An Itinerary is the title of two exhibitions of works by the great artist Dia Al-Azzawi to allow European collectors to see how rich is his production since 50 years. The works are coming directly from his personal collection and most of them are exhibited for the first time in a gallery. Since 1995, the Claude Lemand Gallery has regularly been exhibiting Dia Al-Azzawi’s works in which the artist shows his positive modernity, as well as his desire for art to contribute to everyone’s happiness and to the birth of a new Arab civilization which is in peace with itself and with other civilizations.
Corneille. Encounters with the works of Dia Azzawi, Paris, June 1981.
1. In these paintings I see letters, pieces of writing, calligraphy, a writing that I know to be Arabic but which I cannot decipher. I sense it, this calligraphy, as part of the rhythm of the painting, punctuating it, supporting it, sometimes completing it with rage. Though the meaning of these signs thus escapes me, I do not think it is a priori necessary to be able to read them. I can read in another way, my western sensibility can appreciate the meaning differently. I can admire the strength of this calligraphy, recognize the sureness of the strokes, follow with wonder the multiple tangle of lines, see the harmony or see the deliberate discords that bring to the composition the gracefulness or weight it requires.
2. I have been able to follow the latest path taken by the painter at the time of his last exhibition in Paris. The whole collection is highly original, very evocative - hav- ing no connection with Orientalism. Out of the depths of perfumed nights arise the shapes of palaces and mosques. Yet, like a sharp reminder of today’s reality, birds appear, tattered, torn, one of them falling with wings vertically outstretched, like a wounded aeroplane. The Tower of Babylon: a mysterious Tower of Babylon on the deep black of whose shape is drawn an eye, disturbing and inquisitorial. Blue Night: angled bizarrely in the blue of the sky, a typically Oriental crescent appears above the monumental portico of a palace on which are flowing Arabic inscriptions.