Wednesday, July 29, 2020

01 Painting, Middle East Artists, with Footnotes, #34

Nuri İyem, 1915-2005, Turkish
UNTITLED, c. 1970s
Oil on canvas,
80 by 120 cm.; 31½ by 47¼ in.
Private collection

Nuri İyem, (1915 - d. 18 June 2005 ) was a leading figure in the Turkish painting and social-realistic art movement.

Nuri İyem was born in Istanbul in 1915. During his childhood he used to paint walls with charcoal. Because of his father's job as a health official, İyem spent his childhood in various cities of Anatolia. After finishing primary school in Mardin, he returned back to Istanbul to attend secondary school and he studied at Vefa and Pertevniyal Highschools. 

His passion to be a painter was forcing his dreams through the coasts of Fındıklı where the Fine Arts Academy stood. . Those dreams would be concluded with his enrollment at the Academy in spite of his parents' desire to see their child as a doctor.

Nuri İyem was one of the most important living masters of Turkish painting. He has produced, exhibited, written and discussed art without a break, in spite of all the difficulties to exist as an artist during the social and cultural course of the Republic period. Nuri has crowned his life with many precious art works and his own story is not just an autobiographical representation of an artist, but also an expression of real struggle and honour. More on Nuri İyem






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Friday, July 17, 2020

01 Painting, Middle East Artists, with Footnotes, #33

Sliman Mansour, b. 1947, Palestinian
ON THE EDGE, c. 1985
Oil on canvas
80 by 70.5 cm.; 31½ by 27¾ in.
Private collection

Sliman Mansour is a Palestinian painter, considered an important figure among contemporary Palestinian artists. Mansour is considered an artist of the intifada whose work gave visual expression to the cultural concept of sumud. Palestinian artist and scholar Samia Halaby has identified Mansour as part of the Liberation Art Movement and cites his important work as an artist and cultural practitioner before and after the Intifada. This collective turned to earthworks and mixed media and assemblage using materials derived from the Palestinian environment in order to boycott Israeli art supplies in protest of the ongoing occupation. In 1988 he made a series of four paintings on destroyed Palestinian villages, the four villages being Yibna, Yalo, Imwas and Bayt Dajan. More on Sliman Mansour






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Saturday, July 4, 2020

02 Painting, Middle East Artists, with Footnotes, #32

Mahmoud Sabri, 1927 - 2012, Iraqi
CROSS BEARER ,  After Bosch (below), c. 1960
Oil on canvas
73.7 by 83.9 cm.; 29 by 33 in.
Private collection

Mahmoud Sabri, 1927 - 2012, was an Iraqi painter, considered as one of the pioneers of Iraqi modern art and one of the pillars of modernism in Iraqi Art.

Born in Baghdad, Iraq, died on 13th April 2012 in Maidenhead, England. Studied social sciences at Loughborough University (England) in the late 1940s. While in England, his interest in painting developed and he attended evening art classes there. After a successful career in banking, he became a full-time painter.

In the 1950s he pioneered the painting of social and political issues. Later he studied art formally at the Surikov Institute for Art in Moscow 1961-1963. In 1963 he moved to Prague. In the late 1960s he started working on linking art and science.

He was actively involved in Iraq's arts community through his membership of various art groups. Led by his contemporary, Faeq Hassan (1914-1992), this group was inspired by Mespotamian art, Iraqi folklore and the 12th and 13th-century poets of the Baghdad School.


In 1971, he published his Manifesto of the New Art of Quantum Realism, QR. An application of scientific method in the field of art.  QR graphically represents the atomic level of reality using building blocks based on the atomic light spectra of elements in nature. He continued to work on developing QR until his death. He had several publications on art, philosophy and politics in Arabic and English. More on Mahmoud Sabri




Hieronymus Bosch or follower  (circa 1450 –1516)
Christ Carrying the Cross, Between 1510 and 1535
Oil on panel
76.7 cm (30.1 in); Width: 83.5 cm (32.8 in)
Museum of Fine Arts, Ghent 

Hieronymus Bosch (1450 – 1516) was an Early Netherlandish painter. His work is known for its fantastic imagery, detailed landscapes, and illustrations of religious concepts and narratives. Within his lifetime his work was collected in the Netherlands, Austria, and Spain, and widely copied, especially his macabre and nightmarish depictions of hell.
Little is known of Bosch's life, though there are some records. He spent most of it in the town of 's-Hertogenbosch, where he was born in his grandfather's house. The roots of his forefathers are in Aachen, in present-day Germany. His pessimistic and fantastical style cast a wide influence on northern art of the 16th century, with Pieter Bruegel the Elder being his best known follower. His paintings have been difficult to translate from a modern point of view; attempts to associate instances of modern sexual imagery with fringe sects or the occult have largely failed. Today he is seen as a hugely individualistic painter with deep insight into man's desires and deepest fears. Attribution has been especially difficult; today only about 25 paintings are confidently given to his hand along with 8 drawings. Approximately another half dozen paintings are confidently attributed to his workshop. His most acclaimed works consist of a few triptych altarpieces, the most outstanding of which is The Garden of Earthly Delights. More on Hieronymus Bosch






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Monday, June 29, 2020

01 Painting, Middle East Artists, with Footnotes, #31

Mahmoud Sabri, 1927 - 2012, Iraqi
A FAMILY OF FARMERS, c. 1960's
Oil on canvas
90 by 120 cm.; 35⅜ by 47¼ in.
Private collection


Mahmoud Sabri, 1927 - 2012, was an Iraqi painter, considered as one of the pioneers of Iraqi modern art and one of the pillars of modernism in Iraqi Art.

Born in Baghdad, Iraq, died on 13th April 2012 in Maidenhead, England. Studied social sciences at Loughborough University (England) in the late 1940s. While in England, his interest in painting developed and he attended evening art classes there. After a successful career in banking, he became a full-time painter.

In the 1950s he pioneered the painting of social and political issues. Later he studied art formally at the Surikov Institute for Art in Moscow 1961-1963. In 1963 he moved to Prague. In the late 1960s he started working on linking art and science.

He was actively involved in Iraq's arts community through his membership of various art groups. Led by his contemporary, Faeq Hassan (1914-1992), this group was inspired by Mespotamian art, Iraqi folklore and the 12th and 13th-century poets of the Baghdad School.

In 1971, he published his Manifesto of the New Art of Quantum Realism, QR. An application of scientific method in the field of art.  QR graphically represents the atomic level of reality using building blocks based on the atomic light spectra of elements in nature. He continued to work on developing QR until his death. He had several publications on art, philosophy and politics in Arabic and English. More on Mahmoud Sabri





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Thursday, June 25, 2020

01 Painting, Middle East Artists, with Footnotes, #30

Farid Belkahia , 1934-2014, Moroccan
JERUSALEM, c. 1980
Pigments and skin on wood, in four parts
183 by 155 cm.; 72 by 61 in.
Private collection

Farid Belkahia (1934–2014) was born into a wealthy bourgeois family in Marrakech. He grew up with his father’s art collection, and his further artistic awakening would take place within his father’s circle of friends.

From about 1950, Belkahia took classes in Teslar’s studio. During these years, and prior to his departure from Morocco, Belkahia distanced himself from the Orientalist styles that persisted through the academic art teaching and Salons under the French Protectorate, instead choosing his own path. 

From the second half of the 1950s, and during the 1960s, Belkahia travelled all over Europe, the Maghreb and the Middle East in search of his cultural roots, constantly shifting his glance from one civilisation to another. Two periods during this time were most influential to his work. The first was his stay in Paris between 1955 and 1959, where he studied at the School of Fine Arts. Here, he consolidated his understanding of modern European art and developed his particular approach to light and colour – especially while in the studio of Raymond Legueult. More on Farid Belkahia






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Monday, June 22, 2020

01 Painting, Middle East Artists, with Footnotes, #29

LAILA SHAWA, b. 1940, Palestinian
THE WELL, 1987
Oil on board
80 by 50 cm.; 31½ by 19⅝ in.
Private collection

“The first painting made in Beirut not long after the devastating June war and the only known work of this type from 1967, The Well forgoes all allusion to landscape in favour of a hot expansive background of reds and yellows. Beneath the disc of a searing sun..." More on this work

Laila Shawa (Born Gaza 1940) graduated summa cum laude in Fine Arts from the Italian Accademia di Belle Arti in 1964 and received a diploma in plastic arts from the Accademia San Giacomo in Rome. From 1965 to 1967, she returned to Gaza to teach arts and crafts to underprivileged children. She now lives and works in London. As a Palestinian artist, Shawa’s concern is to reflect the political realities of her country, becoming, in the process, a chronicler of events. Her work is based on a heightened sense of realism and targets injustice and persecution wherever their roots may be.

Her work has been exhibited in Italy, Germany, Austria, and the United Kingdom, in most Arab countries, North Africa, Iraq, Russia, China, Japan, Malaysia and USA. She is represented in public and private collections across the world, including the National Galleries of Jordan and Malaysia, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, the British Museum in London and the National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington D.C. Her work is currently on tour in Brazil, in the Centro Cultural Banco do Brazil’s exhibition Isla, the first major exhibition of Islamic Art in Brazil.

Shawa’s multi-media pieces have spanned four decades. As someone who has a close proximity to her native Palestine’s politics, her analysis and documentation of events there is at the core of her work. For that, it is in strength that she is known for her “uncompromising documentation of events of today’s Middle East.”  More on Laila Shawa






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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

01 Painting, Middle East Artists, with Footnotes, #28

Mamdouh Kashlan, (Syrian, b. 1929)
Hammam Al Nissaa’s bil sham (Women’s public bath in Damascus), c. 1990
Oil on canvas
68 7/8 x 78 ¾ in. (175 x 200cm.)
Private collection

A Hammam is a kind of bath that originated in the Middle East and combines exposure to warm air, then steam or hot-air immersion, massage, and finally a cold-water bath or shower. The Hammam typically requires movement from one room or chamber to the next. Separate wash rooms and soaking pools may be included in the bath building, as are dressing and rest rooms. The Hammam has been used for weight reduction, cleansing, and relaxation purposes. More on the Hammam

Mamdouh Kashlan (born 1929 in Damascus) is a Syrian painter. He has held more than 300 exhibitions in Syria and around the world and many of his paintings are on display in the National museums of Damascus, Aleppo and Deir Atieh and the presidential palace. His work is also on display in the Sorsoq Museum in Beirut, Lebanon, Modern art museum in Cairo, Egypt and has been displayed in Sofia, Bulgaria, Paris and Seinajoki, Finland. In 1996 he was awarded the pioneers prize from the ministry of culture. More on Mamdouh Kashlan





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