Friday, November 25, 2016

Dia al-Azzawi painting the Arab world, from afar

By Farah Nayeri
“Sabra and Shatila Massacre” by Dia al-Azzawi evokes the killing of hundreds of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon in 1982. Credit Dia al-Azzawi, Tate Collection
UNITED KINGDOM---“Dia al-Azzawi is not an illustrator, and he’s not a man who makes political posters. But his work is completely infused with events in the Middle East,” said Catherine David, the curator of the Doha exhibition, who is the deputy director of the Musée National d’Art Moderne at the Pompidou Center in Paris. Ms. David described the artist as an exceptional draftsman and print maker and “a painter with a genuine sense of rhythm.” “Placed in the context of 20th-century art, Dia al-Azzawi is not only a great Arab artist, but a great artist, full stop,” she said. [link]
Dia al-Azzawi is the focus of what is billed as the biggest solo show any Arab artist has ever had. Through April 16, more than 500 of his works — murals, paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, art books — are on display across two sprawling venues in Doha. Credit Olya Morvan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
“Homage to Baghdad VI.” Iraq has been a constant them of Dia al-Azzawi’s works, though he no longer lives in the country. Credit Dia Al-Azzawi, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha