Dia al-Azzawi

A Retrospective - From 1963 Until Tomorrow

Dia Azzawi's work, long celebrated for its vibrant 13 colour and vivacious style, came in on the tail winds of the early Pioneers movement in Iraq that arose in the mid-twentieth century and flourished in the 1940s-1960s. Azzawi, some decades younger than the Pioneers and the related Baghdad Group for Modern Art, followed in their impressive and ground-breaking footsteps, emerging as a significant artist in his own right in the 1960s.The last quarter of the twentieth century and the works of the next generation of artists that developed, especially in the era of the international embargo against Iraq and the US-UK war of 2003 and its aftermath, were heavily represented in Azzawi's work, and his persistent references to the Mesopotamian past. In these works, and in his practices, this past had a tenacious continuity that he saw as part of the Iraqi present, co-existing with it rather than merely quoted and referenced within a separate modern world of art.