Born in Lebanon in 1960, Bourgely graduated from the Institute of Fine Arts at the Lebanese University and went on to pursue studies in plastic arts at the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris and attained a master's degree in Art History at the Sorbonne Paris IV, followed by a DEA and a doctorate.
In 1998, Bourgely returned to Lebanon to teach art history and multimedia art at the Antonine University. Thereafter, he joined the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Lebanese University where he held the position of head of plastic arts from 2010 to 2017.
Bourgely’s work has been showcased extensively, locally and internationally: Algeria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Lebanon, Morocco, Sharjah, Qatar, and Yemen - including the Gentilly Biennial and the UNESCO Palace, in France, the Sharjah Biennial and the French Cultural Center in Beirut.
Elie Bourgely is represented in Lebanon by Galerie Janine Rubeiz where he held a solo exhibition in 2014 and participated in several collective ones. Most recently, Bourgely’s work was showcased by the gallery at Abu Dhabi Art Fair in its 2018 edition.
About his work:
The interruption of time, or a temporary fissure in its continuity, after the manner of ruin or photography, seems to be how Bourgely's paintings operate, almost accidentally assembling debris from an uncreated something, born out of archaeological instinct in a material tapestry.
Everyday materials become simultaneously lost and found as objects and subjects, building blocks in a memory space that trembles and quivers; space becomes itself an inverse relationship with space: Gravity disappears and objects fall from nowhere into their own psychic and physical properties.
Cycles of narrative life awaken and perforate the fabric of temporality, punctuating it with strange objects and disjointed sequences, architecturally assembled in distant realities with incomprehensible syntax.
The artist is seeking to haunt smoothly, to deliberately expose the haunted in broad daylight, creating circumstances under which the transformation of material into life is not a transfiguration between cycles of death and life, but continuity between histories and objects whose meaning is not closed forever or as yet threatened. Bourgely's omnivorous practice is never dislocated; he is attempting to piece the world together anew.