – USA.
- 2019 Solo exhibition at AL BUSTAN International Festival Of Music,Beirut,Lebanon.
- 2019 Participated in the Venice International Biennial in Italy
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