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Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1925; died 1988.

Sculptor, painter. Animals.

Salah Abdel Kerim studied at Cairo's faculty of art, continuing his studies in Italy and in Paris. He was appointed Professor of Decorative Art at the same faculty in Cairo and was later appointed Dean of Fine Arts in the city....

Article

Israeli, 20th century, male.

Active from 1951 also active in France.

Born 11 May 1928, in Rishon LeZiyyon.

Painter, sculptor. Wall decorations, monuments.

Op Art, Kinetic Art.

The son of a rabbi, Yaacov Agam was educated at the Bezalel art college in Jerusalem. He was arrested by the British in ...

Article

D. C. Barrett

(b Rishon-le-Zion, Palestine [now Israel], May 11, 1928).

Israeli painter and sculptor. He studied at the Bezalel Academy in Jerusalem under Mordecai Ardon in 1946, and from 1951 in Paris at the Atelier d’Art Abstrait and at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. The major influences on his early work were Kandinsky’s Über das Geistige in der Kunst (1912), the Bauhaus ideas disseminated by Johannes Itten and Siegfried Giedion, with whom he came into contact in Zurich in 1949, and the work of Max Bill. Between 1951 and 1953 his work consisted of a series of Contrapuntal and Transformable Pictures, such as Transformable Relief (1953; Paris, R. N. Lebel priv. col., see Metken, p. 6). In 1953 he held his first one-man exhibition at the Galerie Craven in Paris. Although his claims that this was the first exhibition of kinetic art, and that he was the first optical-kinetic artist, have been disputed, he was certainly among the first artists to encourage spectator participation in such a direct way....

Article

Lebanese, 19th century, male.

Painter. Religious subjects, portraits.

Little is known of this painter, other than that he was also a sculptor and physician reputed to have been taught painting by an Italian Orientalist painter who lived north of Beirut during the final two decades of the 19th century. Ibraim Al-Georr produced portraits of leading personalities of his day in a style that was meticulously detailed, but somehow hesitant to the point of being almost naive....

Article

Aurélie Verdier

(b Saïda, Algeria, 1953).

French painter, sculptor, photographer, film maker, writer and installation artist of Algerian birth. Born to Spanish parents, he was much affected by North African as well as Southern European culture. He trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre. Despite a pervasive and diverse use of media, Alberola often stressed the coexistence of his different artistic practices as leading to painting alone. His paintings relied heavily on evocative narratives, at once personal and ‘historical’. Alberola conceived of his role as a storyteller, on the model of African oral cultures. Convinced that narratives could not be renewed, he argued that a painter’s main task was to reactivate his work through contact with his pictorial heritage. The main points of reference for his paintings of the early 1980s were Velázquez, Manet or Matisse, whose works he quoted in a personal way. In the early 1980s he undertook a series of paintings inspired by mythological subjects, which he combined with his own history as the principal subject-matter of his work. The biblical story of Susannah and the Elders as well as the Greek myth of Actaeon provided his most enduring subjects, both referring to the act of looking as taboo, as in ...

Article

Aldine  

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 1917, in Cairo.

Painter, sculptor.

Aldine received a doctorate in science and from 1953 to 1960, he was cultural advisor at the Egyptian embassy in Paris. Although he began painting in 1948, he only took it up as a full-time activity after his retirement from the administrative service in ...

Article

Ian M. E. Shaw

Ancient Egyptian art style that takes its name from Amarna, (Tell) el-, the site of the capital city during the reigns of Akhenaten (reg c. 1353–c. 1336 bc) and Smenkhkare (reg c. 1335–c. 1332 bc). Amarna-style painting and sculpture were characterized by a move away from the traditional idealism of Egyptian art towards a greater realism and artistic freedom. This new sense of vigour and naturalism is most apparent in surviving fragments of paintings from the walls and floors of palaces (Cairo, Egyp. Mus., and Oxford, Ashmolean; see Egypt, ancient §X 2.). The statuary and reliefs, mainly from el-Amarna, Thebes and Hermopolis Magna, represent the royal family and their subjects in a style that was initially grotesque and often crude, as the artists struggled to come to terms with the new approach (see Egypt, ancient §IX 3., (viii)). However, they eventually reached a high degree of sophistication and beauty, exemplified by the painted limestone bust of Queen ...

Article

Chika Okeke-Agulu

(b Cairo, May 22, 1963).

American painter, sculptor, fibre and installation artist of Egyptian birth. Amer, one of the few young artists of African origin to gain prominence in the late 1990s international art scene, studied painting in France at the Villa Arson EPIAR, Nice (MFA, 1989), and the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Art Plastique, Paris (1991). She subsequently moved to New York. She is best known for her canvases in which paint and embroidery are combined to explore themes of love, desire, sexuality, and women’s identity in a patriarchal world. Amer’s use of Embroidery, historically regarded as a genteel female craft, to create images of women fulfilling their sexual desires without inhibition, recalls the provocations and strategies of 1970s Western feminist art. However, her work also reflects her alarm at the incremental curbing of women’s social and political freedoms in her native Egypt following the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, especially after the regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser ended in ...

Article

Frederick N. Bohrer

Style of the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th, inspired by Assyrian artefacts of the 9th to 7th centuries bc. These were first brought to public attention through the excavations by Paul-Emile Botta (1802–70) at Khorsabad and Austen Henry Layard at Nimrud in the 1840s. By 1847 both the Louvre in Paris and the British Museum in London had begun to display these objects, the size and popularity of which were such that the Louvre created a separate Musée des Antiquités Orientales, while the British Museum opened its separate Nineveh Gallery in 1853. The same popularity, fuelled by Layard’s best-selling Nineveh and its Remains (London, 1849) and Botta’s elaborate Monument de Ninive (Paris, 1849–50), led to further explorations elsewhere in Mesopotamia.

Assyrian revivalism first appeared in England rather than France, which was then in political turmoil. The earliest forms of emulation can be found in the decorative arts, such as the ‘Assyrian style’ jewellery that was produced in England from as early as ...

Article

Sophie Page

Astrology is the art of predicting events on earth as well as human character and disposition from the movements of the planets and fixed stars. Medieval astrology encompassed both general concepts of celestial influence, and the technical art of making predictions with horoscopes, symbolic maps of the heavens at particular moments and places constructed from astronomical information. The scientific foundations of the art were developed in ancient Greece, largely lost in early medieval Europe and recovered by the Latin West from Arabic sources in the 12th and 13th centuries. Late medieval astrological images were successfully Christianized and were adapted to particular contexts, acquired local meanings and changed over time.

Astrology developed into a scientific branch of learning in ancient Greece, but because of the opposition of the Church Fathers it was transmitted to early medieval Europe in only fragmentary form in technically unsophisticated textbooks and popular divinatory genres. Literary and scientific texts provided more general ideas about the nature and attributes of the planets which were influential on later iconography. The first significant astrological images appear in 11th-century illustrated astronomical texts (e.g. London, BL, Cotton MS. Tiberius BV), which were acquired and produced by monasteries to aid with time-keeping and the construction of the Christian calendar....

Article

Israeli, 20th – 21st century, male.

Born 1953, in Tel Aviv.

Sculptor, draughtsman, mixed media.

Ilan Averbuch studied at Wimbledon Art School in London, at the School of Visual Arts in New York and at Hunter College.

In his choice of materials and structures, Averbuch’s body of work is akin to Land Art; he uses materials in their primal state - ­frequently stone but also wood and lead - in order to produce his ‘archaeologies’, compositions that often evoke ancient and sacred places but also create their own symbolic language. His fragmented, yet dynamic and monumental sculpture is laboriously constituted piece by piece, almost as if he were rebuilding after some cataclysmic event rather than starting from scratch....

Article

Lebanese, 20th century, male.

Born 12 July 1942, in Beirut.

Painter, sculptor, photographer, video artist.

Kinetic Art.

Roland Baladi permutated various techniques, notably drawings and photographs, to produce the Photograms he exhibited in Beirut in 1962. In 1971, Roland Baladi exhibited a piece entitled Cinetone...

Article

Lebanese, 20th century, male.

Active in Switzerland.

Born 1933.

Sculptor, draughtsman.

The son of a Swiss father and a Lebanese mother, Hafis Berwschinger grew up in Lebanon. He started out as a draughtsman, but went on to study sculpture under Stahly and, informally, under Sonia Delaunay. His early drawings featured animals and it was not until he began to sculpt that his work, possibly influenced by Stahly and Delaunay, became progressively abstract. In ...

Article

In the 20th century, discussion of the relationship between Byzantine art and the art of the Latin West evolved in tandem with scholarship on Byzantine art itself. Identified as the religious imagery and visual and material culture of the Greek Orthodox Empire based at Constantinople between ad 330 and 1453, studies of Byzantine art often encompassed Post-Byzantine art and that of culturally allied states such as Armenian Cilicia, Macedonia, and portions of Italy. As such fields as Palaiologan family manuscripts and wall paintings, Armenian manuscripts, and Crusader manuscripts and icons emerged, scholars identified new intersections between Western medieval and Byzantine art. Subtle comparisons emerged with the recognition that Byzantine art was not static but changed over time in style and meaning, although most analyses identified Byzantine art as an accessible reservoir of the naturalistic, classicizing styles of antiquity. Scholars considering the 7th-century frescoes at S Maria Antiqua and mosaics at S Maria in Cosmedin, both in Rome, and the 8th-century frescoes at Castelseprio and Carolingian manuscripts such as the Coronation Gospels of Charlemagne (Vienna, Schatzkam. SCHK XIII) used formal comparisons with works such as pre-iconoclastic icons at St Catherine’s Monastery on Sinai, along with the history of Byzantine iconoclasm, to argue for the presence of Greek painters in the West. Similarly, Ottonian and Romanesque painting and luxury arts, such as ivories, provided examples of the appropriation of Byzantine imperial imagery. Yet the study of works such as the great 12th-century ...

Article

Lebanese, 20th century, female.

Born 1916, in Beirut.

Painter, sculptor.

Saloua Raouda Choucair studied under Mustafa Farroukh in 1935, Omar Onsi in 1942 and, from 1945 to 1947, at the American University in Beirut. In 1946, she taught art at the Arab cultural centre in Beirut. She left for Paris in ...

Article

Palestinian, 20th century, male.

Active in France from 1919.

Born 1892, in Jaffa; died October 1969, in Paris.

Painter, sculptor, writer. Portraits, landscapes, animals.

In 1919 Joseph Constant moved to Paris, where he took part in the Salon des Artistes Indépendants from 1928 to 1931...

Article

Egyptian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France from 1974.

Born 27 October 1949, in Cairo.

Painter, sculptor, engraver. Figures.

Sayed Darwiche learnt painting from his father, a calligrapher. He left Egypt after the two Egyptian-Israeli wars. His drawings and paintings show the figures of men, women and children, but through a violent form of expressionist deformation which approaches the work of the Abstract Expressionist artist Wilhem De Kooning, though his chosen blend of colours gives a sense of softness and luxury. Sayed Darwiche's sculptures, carved from old wood or quarried stone, come close to abstraction. They consist of curved, taut volumes whose sensual fullness contrasts with the ruggedness of his drawings and paintings....

Article

Armenian, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA from 1921.

Born 1909, in Ashodavan.

Sculptor, painter.

Khoren der Harootian left his native land after the violence following the break-up of the Ottoman empire after World War I and went to the Antilles. There he painted landscapes and the inhabitants. After a short stay in London, he returned to Jamaica, where he began to sculpt in exotic woods. His sculpted work bears the mark of many influences: Osip Zadkine, Marino Marini, Moore, Matteo Hernandez; often antagonistic influences which, despite his technical mastery of them, overshadowed the development of his own personality in his work. Der Harootian exhibited in New York, at the Royal Academy in London and, in ...

Article

Susan T. Goodman

(b Beirut, 1936).

Israeli painter, sculptor, printmaker and film maker of Lebanese birth. He studied from 1959 to 1961 under Yehezkel Streichman at the Avni Art Institute in Tel Aviv. From 1966 to 1976 he lived in London, where he studied at St Martin’s School of Art and created sculptures concerned with movement, time and energy, for example Corners (1967; Jerusalem, Israel Mus.). He became involved with conceptual art after settling in New York in 1976, producing drawings, prints and photographs that explore energy, space and process of duration, and expanding on problems of perception in sculptural installations. In works such as August from Undercover Blues Series (1980; New York, Jew. Mus.) he used light to define the relationships between an object and its shadows, while in conceptual films such as Putney Bridge (1976) he used the environment to analyse the relationship between reality and illusion. On returning to Europe in ...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1940.

Painter, sculptor, ceramicist.

Abdel El Dawakhli studied at Cairo's higher academy of art, then qualified as an art teacher from the San Fernando academy in Madrid and as a master potter and ceramicist from Madrid's central school. He was appointed professor at the higher academy of art in Cairo and, from ...