Greta Naufal

Jazz Pulse

Essay by William Wareing, Preface by Etel Adnan

Over twenty years of artistic expression taking inspiration from the world of jazz music culminate in the conception of the book ‘Jazz Pulse’. The publication brings together the large body of work produced by the Lebanese artist Greta Naufal over sporadic periods from the mid nineties until this day.

On one level, the book acts as a compendium of the legendary figures of western and oriental jazz celebrated internationally – from Miles Davis and Ella Fitzgerald to Rabih Abu Khalil. It is accompanied by an essay from William Wareing, former curator of the Millesgarden Museum in Stockholm and expert on jazz music history. As a photographer as well, William Wareing had also accompanied the emerging avant-grade jazz scene in New York before moving to Sweden in the late sixties. ‘Jazz Pulse’ acts as a reference for modern art in relation to jazz as both a musical and a social movement and has now become part of the collection of the National Library of Music in Sweden.

On another level, ‘Jazz Pulse’ draws a more intimate portrait of the artist Greta Naufal herself, who had found in jazz, the echoes of a powerful desire for justice and freedom in the years following the civil war in Lebanon. Through each portrait, the artist seems to invite the reader/viewer to meet the musicians in an intense moment where they are immersed with their act of creation. As Wareing puts it “(Jazz Pulse) invites every reader to listen visually to the inner pulse of life that jazz so genuinely was and is still able to capture.”

It should come as no surprise that it took nearly five years to complete this project which was evolving by the year, since its very inception, to become less of a documentation of past works and more of an ongoing process of experiments, much like a live improvised concert. What had started as a series of portrait paintings gradually transformed into a personal journey delving in the colorful and diverse world of jazz musicians. Just as diverse as jazz is stylistically, so are the means and mediums which Greta Naufal employs: from live drawing and spontaneous collage, to lithography and monoprint, to video and digital art. In the preface to the book, author and artist Etel Adnan writes “There is love, and fury, in these portraits, meeting a great artistic ability to bring them back to life. Pictures have become portraits, we mean have become portraits of a soul.”

Published by Antoine 2017 with support from Galerie Janine Rubeiz and Bank Audi


Partitions Inachevées • Incomplete Partitions

A digital brochure of artworks and articles, 2018

Greta Naufal – War and Survival

Digital presentation of works from 1982 to 1995

All That Jazz

Printed catalogue published by Maqam Gallery, 2010

Nahar Ashabab

Cover artworks for a publication about Gibran Tueni, published by An Nahar, 2015

Exodus – Beirut Dublin

Printed catalogue published by Goethe Institut, Dublin, 2007

Beirut Blues • with Samar Mogharbel

Printed brochure published by Millesgarden Museum, Sweden, 1999

Greta Naufal & Samar Moghrabel

Printed catalogue published by Galerie Janine Rubeiz, 1996