Exhibitions

Tajreed – A selection of Arab Abstract Art 1908 – 1960


  • Contemporary Art Platform Kuwait Industrial Shuwaikh Block 2, St 28 Kuwait Kuwait

88 artists celebrate the birth of Arab Abstraction over 50 years ago

Contemporary Art Platform Kuwait proudly presents “Tajreed Part I: A Selection of Arab Abstract Art”, one of the biggest retrospectives that celebrate and map the abstract movement in the Arab world by featuring the works of 88 Arab artists during the Modern period. Covering artists born between 1908 and 1960, the first chapter of the exhibition presents a panorama of selectedartists and artworks chosen for their abstract nature. The show sheds light on an artistic production that culminated over 50 years of Arab art, but needs to be revisited and further researched after 3 decades of oblivion and neglect.

Seventy years after its irruption in the mid 1940’s, the mysteries around the birth of abstraction in Arab art remain a challenge. A mutation has happened in different cities simultaneously within a timeframe of remarkable brevity: Saloua Raouda Choucair started experimenting her modular paintings in Beirut in 1946, paralleled with published articles about her theories of abstraction in 1951. Hamed Abdallah executed his first “papier froissé” or “Crumbled paper “ abstract compositions in the same year 1946 in Cairo, while Ramses Younan was testing abstract drawings in watercolors as early as 1947. Iraqi artist Madiha Omar published a thesis on the abstract dimensions of Arabic calligraphy in Washington D.C., at the Corcoran Institute in 1949, while her compatriot Jamil Hammoudi was painting his curvilinear compositions in Paris in 1949. For the first time, Arab artists were producing art within which the references to the visible world disappeared. So far, there were no precedents in the Middle East, although abstract art in the West goes back to 1910. And while technological progress and scientific knowledge can elucidate the mysteries of birth of Western abstraction, it is clear that on the Arab front, the adoption of this artistic revolutionary movement was more of an identitarianissue and a statement of modernity and progressiveness. In addition to those 5 artists, the exhibition will illustrate and honor the works of many Arab artists during that generation.

List of Artists:

Shafic Abboud, Hamed Abdallah, Mustafa Abdel-Moati, Mohamed Abla, Etel Adnan, Adonis, Yousef Ahmed, Mohammed Al Ameri, Dia Al Azzawi, Saleh Al Jumaie, Sheikh Rashid Al Khalifa, Shakir Hassan Al Said, Safwan Al-Ayoubi, Wijdan, Munira Al-Kazi, Abdullatif Al-Smoudi, Himat Ali, Farid Aouad, Yvette Ashkar, Fadi Barrage,Michel Basbous, Farid Belkahia, Fouad Bellamine, Mahjoub Ben Bella, Abdallah Benanteur, Kamal Boullata, Hassan Bourqia, Huguette Caland, Mounir Canaan,Naseer Chaura, Ahmed Cherkaoui, Ahmed Chibrine, Chaouki Choukini, Mahmoud Daadouch, Salem Dabbagh, Jafaar Dashti, Rashid Diab, Saliba Douaihy Mohanna Durra, Saeed El Adawi, Amine El Bacha, Jumana El Husseini, Rafik El Kamel, Helen ElKhal, Moustafa Fathi, Ismail Fattah, Paul Guiragossian, George Guv, Farid Haddad, Samia Halaby, Mahmoud Hammad, Jamil Hammoudi, Adam Henein, Farouk Hosny, Taha Hussein, Jafar Islah, Mohammed Kacimi, Fouad Kamel, Elie Kanaan, Mohammed Khadda, Jean Khalifeh, Mohammed Omar Khalil, Hussein Madi, Hanaa Malallah, Mohammed Melihi, Jamil Molaeb, Fateh Moudarres, Mehdi Moutashar, Mohamad Muhraddine, Abdullah Murad, Nazir Nab’a, Nabil Nahas, Rafa Nasiri Madiha Omar, Saloua Raouda Choucair,Mohammad Rawas, Aref Rayess Nizar Sabour, Nadia Saikaly, Faisal Samra, Mona Saudi, Juliana Seraphim, Hassan Sharif, Nabil Shehadeh, Nasser Soumi, Hanibal Srouji, Gebran Tarazi and Ramses Younan.

This exhibition is curated by Saleh Barakat in collaboration with Contemporary Art Platform.