New York

Nicolas Moufarrege, Le sang du phénix (The Blood of the Phoenix), 1975, thread and pigment on needlepoint canvas, 49 7⁄8 × 64".

Nicolas Moufarrege, Le sang du phénix (The Blood of the Phoenix), 1975, thread and pigment on needlepoint canvas, 49 7⁄8 × 64".

Nicolas Moufarrege

Queens Museum

In his short life, Nicolas Moufarrege (1947–1985) traversed vast terrains both geographic and intellectual. His idiosyncratic hybrids of painting and embroidery, which took shape in Beirut, Paris, and New York, muster dense arrangements of Middle Eastern and Western iconographies. The smartly titled “Recognize My Sign”— Moufarrege’s first museum survey, which debuted at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston in 2018—returns him to his final hometown. The artist’s varying references, as old as Egyptian papyrus and as pop as Mickey Mouse, vibrate with a longing for connection while also showcasing an enthusiastic embrace of 1980s New York, a coruscating landscape as tawdry and terrific as his labyrinthine art.

Moufarrege left Beirut for Paris in 1975, the year Lebanon’s civil war began. His formerly modest embroideries grew—sometimes to four or five feet on a side—and his paint began to tint,

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