Kanso’s exhibition of 82 paintings, watercolors and drawings, almost all of which portray real or mythical women, are outstanding. He uses a strong linear technique with a skilful use of pattern as part of the composition.
The works divide themselves into two categories. In one group he paints figures in interior... In the other he paints fantasies involving nudes. In the former, his strong colors and admirable linear technique are evident. In Kanso’s fantasies, rather like late Renoir, here Kanso appears to be sacrificing structure for surface textures. A soft, sensual short hand replaces the self-assured lines and strong colors of his other works.
Park East, November 11, 1971
L’esprit volage et grivois de Pascin inspire les aquarelles et habite les personages de Nabil Kanso qui, dans une ronde semi-érotique se convoitent, se frôlent, se caressent, et s’enlacent avec grâce. Trios féminins issus d’une fresque païenne don’t le temps est consacré á la danse, aux parfums, á la toilette, moment propice au dialogue, a la comparaison, occasions perdues ou rarement se montre le faune…
Mauves, roses et bleues, diaphanes mais effervescentes, ces bacchantes échappées d’une ile célèbre spéciale semblent réapprendre le bonheur qui consiste à capturer l’instant qui passes sans trop se soucier de ce qu’apportera demain. Marie Laurencin aurait aimé les tons pastels de ces gracieuses aquarelles.
Oeuvres d’une expression forte et farouche, où une accumulation de pâte semble tenir lieu de dessin et où les symbols se dissimulent sous la fougue...
France-Amerique, New York, January, 1972
The sensual spirit of Pascin inspire the aquarelles and inhabit Kanso’s figures, which in a semi-erotic round, covet, touch, caress, and move. Female figures seem to emerge from a pagan fresco where time is consecrated to dance, perfume, moments propitious to dialogue, exchange, comparison, and fleeting occasions.
Mauve, rose, and blues recapture the delight and pleasure consisting to capture the instant when time passes without worry or concern about the next day. Marie Laurencin would have liked the tones of these aquarelles.
Fierce and wild expressions, where layers of fluid paint seem to merge with drawings in which various symbols dissemble underneath the translucent imagery.
Kanso (76 th Street, to April 30)
Profusions of pale line drawings portray lovers and nudes. Pastels are rubbed into the paper for flesh tones and gentle surface modulations. Men and women, and portraits of the artist and his model reveal nymphets object-like held in hand. Similar romantic fantasies are pursued in heavier brush and ink technique.
Art News April, 1972
Kanso is a prolific painter of nude figures. His drawings seem to have an allegorical base and rendered in sympathetic Germanic style.
Art News, April 1972
What we really need is more pretty girls. Formerly this romantic need was supplied by Louis Eilshemius, whom Marcel duchamp named our greatest painter. Kanso carries on in this genre; like Renoir, kanso is good at depicting translucent pearly flesh. His girls assume the poses of interpretive dance without being self-conscious. Some, viewers, however, may be overwhelmed by so much nudity, since the walls are double hung. Actually, these nudes are more chaste than those usually exhibited in the SoHo area.
Arts Magazine, February, 1972
...The drawings show a search for the secret of nature’s structure. The exhibition comes at a time when the public has become interested in drawings that show the development of an artist’s ideas, involving several versions of the same subject. Kanso’s drawings which involve the nude are at least a partial answer to this need.
Arts magazine, June, 1972
Kanso stresses expressive faces, pouting, beseeching, angelic, bashful, flirtatious, charming, sleppy, talkative, reluctant, pensive. This is the work of a born artist who goes far beyond the wooden dummies painted by so many others. Just to over a list of possible expressions show how much of life and art these others have missed. Drawings especially, such as Kanso’s, capture the mobility of the face. The formalist who use dots for eyes and one straight line for nose, list these facial expressions.
Arts Magazine, February, 1973.