Nubarr Gallery
Retrospective of Sixty Years of Paintings - Oils, Acrylics, Watercolours, Gouache and Chalk
Website Updated Jan9/2020

NUBARR is a Canadian painter of Armenian origin born in Aleppo, Syria, in 1920 who moved to Canada in 1968 after a short stay in Beirut, Lebanon. During his sixty years as an artist, he created over one thousand paintings across a broad spectrum of styles and subject matter. He was a passionate watercolorist who painted equally as actively in oils, acrylics, gouache and chalk.

He participated in many private and group expositions in several countries and was awarded twelve medallions including an Honour Medallion the VII Bienal de São Paulo (1963) and Medallion of Excellence from the Biennale d’Alexandrie (1955) Pays De La Mediterranée.

NUBARR was a painter, photographer and an instructor of fine art all of his life. He taught at the Beirut Music & Arts Teaching Center, at the Ontario College of Art (OCAD), and the Toronto Board of Education.

His collected works span six decades of creativity reflecting an evolving journey through many styles expressing themselves in landscapes, seascapes, still life, abstract compositions and semi-abstract impressions. Vlaminck and Derain were among his favourite painters and he was influenced by the Italian and French impressionist schools. While some of his earlier works from the 1960’s are said to have been also influenced by Piccasso’s earlier Rose and Blue periods, paintings from subsequent years reflect the convergence of many styles into a fusion that is distinctly NUBARR. He was above all described as an orientalist and a vivid colourist.

NUBARR’s earlier works expressed impressionistic Middle Eastern and orientalist themes (mostly signed Noubar Sabbagh or Noubar Sabbaghian), his later works explored other Mediterranean subjects inspired by travels across France and Spain. Subsequent to his move to Canada in 1968, he explored Canadian landscapes with a passion inspired by travels across northern Ontario and southern Alberta (signed NUBARR). He occasionally also painted as E.Vignal.

Select paintings are held in private collections and in national collections, including the Muse’e de Damas, Damascus (Syria), the Museum of Contemporary Art, São Paulo (Brazil), the National Collection, Kuwait (Kuwait), and the National Museum of Armenia, Yerevan (Armenia).

NUBARR was an active painter living in Toronto until his passing in 2006, leaving behind a collection of over 300 paintings most of which have never previously been shown.

Select Awards and Exhibitions

1952: 3eme Exposition des Beaux Arts et Peinture et Sculpture, Group Show, Musée de Damas, Damascus, Syria.

1954-1964: Spring and Autumn Annual National Exhibitions (Salons), Ministère de la Culture et de l’Orientation Nationale, Damascus, Syria (two undated medallions).

1955: Medallion, Premiere Biennale d’Alexandrie 1955 Pays de La Mediteranée, Alexandria, Egypt.

1959: Honour Medallion, UAR.

1959: First Prize Medallion, Cotton Festival Competition, Aleppo, Syria.

1960: First Prize Medallion, Cotton Festival Competition, Aleppo, Syria.

1961: Private Exhibition, Alumni Club, Beirut, Lebanon.

1961: First Prize Medallion, Cotton Festival Competition, Aleppo, Syria.

1962: Private Exhibition, Syrian Cultural Centre, Damascus, Syria.

1962: Private Exhibition, Gallery Pikal, Beirut, Lebanon.

1963: Honour Medallion, VII Bienal de São PauloSão Paulo, Brazil.

1963: Kuwait Exhibition, Carlton Hotel, under the patronage of the Kuwait Minister of Education, Kuwait.

1964: First Prize Medallion, Cotton Festival Competition, Aleppo, Syria.

1964: L’Art Contemporain Syrien, Group Show, Alger, Algerie.

1966: Private Exhibition “Kuwait Scenes”, Under the auspices of Kuwait Embassy, Music and Art Teaching Centre, Beirut, Lebanon.

1964-1968: Instructor of Fine Art, The Music & Arts Teaching Center, Beirut, Lebanon.

1968: Mother and Child Group Show, Kar Gallery, Toronto, Canada.

1969-1970: Instructor of Fine Art (Oil Painting), Ontario College of Art and Design, Toronto, Canada.

1975: Canadian Cosmos Group Show, Eaton’s Canadian Celebration, Eaton’s Art Gallery, Toronto, Canada.

1979: Group Show of Oil Paintings and Watercolours, Gallery Elajana, Toronto, Canada.

1972-1990: Instructor of Fine Art (Painting), Ontario Board of Education Evening Sessions, Toronto, Canada.

Posthumous Exhibitions

2008: Group show - Retrospective of fine arts in Syria - from the beginning to the 1960's. A selection from the National collection. Damascus National Museum, Damascus, Syria.

2015: First Vertical Retrospective: Sixty Years of Paintings. September, Peter MacKendrick Gallery, Toronto, Canada.

2015: Art & Memory  Group  Show. September, Arta Gallery, Toronto, Canada.

2015: Second Vertical Retrospective: Sixty Years of Paintings. November, Peter MacKendrick Gallery, Toronto, Canada.

2016: Eclectic Journey Group Shows. Jan-March, Art Square Gallery, Toronto. Canada.

2016: NUBARR & Paginton: Painting Canada. July, Art Square Gallery, Toronto. Canada.