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Article

Adnan, Etel  

Andrew Weiner

(b Beirut, 1925).

Lebanese painter and writer active in the USA. Daughter of a Greek Christian mother and a Syrian Muslim father, Adnan was educated in Lebanon before going on to study philosophy at the Sorbonne, Harvard, and the University of California, Berkeley. For many years she taught aesthetics at Dominican College, San Rafael, CA; she also lectured and taught at many other colleges and universities. During the 1970s Adnan regularly contributed editorials, essays, and cultural criticism to the Beirut-based publications Al-Safa and L’Orient-Le Jour. In 1978 she published the novel Sitt Marie Rose, which won considerable acclaim for its critical portrayal of cultural and social politics during the early years of the Lebanese Civil War. Adnan published numerous books of poetry, originating in her opposition to the American war in Vietnam and proceeding to encompass topics as diverse as the landscape of Northern California and the geopolitics of the Middle East. Her poetry served as the basis for numerous works of theater and contemporary classical music....

Article

Ahmet Ali  

S. J. Vernoit

[Şeker Ahmet Pasha]

(b Üsküdar, Istanbul, 1841; d Istanbul, 1907).

Turkish painter. In 1859 he became an assistant teacher of painting at the Military Medical High School in Istanbul. In 1864 Sultan Abdülaziz (reg 1861–76) sent him to Paris where, after a preparatory education at a special Ottoman school, he studied painting in the studio of Gustave Boulanger and then under Jean-Léon Gérôme at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Ahmet Ali was also instrumental in the acquisition of paintings from France for the Ottoman court. After nearly eight years of studies in Paris, he stayed in Rome for a year before returning to Istanbul, where he resumed his work at the Military Medical High School. In 1873 he organized in Istanbul the first group exhibition of paintings by Turkish and foreign artists to be held in Turkey. He was later appointed master of ceremonies at the Ottoman court and by the time of his death had risen to the office of intendant of the palace. His paintings were influenced by European art. They include landscapes, such as ...

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

Ardon, Mordecai  

[Bronstein, Max]

(b Tuchów, Poland, July 13, 1896; d Jerusalem, June 18, 1992).

Israeli painter of Polish birth. As a young boy he greatly admired El Greco, Goya and Rembrandt. From 1920 to 1925 he studied at the Bauhaus, Weimar, under Klee, Kandinsky, Johannes Itten and Lyonel Feininger and the following year studied painting techniques at the Akademie der bildenden Künste in Munich under Max Doerner. During the 1920s he changed his name from Max Bronstein to Mordecai Ardon. He taught at the Kunstschule Itten in Berlin from 1929 to 1933, when Nazi persecution forced him to flee to Jerusalem. Though he had been an active Communist in Germany, in Jerusalem he soon found a great affinity with Jewish religion and culture. In 1935 he was made a professor at the Bezalel School of Arts and Crafts in Jerusalem, and was its Director from 1940 to 1952.

Ardon’s early paintings show the influence of Expressionism, as in Seated Woman in a Straw Chair...

Article

Bawden, Edward  

British, 20th century, male.

Active in London.

Born 10 March 1903, in Braintree (Essex); died 21 November 1989, in Saffron Walden (Essex).

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, illustrator, printmaker, graphic designer. Military subjects, rustic scenes, landscapes, seascapes, harbour scenes, architectural views, church interiors. Decorative panels.

Edward Bawden studied at Cambridge School of Art ...

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

Berkel, Sabri  

(b Scobje, Macedonia [now Skopje, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia], March 23, 1909; d 1993).

Turkish painter and printmaker. He studied painting at the Belgrade School of Fine Arts (1927–8) and at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence (1929–35), where he also worked on engravings. In 1935 he exhibited his work at the Academy of Fine Arts in Istanbul and in 1937 took up a position in a new printmaking workshop there, where he taught for many years. In 1948 Berkel studied book illustration and production with the French painter Jean-Gabriel Daragnès (1886–1950) in Paris. During the 1950s the style of his work progressed from linear geometric compositions, such as Bagel Seller (1952; Istanbul, Mimar Sinan U., Mus. Ptg & Sculp.), to include the first abstract calligraphic composition in Turkish art, Monogram (1957; priv. col., see Renda and others), exhibited in the Turkish Pavilion at the Exposition Universelle et Internationale in Brussels in 1958. In both his earlier figurative paintings and his later abstract works form takes precedence over colour, with a concern for composition and balance. He exhibited his work at the São Paulo Biennales in ...

Article

Boullata, Kamal  

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Jerusalem, 1942).

Palestinian-born painter. Raised in Jerusalem, Boullata studied at the Accademia di Belle Arte in Rome from 1961 to 1965. After the 1967 war, he pursued graduate study at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC (1969–70) and then taught at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University (1982–4). He was a Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship to Morocco in 1993–4 and received a fellowship from the Ford Foundation in 2001, finally moving to Menton in southern France. His work, mainly executed in silkscreen and acrylic on canvas and paper, investigates the correspondence between visual and verbal communication. He repeats words or phrases in geometric grids of strong colors, but some of his most effective works are conceived as hand-made “artists books,” including Beginnings (1992), Three Quartets (1994), A Clock of Clouds (1995), Twelve Lanterns for Granada (...

Article

Brangwyn, Frank (Sir)  

British, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 13 May 1867, in Bruges, Belgium, to English parents; died 11 June 1956, in Ditchling.

Painter (including gouache), watercolourist, engraver, lithographer, illustrator. Religious subjects, figure compositions, figures, local scenes (carnival), rustic scenes, urban landscapes, architectural views, urban views, harbour scenes, seascapes...

Article

Çallı, Ibrahim  

(b Çal, Denizli province, 1882; d Istanbul, 1960).

Turkish painter. He lived in Çal during his youth but went to Istanbul, where Ahmet Ali helped to get him enrolled at the Fine Arts Academy. In 1910 he won first prize in a competition for a European scholarship and went to Paris, where he studied under Fernand Cormon. He returned to Turkey in 1914 and was assigned a teaching post at the Fine Arts Academy. At this time he became recognized as the foremost figure in the Çallı group, named after him. Inspired by Impressionism and other European movements, he lightened his palette and worked straight on to canvas without preliminary studies. The artists of the Çallı group also painted en plein air and introduced new themes to Turkish painting, including ‘multi-figured’ and narrative compositions. In 1914 they started to exhibit work at the Galatasaray Lycée in Istanbul. During World War I Çallı became a war artist and was taken to the Gelibolu–Bolayır front. His works of that period include ...

Article

Çelebi, Ali  

(Avni)

(b Istanbul, March 1, 1904; d 1993).

Turkish painter. He studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul from 1918 to 1922 and then went to Munich, where he worked under Hans Hofmann. In 1927 he returned to Turkey and submitted paintings to the exhibitions at the Galatasaray Lycée in Istanbul, where his style attracted interest. In 1928 he became one of the leading members of the Association of Independent Painters and Sculptors, and in 1932 he exhibited his paintings at the Glorya Cinema in Istanbul. By this time he had emerged as a pioneer of modernism in Turkey, and the influence of Expressionism can be seen in such works as the Masked Ball (1928; Istanbul, Mimar Sinan U., Mus. Ptg & Sculp.) and The Barber (1931; Istanbul, Mimar Sinan U., Mus. Ptg & Sculp.). At the Revolution and the Arts exhibition held by the Ministry of Education in Ankara in 1933 he exhibited Wounded Soldier...

Article

Corm, Daoud  

Lebanese, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1852, in Ghosta; died 1930.

Painter. Religious subjects, portraits.

In 1870, aged eighteen, he left for Rome, where he remained for five years and where he studied at the institute of fine arts of the court painter Roberto Bompiani. During his stay, he visited museums and collections, learning to appreciate Raphael, Michelangelo, Titian and so on. He exhibited in Paris, during the Exposition Universelle of ...

Article

Diba, Kamran  

Hasan-Uddin Khan

(Tabatabai)

(b Tehran, March 5, 1937).

Iranian architect, urban planner and painter. He studied architecture at Howard University, Washington, DC, graduating in 1964 and then adding a year of post-graduate studies in sociology. He returned to Tehran in 1966 and a year later became President and Senior Designer of DAZ Consulting Architects, Planners and Engineers. DAZ undertook numerous and diverse projects in Iran and grew rapidly; it had a staff of 150 in 1977. Diba worked entirely in the public sector in Iran and was interested in both vernacular traditions and the demands of modern urban society, especially for human interaction. The partially completed Shushtar New Town (1974–80) in Khuzestan, where he was both architect and planner, owes much of its success to the traditional construction patterns and building types used by Diba in place of the Western-style planning favoured by the authorities. The town, planned for a population of 30,000, was designed along a central communications spine with crossroads and public squares around which small neighbourhoods were established, with gardens and bazaars to encourage community life. The poetic brick-clad buildings produce a unified architecture that is elegant, and the sequencing of the urban spaces is highly refined. Other significant works in Iran include several buildings at Jondi Shapour University (...

Article

Durra, Muhanna  

W. Ali

[Durra Muḥanna]

(b Amman, 1938).

Jordanian painter. He was the first Jordanian artist to be sent on a government scholarship to the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome (1955–8). From 1959 to 1960 he taught history of art at the Teachers Training College in Amman, and from 1960 to 1970 he was press attaché at the Jordanian Embassy in Rome. In 1971 he was appointed director of the Department of Culture and Arts in Amman and, upon his suggestion, the department established the Institute of Music and Arts under his directorship. This was the first institution in Jordan to offer formal training in art. In 1977 Durra received the State Appreciation Award for his contribution to cultural development, and in 1983 he became ambassador in the Arab League and was posted successively to Tunis, Rome, Cairo and Moscow. A prolific artist, he cultivated a distinctive style early in his career. His expressive monochrome portraits and fractured landscapes reveal an ability to manipulate colour, tonality and the distribution of masses (e.g. ...

Article

El Bekri, Abdelmajid  

Tunisian, 20th century, male.

Born 8 November 1942, in Gabes.

Painter, draughtsman.

Abdelmajid El Bekri studied art in a number of different countries, including France, Holland, Italy and Russia.

He remained faithful to the Islamic artistic tradition of organic architectural decoration but enriched it with his own imagination. His is an extremely refined art form, and combines tradition with invention and modernity....

Article

Epikman, Refik  

(Fazıl)

(b Istanbul, 1902; d ?Ankara, 1974).

Turkish painter. He studied at the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul, graduating in 1924 and then went to Paris where he worked under the painter Paul-Albert Laurens (1870–1934) at the Académie Julian until 1928. On returning to Istanbul he was a founder-member of the Association of Independent Painters and Sculptors (Müstakil ressamlar ve heykeltraşlar birliği) in 1928 and became assistant teacher at the Fine Arts Academy. His paintings of this period, for example The Bar (c. 1930; Istanbul, Mimar Sinan U., Mus. Ptg & Sculp.), were notable for introducing new European ideas, and Epikman was acknowledged as at the forefront of modernism in Turkey. He settled in Ankara in 1932 to teach in the new art department at the Gazi Teachers’ College, where he was influential on a younger generation of Turkish painters. His works included a number of large-scale paintings dealing with the Turkish War of Independence and Atatürk. After World War II he participated with several other Turkish artists at the Exposition Internationale d’Art Moderne, organized by UNESCO at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris in ...

Article

Ermes, Ali Omar  

Sheila S. Blair and Jonathan M. Bloom

(b. Tripoli, Libya, 1945).

Libyan painter. He returned to Libya in 1970 after graduating from the Plymouth School of Architecture and Design in England. In 1974 he was appointed consultant to the Festival of Islam in London, and in 1981 he settled in England. He typically uses individual letter forms based on the maghribī style of script typical of North Africa, setting one or two large letters against a richly textured abstract ground with accompanying excerpts from Arabic and world literature that address social and moral issues. His works have been exhibited in more than 60 solo and group exhibitions and can be found in many major museums. Chairman of Muslim Cultural Heritage Center in London, he has also been involved with several other cultural and intellectual institutions there.

A. O. Ermes: Ali Omar Ermes: Art and Ideas: Works on Paper (exh. cat., Oxford, Ashmolean, 1992)A. O. Ermeswith S. Rizvi: Reaching Out: Conversations on Islamic Art with Ali Omar Ermes...

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

Fattah, Ismail  

[al-Turk]

(b Basra, 1934; d Baghdad, July 21, 2004).

Iraqi sculptor and painter. He studied sculpture and painting at the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad under Jawad Salim, and after graduating in 1958 went to Rome where he studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti e Liceo Artistico and the Accademia di S Giacomo. Fattah began to work in a style that combined elements of realism and Expressionism, as well as influences from Sumerian and Assyrian art. On returning to Baghdad he became active in the artistic life of the city and in 1967 joined the group Al-Zāwiya (‘The Religious Fraternity’), led by the painter Faik Hassan; Fattah also became a member of the New Vision group, formed in 1969. He had one-man shows in Rome and Beirut, as well as Baghdad, and from the 1960s participated in a number of national and international exhibitions. At the first Indian Triennale held in New Delhi (1968), for example, he exhibited the bronze sculpture ...

Article

Hamdi Bey, Osman Edhem Pacha Zadeh  

Turkish, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 1842, in Constantinople; died 24 February 1910, in Constantinople.

Painter. Religious subjects, genre scenes, portraits.

Osman Hamdi Bey was the son of the Grand Vizir Müsir Ethern Pacha. He was sent to Paris to study from 1857 to 1869...