In this sculpture, titled You and I, two curved shapes gracefully arch towards one another, encouraging and evoking the human sensation of touch through its abstract form. The gentle fluidity of the two arching shapes reflects sculptor Marie Khouri’s close integration of form and function in her practice. New vantage points are revealed as the viewer moves around the piece, highlighting the sculpture’s dedication to striking balance and harmony. This work is created through an extensive hands-on process that begins with clay moulded by Khouri that is then scaled up and remade in expanded polystyrene. Middle Eastern-born and a Vancouver resident, Marie Khouri’s work bridges art and design through sculptures carved in marble, concrete, and styrofoam, or cast in bronze.
Contemporary artist Marie Khouri bridges visual art and design through gracefully curving sculptures whose dynamic forms emphasise torsion and movement. Her abstract sculptures explore the inextricable connections to language, visual form, and the body. Khouri’s sculptures are not just meant to be seen, rather they encourage viewer participation and are designed to be touched, engaged with, and discussed.
Khouri’s sculptural works shift between intricate, worked surfaces to very pure contemporary forms to explore a variety of themes rooted in her experience as an immigrant from the Middle East. Her unique visual language is based on Arabic calligraphy, the sensuous sculptures of Henry Moore, and Zaha Hadid’s organic designs. Deeply inspired by Bauhaus, Khouri’s sculptures eliminate extraneous elements and seek to merge form with function.
Born in Egypt and raised in Lebanon, Khouri fled Beirut with her family in the 1970s during the Lebanese Civil War (1975-90). She moved to Spain and then Italy, eventually relocated to Canada. Before becoming a sculptor at 35, Khouri was a language interpreter. Khouri received her artistic training in Paris at the prestigious L’Ecole du Louvre. As an immigrant spending time across Europe before settling in Vancouver, Canada, Khouri creates sculptures that bridge cultural influences through an emphasis on formal unity.
Over the past 15 years, Khouri has exhibited extensively in Europe and North America. Her first public art installation, Le Banc at Olympic Station was installed along the rapid transit Canada Line in 2010. In 2022, Khouri had a solo exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Her past international exhibitions include The Grand Tour at Abbazia di San Gregorio, Colnaghi Gallery x Chahan Minassian at the Venice Biennale, Italy in 2019, the Collective Design Fair at the Chahan Gallery NYC in 2018, the Pavilion of Art and Design in Paris, among others.
A figure in both the art and architectural design world, Marie Khouri was awarded with the Order of France in 2021. She has received significant media and museum attention, including inclusion in Architectural Digest, The Vancouver Sun and CBC News, as well as commissions in France, the USA, Canada and Mexico.
Her works are found in public and private collections throughout Europe and North America. She has over 25 public artworks in Canada and abroad while her large-scale sculptures are held in private collections across the globe. Works are in the collections of BC Children’s Hospital in Vancouver, Cascade in Richmond, Park Hyatt Hotel, Toronto, Kay Meek Arts Centre West Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, Execute Le Soleil Hotel, NYC, Le Crillon Hotel, Paris, France, Acute Care Centre Vancouver, Biscayne Surgery Center, and the Presidential Palace Djibouti, Djibouti.
Marie Khouri lives and works in Paris and Vancouver.