The 20th Century witnessed a spectacular resurgence of the art of printmaking. The invention and development of photography in the 1800s rendered reproductive printmaking increasingly obsolete and the form was returned to the creative artist.
In the West, artists like Pablo Picasso, George Braque and Marc Chagall explored various modes of printmaking in the first half of the 20th Century. Additionally, the Bauhaus School, with its emphasis on reuniting creativity and manufacturing, was formed in Germany in 1919 and led to greater advancements in the form. By the mid-century Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Henry Moore and Frank Stella, amongst many others, continued experimenting with the practice. It was during this post-war period that artists from the Arab world started incorporating this multifaceted medium into their own practice.
In Arab Print Volume III, rare prints by Assadour, Munira Al Kazi, Ahmed Morsi, Ibrahim Salahi, Hashem Samarchi and the late Ismail Fattah have been brought together in the third installment of a series of exhibitions aiming to further the understanding of an important but often neglected art form in the region.
From Assadour’s complex, labyrinthine compositions that manifest the artist’s frustration with the human condition, to an archetypal abstract work by Iraqi Op artist, Samarchi, and a selection of stylised, figurative etchings by Al Kazi and Morsi, the artworks in this exhibition exemplify the rich variety and versatility of Arab printmaking.