Wednesday, February 7, 2018

03 Paintings, MODERN & CONTEMPORARY MIDDLE EASTERN ART, With Footnotes - 4

Jewad Selim, (1919–1961)
Lamea , c. 1949
oil on canvas
61 x 46cm (24 x 18 1/8in)
Private collection

Depicting the prominent Iraqi poetess Lamea Abbas Amara, the painting, executed in 1949, is one with which Jewad had a well-documented personal connection, and it remained in the artist's collection until his passing, taking part in the landmark "Societe Primitive" exhibition at the Baghdad Fine Arts institute in 1952, where it was photographed alongside Selim and his wife Lorna.
After Jewad's death in 1961 "Lamea" remained with Lorna Selim till 1971, when it was sold into the equally esteemed collection of Iraq's preeminent art critic Jabra Ibrahim Jabra before passing to his family from which it was purchased by the present owner

Jewad Selim (1919–1961) was an Iraqi painter and sculptor born in Ankara (Turkey) in 1919. He studied sculpture in Paris (1938-1939), Rome (1939-1940) and London (1946-1948). Having been influenced by Western artists such as Pablo Picasso and Henry Moore, Selim returned to Iraq and was appointed head of the Sculpture Department at the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad, a position he retained until his death in 1961. He also founded the Jama'et Baghdad lil Fen al-Hadith (The Baghdad Modern Art Group) with fellow artist Shakir Hassan Al Said, as well as the new Baghdad School of Modern Art. He is especially known for his Nasb al-Hurriyah (Monument of Freedom), located in one of Baghdad's main squares. In this monument, the artist celebrated the Iraqi people and the 1958 Revolution, however, he died before the monument was finished. Selim is credited as being the most influential artist in Iraq's modern art movement. More on Jewad Selim 

Iraqi School 20th Century
GIRL IN STABLE WITH CATTLE , 1986
oil on canvas laid on board
20.5 by 26in
Private collection


Iraq has produced several world-class painters and sculptors including Ismail Fatah Al Turk, Khalid al-Raḥḥal, and Muḥammad Ghani.

Faik Hassan (b. 1935), considered the founder of modern plastic art in Iraq, was among several Iraqi artists who were selected to study art at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts before the Second World War. This group formed the foundation of Iraq's strong 20th century artistic tradition. Hassan founded the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad; many of Iraq's best known artists studied at this institution.

Jawad Saleem, see above

Jamil Hamoudi (b. 1924) is both a painter and sculptor. Like Azzawi, Hamoudi also studied at the Baghdad School of Fine Art. He was interested in the cubist movement and in 1973 he was appointed to the directorship of fine arts at the Ministry of Culture. In 1947, he self-identified with the surrealist movement, only to later distance himself citing "A dark, saturnine atmosphere emanated from [their canvases] the effect of which was to arouse a feeling of despair in human beings." His paintings are brightly colored and make use of shapes like circles, triangles and arches. For sculpture he frequently uses plaster, stone, wood, metal, copper, glass, marble, Plexiglas and ceramics.

Beginning in 1969, the Arab nationalist political agenda of the Baath party encouraged Iraqi artists to create work that would explain Iraq's new national identity in terms of its historical roots. The Iraqi Ministry of Culture is involved in efforts to preserve tradition Iraqi crafts like leatherworking, copper working, and carpet making. More on Iraqi School 20th Century

Mohammad Mohreddin, (born 1938) 
Mowdou' Raqm 1 (Subject Number 1) or Shadow , 1980
Pencil, watercolour and collage on paper
27¼ x 23¼in. (69.2 x 59cm.)
Private collection

Born in Basra, Iraq in 1938. Works and lives in Iraq. He obtained his diploma in Graphics and Painting from Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Poland.

Mohraddin paints a reality where a paradox reigns. Like a blackboard that hasn't been well rubbed his work is full of half seen mathematical formulas and theories, of tiny calligraphy, incomplete messages, imprints of hands and hazy drawings that look like the negatives of an old and forgotten film. More on Mohammad Mohreddin










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