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Article

Alberola, Jean-Michel  

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

Ali, Wijdan, Princess  

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

[‛Alī Wijdān; Wijdan]

(b Baghdad, Aug 29, 1939).

Jordanian painter and art patron. She studied history at Beirut University College (formerly Beirut College for Women), receiving a BA in 1961. In 1993 she took a PhD in Islamic Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. After serving in the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representing her country at United Nations meetings in Geneva and New York, Ali founded the Royal Society of Fine Arts in Jordan in 1979 and the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts in 1980 (see Jordan, Hashemite Kingdom of). In 1988 she organized in Amman the Third International Seminar on Islamic Art, entitled ‘Problems of Art Education in the Islamic World’, and in 1989 she organized the exhibition Contemporary Art from the Islamic World at the Barbican Centre, London. In 2001 she founded the Faculty of Arts and Design at the University of Jordan, and has received numerous awards in recognition of her work in the arts....

Article

Arikha, Avigdor  

(b Rādāuţi, Bukovina, April 28, 1929; d Paris, April 29, 2010).

Israeli painter, draughtsman, printmaker and writer, of Romanian birth, active in France. The drawings he made in deportation from Nazi labour camps at the age of 13 and 14 saved his life by attracting attention to his precocious talent. In 1944 he emigrated to Israel, living in a kibbutz near Jerusalem and studying art at the Bezalel School in Jerusalem; after being severely wounded in 1948 in the Israeli War of Independence, he continued his studies in Paris (which he made his home in 1954) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (1949–51). He first made his name as an illustrator, for example of an edition of Rainer Maria Rilke’s The Way of Love and Death of Cornet Christopher Rilke (Jerusalem, 1953), for which he was awarded a gold medal at the Milan Triennale in 1954. From 1957 to 1965 he produced abstract paintings, such as Noir basse...

Article

Atlan, Jean-Michel  

Willemijn Stokvis

(b Constantine, Algeria, Jan 23, 1913; d Paris, Feb 12, 1960).

French painter, lithographer and writer. The Jewish intellectual milieu in which he grew up led to his interest in philosophy and religion, and from 1930 to 1934 he studied philosophy at the Sorbonne. While in Paris, however, he was confronted with modern painting for the first time, and his interest in poetry was awakened. Recognizing a means of expressing his interest in magical phenomena, in 1941 he began to paint and write poetry. His activity in the Résistance and his Jewish ancestry led to his arrest in 1942; by pleading insanity he was able to save himself but was confined to the Sainte Anne asylum, where he wrote poetry and painted. In the autumn of 1944, shortly after leaving the asylum, his first and only collection of poems, Le Sang profond, was published, and he exhibited drawings at the Galerie Arc en Ciel.

During the immediate post-war years Atlan’s work was well received in Paris. He had a one-man show in ...

Article

Berk, Nurullah  

(b Istanbul, March 22, 1904; d Istanbul, 1982).

Turkish painter, teacher and writer. He graduated from the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul in 1924 and then worked under Ernest Laurent at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. On returning to Turkey in 1928 he was a founder-member of the Association of Independent Painters and Sculptors (Müstakil ressamlar ve heykeltraşlar birliği). He went to Paris again in 1932 and studied under André Lhote and Fernand Léger, the influence of the latter being particularly important. A characteristic example of his style at this time is Still-life with Playing Cards (1933; Istanbul, Mimar Sunan U., Mus. Ptg & Sculp.). Returning to Turkey in 1933, he was a founder-member and the principal spokesman of the D Group (D Grubu), whose aim was to encourage contemporary European artistic ideas in Turkey. He later became an influential teacher at the Fine Arts Academy, Istanbul, and Director of the Museum of Painting and Sculpture, Istanbul. His ability to combine his work as a writer, teacher and painter made him an important figure for modern Turkish art. He helped to organize international exhibitions of Turkish art and, along with the Turkish art scholar ...

Article

Boullata, Kamal  

Palestinian, 20th century, male.

Active in the USA and in France.

Born 1942, in Jerusalem.

Painter, watercolourist, pastellist, draughtsman, writer. Artists’ books.

Kamal Boullata received a diploma from the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome, then studied at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington DC ...

Article

Byzantine influence in Western medieval art  

Rebecca W. Corrie

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

Constant, Joseph  

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

Eyüboğlu, Bedri Rahmi  

(b Rize, 1911; d Istanbul, 1975).

Turkish painter and writer. He studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul (1927–31) and then under André Lhote in Paris (1931–2). On returning to Istanbul he joined the D Group in 1934, and at the end of 1936 became assistant to Léopold Lévy (1882–1966) at the Fine Arts Academy. Although influenced by the work of such European artists as Matisse and Dufy, he also appreciated from an early date the arts of Anatolia. Under the Turkish government’s policy to send artists to work in the provinces, he went to Edirne in 1938 and to Çorum in 1942, where he studied the folk culture. Thereafter themes relating to Anatolian life became prominent in his work. He also taught younger artists to appreciate folk art, and with this aim some of his students at the Academy formed the Group of Ten in 1947. In his own works he experimented with various styles and media. In ...

Article

Eyuboglu, Bedri Rahmi  

Turkish, 20th century, male.

Born 1911 or 1913, in Trabzon; died 1975.

Painter, illustrator, decorative artist, poet. Genre scenes, landscapes. Wall decorations.

Bedri Eyuboglu studied painting in Istanbul and at the André Lhote academy in Paris. A distant follower of Matisse and Dufy, he was basically a modernist, although at the same time he was also heir to the tradition of ancient oriental miniaturists. He was a notable illustrator, and carried out several mural decorations in Turkey....

Article

Gibran, Khalil  

Lebanese, 20th century, male.

Active then naturalised in the USA.

Born 6 January 1883, in Bécharré; died 10 April 1931, in New York.

Painter, watercolourist, draughtsman, sculptor, poet. Figures, portraits.

Symbolism.

Together with his family, Khalil Gibran left the Lebanon at the age of 12, and settled in Boston, where his artistic talent brought him to the attention of well-known writers and artists. He had to return to the Lebanon in ...

Article

Osman Hamdi  

S. J. Vernoit

[Edhem, Osman HamdiHamdi Bey]

(b Istanbul, Dec 30, 1842; d Eskihisar, Gebze, nr Istanbul, Feb 24, 1910).

Turkish painter, museum director and archaeologist. In 1857 he was sent to Paris, where he stayed for 11 years, training as a painter under Gustave Boulanger and Jean-Léon Gérôme. On returning to Turkey he served in various official positions, including two years in Baghdad as chargé d’affaires, while at the same time continuing to paint. In 1873 he worked on a catalogue of costumes of the Ottoman empire, with photographic illustrations, for the Weltausstellung in Vienna. In 1881 he was appointed director of the Archaeological Museum at the Çinili Köşk, Topkapı Palace, in Istanbul. He persuaded Sultan Abdülhamid II (reg 1876–1909) to issue an order against the traffic in antiquities, which was put into effect in 1883, and he began to direct excavations within the Ottoman empire. As a result he brought together Classical and Islamic objects for the museum in Istanbul, including the Sarcophagus of Alexander, unearthed in Sidon in ...

Article

Kontoglou, Fotis  

Evita Arapoglou

(b Ayvalık, Turkey, Nov 8, 1895; d Athens, July 13, 1965).

Greek painter, printmaker, hagiographer, and writer. An ardent believer in the Byzantine and post-Byzantine tradition, he left Ayvalık in 1913 to study painting at the School of Fine Arts in Athens. His studies were interrupted by World War I, during which he travelled to Paris with Spyros Papaloukas; he returned to Ayvalık in 1919, but after the Greco-Turkish War of 1922 he settled in Athens, where he spent the rest of his life. The Asia Minor disaster had a profound impact on his development in that he devoted himself to Byzantine iconography as, in his view, the genuine expression of the Greek spirit.

Working consistently throughout his life as a painter and writer, from 1930 he based his themes almost exclusively on Greek traditions, using an unpretentiously simple and direct language in both media. His work included small panel paintings (mainly icons and portraits), book illustrations, miniatures, drawings for mosaics and wood sculptures, lithographs, woodcuts, and frescoes in Greek Orthodox churches, for example, for St George in Kypseli, Athens (...

Article

Lane, Edward William  

British, 20th century, male.

Born 1801; died 1876.

Draughtsman, engraver, illustrator, writer. Figures, scenes with figures, local scenes, costume studies.

Edward William Lane was trained in engraving. Recognised as a great scholar in the Arab world and an excellent artist, he was above all a man with a passion for Egypt, which he discovered between ...

Article

Massoudy, Hassan  

(b Najaf, 1944).

Iraqi calligrapher, painter, printmaker and writer, active in Paris (see fig.). He studied painting and calligraphy in Baghdad from 1960 to 1969, and in 1969 exhibited his work at the Iraqi Artists’ Society exhibition and at the French Cultural Centre in Baghdad. The same year he went to Paris and studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts until 1975. Thereafter he lived in Paris. Although influenced by traditional calligraphy, he developed his own calligraphic style, which incorporated painterly elements. In many of his works, for example Je suis le feu tapi dans la pierre. Si tu es de ceux qui font jailler l’étincelle alors frappe (1984; Paris, Inst. Monde Arab.), he employed proverbs and quotations from a range of sources. He also researched and wrote about Arabic calligraphy.

Article

Mayakovsky, Vladimir  

David Elliott

(Vladimirovich)

(b Bagdadi, Georgia, July 19, 1893; d Moscow, April 14, 1930).

Russian poet, critic, graphic designer and painter of Georgian birth. Although best known as a poet and playwright he studied painting at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1911–14) and, as a member of the Futurist group Hylea, was a pioneer of what later became known as Performance art. Mayakovsky’s family moved to Moscow on the death of his father in 1906, and he soon became involved in left-wing activities, for which he was repeatedly arrested. On passing the entrance examination of the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in August 1911, his political activities shifted their focus to bohemian épatage. In the class for figure painting Mayakovsky met David Burlyuk, who with his brothers Nikolay Burlyuk (1890–1920) and Vladimir Burlyuk (1886–1917) and the ‘aviator poet’ Vasily Kamensky (1864–1961), formed the core of the Russian Futurist movement. Adopting a stance similar to that of Marinetti, whose Futurist manifesto (...

Article

Niati, Houria  

Carol Magee

(b Khemis Miliana, 1948).

Algerian painter, installation artist and poet, active in England. She studied art and music in Algeria and at the Camden Art Centre and Croydon College of Art, both London, after moving to England in 1979. Her politics were informed by the Algerian war for independence and her experiences in Europe. Her work, exhibited in the USA and Europe, addresses European artistic treatments of African peoples, for example the Orientalist paintings of Delacroix and French colonial postcards; she reworked Delacroix’s figures, for instance, presenting a different reading of the female body. In an effort to engage her audience fully, she has produced multi-media and multi-sensory works. Her installations included video, sound recordings and photographs, and she often recited poetry and sang traditional songs at her exhibitions. Her paintings present layers of bright colours, with the darkest, top layer often scraped off to reveal those beneath. This scratching creates vital, dynamic lines that produce powerful effects on the viewer. She combines the visual traditions of West Africa, Algeria, Egypt and Europe in a critique of colonial and post-independence rule; her subject-matter also included representations of women and their treatment....

Article

Robinson, B(asil) W(illiam)  

Yuka Kadoi

(b. London, June 20, 1912; d. London, 29 Dec. 2005).

British historian of Persian painting. Robinson came to love Persian painting as a boy and in 1931, while still at school, he visited the great International Exhibition of Persian Art held at Burlington House in London several times, including once with the traveler and historian Brigadier General Sir Percy Sykes (1867–1945). After taking a degree at Oxford, he read for a post-graduate year cataloguing the Bodleian collection of Persian miniatures. In 1939 he joined the Victoria and Albert Museum, where he worked briefly in the library before being transferred to the Department of Metalwork, where he remained, becoming Keeper in 1966 until his retirement in 1972. He was an expert not only in Oriental metalwork, but also in Japanese swords and sword-mounts, Japanese prints and especially Persian miniatures. Along with organizing major exhibitions, such as the Loan Exhibition of Persian Miniature Paintings from British Collections (1951), the Kuniyoshi exhibition of ...

Article

Said, Shaker Hassan al-  

W. Ali

[Sa‛īd, Shākir Ḥasan al-]

(b Samawa, 1925; d 2004).

Iraqi painter and writer. Said graduated in 1954 from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad, where he was taught by Jawad Salim. In 1955 he was sent on a government scholarship to Paris, where he attended the Académie Julian, the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs and also trained as a special student under Raymond Legueult (1898–1978). In 1959 he returned to Baghdad and was inspired by Arab painting of the 13th century, notably the work of al-Wasiti (see Islamic art, §III, 4(iv)(c)); he also read the works of the mystic philosopher al-Hallaj (d ad 922) and was drawn to Sufism. He gave up figural depiction in his paintings and turned to Arabic calligraphy, the spiritual and physical qualities of the letters becoming the central subject of his compositions. In 1971 he formed the ‘One-dimension’ group in Baghdad, which promoted the modern calligraphic school in Arab art, and in the same year the group held its only exhibition. His preoccupation with the spiritual element in art continued in his later work (e.g. ...

Article

Saryan [Sarian; Sar’yan], Martiros  

Marian Burleigh-Motley

(Sergeyevich)

(b Nakhchyvan’-on-Don [now Rostov-on-Don], Feb 28, 1880; d Yerevan, May 5, 1972).

Armenian painter and museum director. He studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture from 1897 to 1903 and then worked in the studios of Valentin Serov and Konstantin Korovin. He was a member of the Moscow Symbolist group around Pavel Kuznetsov who participated in the Crimson Rose (Alaya Roza) exhibition in Saratov, 1904, and the Blue Rose group’s exhibition in Moscow in 1907. Like the other members of the group, Saryan painted fantastic themes, sometimes based on folk tales, although in brighter colours and with stronger rhythmic patterns than were typical of the other Symbolists. Man with Gazelles (1906–7; untraced, see Gray, rev. 2/1986, pl. 45), exhibited at the Blue Rose exhibition and Panthers, also known as Deserted Village (1907; Yerevan, Pict. Gal. Armenia), with its bright blue sky, yellow tree and dark blue panthers, indicate a growing interest in exotic places and an increasingly stylized treatment of figures and animals....