Friday, February 21, 2020

01 Painting, Middle East Artists, with Footnotes, #12

SEIF WANLY, 1906-1979, Egyptian
UNTITLED, c. 1957
Oil on celotex
59 by 72cm.; 23¼ by 28⅜in.
Private collection

Seif Waly (March 31, 1906 – February 15, 1979) was an Egyptian painter, born Mohammed Seif al-Din Waly into an aristocratic family, of Turkish origin, in Alexandria, Egypt. He was introduced to modern art after studying at the studio of the Italian artist Otorino Becchi. In 1942 he set up his own studio with his brother Adham Wanly (below) and together they participated in more than 17 exhibitions, notably in the Biennale of Venice and in São Paulo, Brazil. Today an entire floor of the Mahmoud Said Museum in Alexandria is dedicated to Seif and Adham Wanly.

His work is collected by several Museums, including Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Darat AL Funoon in Amman.

He died in 1979 at Stockholm at age of 72. More on Seif Waly







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Sunday, February 16, 2020

01 Painting, Middle East Artists, with Footnotes, #10

Mohammed "Hajji" Selim (Iraq, 1883-1941)
Still Life, c. 1941
Oil on canvas, framed
56 x 95cm (22 1/16 x 37 3/8in)
Private collection

The present work is one of the most well-known examples of early Iraqi modernism painted by Mohammed "Hajji" Selim, father of prominent Iraqi painter Jewad Selim. 

Mohammed Selim was born in Baghdad. His parents were both originally from Mosel in the North of Iraq. Like many individuals from well to do families in Iraq, Selim was educated at the military academy in Istanbul where students encountered Turkish artistic styles of calligraphy and miniature and landscape painting. During the Ottoman reign Selim became an officer in the Ottoman army as well as an amateur artist. More on Mohammed Selim





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Thursday, February 13, 2020

01 Painting, Middle East Artists, with Footnotes, #9

Nejib Belkhodja, 1933 - 2007
MEDINA ENTRE DEUX ORAGES/ MEDINA BETWEEN TWO STORMS, c. 1982
Acrylic on canvas
96.5 by 194cm.; 38 by 76 1/4 in.
Private collection

Born in 1933, Nejib Belkhodja was the son of a Dutch opera singer and a Tunisian aristocrat of Turkish descent. The family lived in the medina of Tunis–a walled city within a city that was home to the rich and influential and often seen as the heartbeat of most North African cities. Even in the face of their multi-cultural backgrounds, Belkhodja’s parents took his Tunisian upbringing very serisously. After his father’s death, Belkhodja’s mother chose to remain in the medina and even converted to Islam herself. Belkhodja studied at the School of Fine Arts in Tunis and continued to live there until the 1960s.  With this upbringing, it is no surprise that the imagery of the medina became integral to Belkhodja’s artwork throughout his life.  More on Nejib Belkhodja





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Tuesday, February 11, 2020

02 Painting, Middle East Artists, with Footnotes, 8

Tayseer Barakat 
Shoreless Sea #40, c. 2019
ACRYLIC ON CANVAS
50 X 70 CM

This is a shoreless sea. Here swimming doesn’t end and drowning is possible as well as separation from the loved ones. Waves rise and clash fiercely, helicopters pass over boats and refugees flee from bloody wars. Stolen intimate moments amid an atmosphere full of panic and hope is still possible. More on this work

Tayseer Barakat was born in Gaza in 1959 and completed his arts education in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1983. After completing his studies, he moved to Ramallah where he has since based – both teaching and creating art. Barakat has worked with a variety media and has experimented widely – with wood, metal and glass – and has become one of Palestine’s foremost artists working today. Painting remains his first love and he continues to work at a prolific rate, drawing on the artistic heritage of the region and its ancient influences.


Tayseer Barakat
Shoreless Sea #7, c. 2019
Acrylic on canvas
70 x 50 cm

Tayseer Barakat is one of Palestine’s preeminent artists whose practice has drawn inspiration from the ancient past and from the oral traditions and cultural narratives that are intimately tied to life in Palestine. Working primarily in paint, inks, and dyes, he uses a color palette that is often limited to monochrome tones, which imbues his works with a certain soberness. In Barakat’s words, the dark colors he uses “reflect the hardships of our time and our present life. I think the pressure on us makes us use dark colors.” More on Tayseer Barakat






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Monday, February 10, 2020

01 Painting, Middle East Artists, with Footnotes, #7

Mohamed Ehsai, B.1939
MOHABBAT (KINDNESS), c. 2006 
Oil and silver leaf on canvas
157 by 157cm.; 61 7/8 by 61 7/8 in.
Private collection

Mohabbat–the Farsi word for kindness, compassion and sympathy–is a tribute to the sacred art of calligraphy, however in the present work, the word holds a more secular meaning. The writing turns into abstraction and the letters, which are overlaid and distributed in a circular and dense yet joyful composition, are no longer decipherable. The morphed word as a twisted form is the main element of the work, but it must be viewed solely as a visual tool of expression. More on this work

Mohammed Ehsai is a contemporary Iranian artist whose stylized work is characterized by a melding of Arabic calligraphy, graphic design, and Modernist abstraction. Two-tone compositions of conflated Arabic symbols and script, painted on large-scale canvases, form the backbone of Ehsai's practice. Featuring twisting forms and delicate symmetrical design, his paintings offer a uniquely global vision of the 20th and 21st centuries. Born in Qazvin, Iran in 1939, he attended Tehran University in 1966 to study fine art and traditional calligraphy, before going on the attain a teaching position there in 1971. His culturally loaded work has received international attention, garnering commissions such as murals on the Abu Dhabi's Iranian Embassy in the United Arab Emirates. Mohammed Ehsai





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Sunday, February 9, 2020

01 Painting, Middle East Artists, with Footnotes, #6

Vik Muniz, B.1961
NYMPHEAS, AFTER CLAUDE MONET (PICTURES OF MAGAZINES 2), c. 2013
c-print, in two parts
221 by 309.9 cm.; 87 by 122in.
Private collection

“With photographs you can see history through your own eyes and you can make your own judgments and interpretations… When people look at one of my pictures, I don’t want them to actually see something represented. I prefer for them to see how something gets to represent something else.” Vik Muniz

Ali Banisadr is an Iranian-born artist from New York City working primarily with oil painting  and also with printmaking. Banisadr was ranked #1 in Flash Art's Top 100 Artists of 2011

Originally, from Tehran, Banisadr moved with his family to San Diego, in the United States. He moved to New York in 2000 to study a Bachelor of Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts, and for a Master of Fine Arts at the New York Academy of Art.

According to an interview with The Met, New York Banisadr states he is influenced by his childhood memories of growing up in Tehran during the Iran-Iraq war and the Islamic Revolution. He compares his work to Hieronymus Bosch and other figurative artists, whose work revolve around dynamism and conflict. Banisadr states he experiences the neurological condition synthesia, which greatly affects his paintings, imbuing a sense of sound and vitriol. More on Ali Banisadr




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Thursday, February 6, 2020

01 Painting, Middle East Artists, with Footnotes, # 5

Kour Pour, B. 1987
LOVE CHILD, 2010
Acrylic on canvas, in eight parts
Overall: 122 by 183cm.; 48 by 72 in.
Private collection

Kour Pour (born 1987, Exeter, Devon) is a British artist of part Iranian descent based in Los Angeles.

His father owned a small carpet shop in England, and Pour would spend time there as a child. He also often travelled to Los Angeles to visit family members on his father’s side, and would ultimately move there to attend Otis College of Art and Design (BFA, 2010). He is perhaps best known for a series of carpet paintings, which are still a part of his practice. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Kour Pour’s unique talent lies in the way he translates intricately-patterned carpets onto panelled surfaces using his signature multi-step, labor-intensive method. Every painting is based on a particular carpet that Pour has researched from exhibitions and auction catalogues, and each design incorporates a range of techniques, including scrupulous hand painting, silkscreen printing, and applying paint layers with a broomstick. More on Kour Pour





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