"Kanso's outsdanding mural-scale paintings are a cross between the specificity of Goya's 'Horrors of War' and Picasso's 'Guernica.' With broad turbulent strokes he paints horrific tales of man as monster... In each painting, a dark palette tending to browns and blues is set afire by strongly contrasting hue. A lurid orange light illuminates his "Endless Night" figures with mastlike faces standing on a parapet stonily witness the suffering of men and animals below."

Catherine Fox, The Political Show , The Atlanta Journal/Constitution, p.3H, June 24, 1984

".. Kanso's 'Endless Night' embodies themes of carnage, suffering and the desintegration of humanity. Though impelled by personal anguish, the picture of life he paints is not confined to Lebanon, His paintings are intended to be a universal statement about the horrors of war and the degeneration of culture."

Catherine Fox: Nabil Kanso , The Atlanta Journal/constitution, p. 5H, July 8, 1984 

 


 

 


 

"...In dealing with the horrors of war and the circumstance of peace that mankind requires, Kanso creates enormous paintings that serve as powerful weapons in fighting war. Through all his exhibitions, he shows the whole gamut of human suffering and pain. The tortured language itself makes his work a universal manifestation of solidarity. Paintings smelling of human blood escape from the frame and break out into the spaces of galleries and museums as an unchained dialogue of current expressionism. Paintings depicting scenes of war and destruction reflect visions of the fire devouring corpses of the human massacre. Pictures with an intimate writing seek refuge in a single word in order to avoid its conversion into a foreshadowing of other time and space.
 

Kanso looks at the contrast between the reality of war and the reality of painting in order to construct a new reality achieved through freedom, which is the basis of every creation. The works are conceptions that portray the source of life itself. The enormous canvases are filled with movement and violence of figural imagery reflecting Kanso's visions.

In responding to the devastation and destruction of war in affecting our lives, his mural paintings depict emotionally steering and confrontational scenes that draw the interest and involvement of the public in witnessing the violent events. To some viewers the paintings are iconographic manifestations of protest against the proliferation of war resulting in a hellish environment from which people are desperately trying to escape in order to survive. To others the images represent a temporal world permeated by a chain of violence and chaotic events created by mankind."

Carlos Fuenmayor, Nabil Kanso: Space Cries , Time Cries , La Columna, pp. 8-9, Maracaibo, May 21, 1987



 

                                                     

"...Nabil Kanso's monumental paintings project an immense space charged with a high level of intensity closely connected to the tension and anxiety that we face in the world today. We seem to live in a permanent state of insecurity and violence where one aggression or another can be expected at any time, putting us continually on the brink of war.

In his works, Kanso reveals a gloomy and troubled world filled with images of pathos and tensions that reach extreme intensity...The force of Kanso's brush emits violent figures engulfed by a whirlwind of flames and forms that enclose them. Their suffering and torment seem to have always existed. They bear the pain and continue to remain in this dreadful state which is dictated by a delinquent social reality. But now, they exist in a new and different reality created by the artist imagination on big canvases in which they make their case as condemned beings. Their presence disturbs and troubles us. We find ourselves immersed in their world whose reality becomes our own reality. 
 
All forms of aggressions, conflicts, terrorisms, and war crimes are multiplying and hastily making their way in cities and nations where insecurity, injustice, and misery seem to govern. It is the crisis of a collapsing world. All justifications and reasons of such demise appear useless. Utopia and our hope and future seem disappearing. We are entering the Apocalypse. A world enclosed with an exhausting environment of anguish, fear, and hopelessness. Our instinct of self-preservation in fighting death, and attempting to rebel or escape are being rendered ineffective. Our sexual transgression and wild orgiastic desires are frustrated by the explosion of a repressed libidinous force. The spread of war and terrorism are eroding the very fabric of earth and life. All of this is painted by Kanso on canvases of mural dimension. Through them, we can envision the artist at work body, soul and mind. Concentrating, he gathers his energies and thoughts delving deeply into his inner emotions, ideas and experiences which are immediately and spontaneously released and transmitted on huge canvases with all the fury of a possessed man. Intense vibrant colors blow up and explode with turbulent forms compulsively deployed by the violent movement of broad muscular brushstrokes. The immediacy of imprints and lines record the agitated expressions of the arms and whole body of the painter."

Erminy, Peran: The Apocalyptic Paintings of Nabil Kanso ,  El Nacional, April 26, 1987, Caracas.

'...Nabil Kanso opens another window for us. He allows us to contemplate and ponder on our precarious existence, beginning with the most intransigent and total fact of contemporary fear: total extinction of mankind. We are the spectator facing extinction, a total death that belongs to you and me. Death that makes us clings to deep love, stepping on an incommensurate surface which is the abyss of a void with no memory. That is exactly what Kanso's painting makes us feel: the magnitude of the almost inevitable. This artist is able to show the never-ending darkness existing in an ephemeral glare right before bursting. We are, therefore, in front of an intelligent testimony, sensible and passionate of a teacher of torment and love. Kanso faithfully expresses orphanage, rage and the importance of living. Only blake's vision could make us tremor so much:

The tomb is open, the species are thrown, the canvas is wrapped
The bones of death, the clay that covers them, the contracted nerves, desolated
Reviving they tremble, inspiring they move, breathing they awaken! "


Guevara, Luis Camilio: Between Horror and Dominating Rupture, Exhibition Catalog, 1987, Ateneo, Caracas