16 March - 10 June 2020

Spanning over half a century, works by many of the most influential Modernists of the Arab-speaking world will be showcased in Meem Gallery's third edition of its Modern Masters exhibition series, this March.


Including Dia al-Azzawi, Ahmed Cherkaoui, Saliba Douaihy, Shakir Hassan Al Said, Mahmoud Said, Chafic Abboud, Faiq Hassan, Ibrahim Salahi, Ismail Fattah, Jewad Selim, Kadhim Hayder, Kamal Boullata, Mahmoud Sabri and Marwan, this exhibition offers a rare opportunity to view a collection of some of the best examples of 20th century Arab art.


Through their artistic practices, Iraqi artists including Jewad Selim, Faiq Hassan, Ismail Fattah and Dia al-Azzawi became critical figures in the rise of a post-colonial, national Iraqi identity. Despite Incorporating certain stylistic elements of Modern, Western art movements, such as cubism, these artists drew inspiration from the country's rich indigenous history, landscapes and culture, as can be observed in Faiq Hassan's Fisherman, Mahmoud Sabri's Vandbærere (Water Carriers) and Kadhim Hayder's Untitled multimedia work.


Depictions of simple village life and pastoral scenes also appear in Egyptian artist, Mahmoud Said's, El Nourag (The Plough) and Lebanese artist, Chafic Abboud's Untitled (Composition), painted in 1964. Early watercolours portraying realistic street scenes of his native Jerusalem, by Palestinian artist, Kamal Boullata, predate the abstract work that he later became so well known for.


Key examples of abstract painting from the Arab world will be shown through the works of Lebanese artist, Saliba Douaihy, Sundanese artist, Ibrahim Salahi, Moroccan artist, Ahmed Cherkaoui and Shakir Hassan al Said's, Untitled works from his well-known Walls series which resemble the neglected and scarred walls around his native city of Baghdad.


Long neglected by international audiences, this extensive collection of works by the Modern masters of the Arab world displays the extraordinary variety of distinctive artwork produced in the Middle East and North Africa, during the 20th century.