Najla El Zein

I am particularly interested in the way an object occupies space. Interaction (or use) of that object can only be achieved by playing with its scale, mass, void, materiality and its relation to its surrounding. Function is not a driving factor in my thought process. Instead, it is used as a tool of expression.”

          Najla El Zein’s work is characterized by an intuitive approach to art and design where narrative, craft, and materiality are central aspects of her creative process. Each piece offers a personal, generous, direct, and universal language, often surprising with the intention to evoke curiosity and emotions.

          Born in Beirut in 1983, Najla El Zein is a Lebanese-French designer and artist based in Amsterdam. She completed her education at the Ecole Camondo in Paris, earning a BA in product design and an MA in interior architecture and spatial design. Her first solo exhibition, “Transition” (2019), marked the debut of three bodies of work: Distortion, Fragmented Pillar, and Seduction. These pieces delve into themes such as the unconscious, sensuality, femininity, and desire, capturing the complexities of her identity as a woman, a mother, and an artist.

          In 2022, El Zein was commissioned by Qatar Museums to create large scale public permanent installations. Us, Her, Him at the Flag Plaza, the entrance gate of the Cultural Museum District, comprises hand-carved sculptural limestone benches spanning over 1000 feet, reflecting on the abstract notion of human connections. Her, Him is installed at the National Museum of Qatar roundabout.

          El Zein’s pieces have been acquired for the permanent collections of museums such as the Dallas Museum of Art, TX; Qatar Museums, Doha; St. Louis Art Museum, MO; and the Victoria & Albert Museum, London. 



Seduction, m and f, 2018

m: 21 x 35 x 14 1/4 inches / 53 x 89 x 36 cm
f: 17 1/2 x 12 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches / 44.5 x 32 x 29.5 cm
Edition of 5


Table Ballon, 2018

Plaster sand
34 1/2 x 126 3/4 x 64 3/4 inches
88 x 322 x 164.5 cm
Edition of 5


Distortion, 12, 2018

Fiber reinforced resin concrete
21 1/2 x 38 1/2 x 19 3/4 inches
54.6 x 97.8 x 50.2 cm
Edition of 5

Distortion, 10, 2018

Fiber reinforced resin concrete
20 1/4 x 74 1/2 x 19 3/4 inches
51.6 x 189 x 50 cm
Edition of 5


Distortion, 06, 2017

Fiber and resin reinforced concrete
27 1/4 x 78 3/4 x 19 1/2 inches
69.2 x 200 x 49.5 cm
Edition of 5



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