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Article

Jonathan M. Bloom

revised by Sheila S. Blair

(b Kishorganj, East Pakistan [now Bangladesh], Nov 18, 1914; d Dhaka, May 28, 1976).

Bangladeshi painter and printmaker. He studied painting at the Government School of Art in Calcutta from 1933 to 1938, and then taught there until 1947. His work first attracted public attention in 1943 when he produced a powerful series of drawings of the Bengal famine. After the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947 he worked as chief designer in the Pakistan government’s Information and Publications Division, and also became principal of the Institute of Fine Arts in Dhaka (later known as the Bangladesh College of Arts and Crafts), which he helped to found in 1948 and where he remained until 1967. From 1951 to 1952 he visited Europe and, in addition to exhibiting his work at several locations, worked at the Slade School of Art in London, and represented Pakistan at the UNESCO art conference in Venice in 1952. An exhibition of his work in Lahore in 1953 became the starting-point for a series of ...

Article

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

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Faisalabad, 1922).

Pakistani painter. She introduced non-traditional pictorial imagery in Pakistan and initiated a new era in painting. She completed a degree in political science at Kinnaird College, Lahore. Her introverted disposition and concentrated study of philosophy formed the background against which her abstract ‘idea’ paintings emerged. At the Lahore School of Fine Art (1945), Agha began a study of Western art. In addition to copying Old Masters, she came into contact with contemporary Indian painting and folk art.

Mario Perlingieri, an Italian painter who had studied with Picasso, introduced Agha to abstraction in 1946. Unlike the majority of Pakistani artists in the 1950s and 1960s, who emulated Cubism (see Cubism, §I), Agha evolved a personal style synthesizing East and West. Four years in London and Paris (1950–53) brought her face to face with modern European art. Agha’s predilection for discordant shapes, tension, and mysterious and irrational juxtapositions link her art to that of Marc Chagall and Edvard Munch. An intensely private and cerebral individual, she was awarded the President’s Medal for Pride of Performance in ...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Delhi, India, Feb 4, 1941; d Lahore, Pakistan, Jan 18, 1999).

Pakistani painter, sculptor and printmaker. Educated in Pakistan and abroad, he has consciously and successfully synthesized Eastern and Western aesthetic traditions. In 1963, a year after graduating from the National College of Arts, Lahore, he joined the faculty as a lecturer in art, later becoming a professor and head of the Department of Fine Arts. His studies abroad have included post-graduate work in London (1966–7, 1968–9) and the United States (1987–9).

Like many of his colleagues, Zahoor was influenced by his mentor, Shakir ‛Ali, principal of the National College of Art from 1961 to 1975. Both artists were motivated by art history, philosophy and aesthetics. Zahoor’s non-figurative paintings of the 1960s evolved into tangible—though not always realistic—images addressing the dualities of space and time, East and West. Most of his triptychs and single canvases were conceived within a grid that provides a stabilizing structure for their compositions. This grid refers to Zahoor’s admiration for the American artist ...

Article

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

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Rampur, 1916; d Lahore, 1975).

Pakistani painter. A seminal figure, Shakir ‛Ali introduced Cubism to Lahore in 1952. His style quickly became fashionable there, was adopted in Karachi and dominated the art scene for more than a decade (see Pakistan, Islamic Republic of §III).

Shakir ‛Ali first studied painting at the Ukil Brothers Studio in Delhi. In 1938, after a year in that city, he joined the J. J. School of Art, Bombay, which promoted the British system of art education—drawing from cast and copying Old Masters. From the school’s director, Charles Gerrard, Shakir learned mural painting and was introduced to Impressionism. He also learned about indigenous art such as that at Ajanta (see Ajanta, §2, (i)) and the modern work of Roy, Jamini and Sher-Gil, Amrita.

After receiving a diploma in fine art from the Slade School of Art, London, Shakir ‛Ali studied with André Lhote in France. Moving to Prague, he joined the School of Industrial Design and studied textile design. From Prague, Shakir went to Lahore, where he was appointed Professor and head of the art department at the Mayo School of Arts. In ...

Article

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

[Association of Turkish Painters ; Turkish Fine Arts Society ; Turk. Osmanli ressamlar cemiyeti ; Türk ressamlar cemiyeti; Türk sanayi-i nefise birliǧi; Güzel sanatlar birliǧi]

Turkish group of painters founded in 1908 by students from the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul. They had their first exhibition in Istanbul in 1910 and also published the monthly journal Naşir-i efkâr (‘Promoter of ideas’), which was supported financially by Crown Prince Abdülmecid (1868–1944), himself a painter and calligrapher and honorary president of the Association. The members included Ibrahim Çallı, who was recognized as the most prominent in the group, Ruhi Arel (1880–1931), Feyhaman Duran (1886–1970), Nazmi Ziya Güran, Namık Ismail (1890–1935), Avni Lifij (1889–1927), Hikmet Onat (1886–1977) and Sami Yetik (1876–1945). It was not very active from 1910, when some of its painters left Istanbul to study art in Europe, but their return at the outbreak of World War I brought renewed activity. Some members were responsible for bringing Impressionism and other European movements to Turkey, and they acquainted the Turkish public with figurative and narrative compositions, as well as portraiture. The Association organized annual exhibitions at the Galatasaray High School in Istanbul, and some of the artists were given workshops and taken to the Front during World War I. Many of the painters also became influential teachers at the Fine Arts Academy: ...

Article

W. Ali

[Bilkahīyya, Farīd]

(b Marrakesh, Nov 15, 1934).

Moroccan painter. He began painting at the age of 15, and from 1954 to 1959 attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he studied the work of Georges Rouault and Paul Klee. He was then sent on a scholarship to study theatrical design in Czechoslovakia. Upon his return to Morocco in 1962, he was appointed director of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Casablanca (1962–74), where he introduced classes in the principles of Arabic calligraphy, which he believed could be utilized in modern painting. In 1964 Belkahia and the artists Mohammed Melehi and Mohamed Chebaa (b 1935) formed what became known as the ‘Casablanca Group’. They replaced models of Greek statues and still-life paintings at the Ecole with reproductions of Moroccan handicrafts, and taught their students to draw geometric forms and design jewellery and carpets. Their aim was to close the gap between craft and art, and break away from imported academic teachings and the naive painting tradition of the past. In his own work, Belkahia began to use such materials as beaten brass, leather, henna, saffron and natural dyes. He developed a distinct style, producing paintings on hand-stretched leather that incorporated popular signs and motifs, numbers, Arabic calligraphy and characters taken from Berber script. In his later work he turned to erotic themes while using this style and medium (e.g. untitled, henna on wood and leather, ...

Article

(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

(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

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

(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

(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

S. J. Vernoit

(b Boujad, Oct 2, 1934; d Casablanca, Aug 17, 1967).

Moroccan painter. He studied in Paris at the Ecole des Métiers d’Art from 1956 to 1959 and in 1960 enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. During this period he also had his first solo exhibition, at the Atelier Lucienne Thalheimer in Paris (1959). In 1961 he received a scholarship to study at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw for one year and while there exhibited work at the Krzywe Koło Gallery. On returning to Paris, he began to research the signs and motifs of Moroccan art with a bursary from UNESCO. These studies inspired his paintings, which he continued to exhibit regularly in one-man shows in Casablanca, Paris, Rabat, Tangiers and Karlstad, Sweden. He also exhibited work at numerous group exhibitions, including the Salon de Mai, Paris. In his early paintings he was inspired by the art of Klee and Roger Bissière, and he worked on small collages of jute, a technique that Klee had used. From ...

Article

Marcella Nesom-Sirhandi

(b Lahore, 21 Sept ?1894; d Lahore, Jan 17, 1975).

Pakistani painter, etcher and engraver. Though he was self-taught, his early style is indistinguishable from that of the Bengal School (see Calcutta, §3). He may have been influenced by the Calcutta-trained painter Samenendranath Gupta, who was a teacher and vice-principal at the Mayo School of Arts during Chughtai’s years there in the early 1920s as a drawing master in the photolithography department.

Like the Bengal School artists, Chughtai painted exclusively in watercolour and illustrated Hindu and Buddhist myths and Indian genre scenes. Unlike them, however, he also painted scenes from Islamic history and literature and Punjabi legends. By the 1940s he had evolved a highly personal style that reflected his interest in Persian, Mughal and Rajput painting as well as Japanese woodcuts and European painting, particularly Art Nouveau.

A skilled draughtsman with an innate sense of colour and design, Chughtai often gave an amusing twist to his large watercolours. He was an accomplished etcher and engraver, having studied these arts in London during two visits in ...

Article

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

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

(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

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...