Saturday, July 22, 2017

Conflict, exile, uprising: Arab art from the modern to the contemporary

By Michael Abatemarco
Kadhim Hayder's "Fatigued Ten Horses Converse with Nothing" (oil on canvas) 1965
The Battle of Karbala was fought in the year AD 680 in what is now present-day Iraq. The incident came about after Husayn ibn Ali, a grandson of the prophet Muhammad, refused to swear allegiance to the caliph Yazid I. Husayn, along with his family and supporters, were ambushed near the Euphrates by Yazid’s military. More than a millennium on, artist Kadhim Hayder (1932-1985) referenced the Battle of Karbala in his 1965 painting Fatigued Ten Horses Converse With Nothing, also called The Martyr’s Epic, a work that questions martyrdom’s value and despairs at the lack of answers to those questions. Imperfect Chronology: Arab Art from the Modern to the Contemporary: Works from the Barjeel Art Foundation,” is available from Prestel Publishing. [More]