Dia Al-Azzawi, An Itinerary. Gouaches (1978-2006).

  • Galerie Claude Lemand 16 rue Littré St Paris, IDF, 75006 France

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.

CorneilleEncounters 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.