Karim Gallery is proud to host Dia al-Azzawi in his first solo exhibition in Jordan, SOMETHING DIFFERENT II.
As an artist Al-Azzawi hardly needs an introduction. London's Tate Gallery describes him as "one of Iraq's most influential living artists”, Art Dubai has recognised him as a pioneer of modern Arab art, and CNN calls him "one of the region’s most influential artists”. For presenter and film-maker Ricardo Karam, “Dia al-Azzawi is an outstanding and world-class artist."
We invite you to join us and enjoy his selection of 25 sculptures and objects, a form of art that he has been keeping to himself, at least for the past 4 years.
“I challenge myself and adopt a new vision within a different landscape of creativity," the artist says. In this exhibition, Azzawi is presenting artworks that are inspired by geological and natural phenomena, in his usual vibrant palette - a feast for the eye, and subjects that address the heart.
Dia al-Azzawi was born in 1939 and achieved a degree in archaeology at Baghdad University (1958-62), at the same time as a diploma from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad (1959–64). Al-Azzawi exhibited his work publicly from 1964 onwards, and became a central figure in the development of modernist art in Iraq, and can be counted among the members or founders of nearly every important artistic group or movement in Baghdad over the next decade (including The New Vision, 1969, and One Dimension, 1971).
During the turbulent 1960s and 1970s, al-Azzawi developed a strong pan-Arab identity while working at museums in Baghdad,al-Nasiriyya and Mosul, and the archaeological and ethnographic importance of the exhibits had a lasting influence on his work. In 1976, he moved to London, where he worked asartistic advisor to the Iraqi Cultural Centre in London (1977–80), then as art director of the magazine Arab Art (1981–82), before devoting himself to art full-time.
After settling in London, al-Azzawi’s work became deeply influenced by world politics and especially injustice in the Arab World, publicising and supporting the Palestinian cause and that of the Iraqi people during the 1991 and 2003 invasions. He also refocused on the role of literature in his work through the rediscovery of book art, which he then commissioned from younger Iraqi and Arab artists, leading him to build a large collection of Iraqi book art, as well as other modern art from the region.