DIA AL-AZZAWI, RETROSPECTIVE, DE 1963 A DEMAIN. Exposition du 15 Octobre 2016 au 16 Avril 2017.

Du 15 octobre 2016 au 15 avril 2017 - QATAR MUSEUMS Mathaf + Al Riwaq, Doha.

  • AZZAWI, Al-Mu’allaqat 3.

    Al-Mu'allaqat 3, 1978. Encre de Chine sur papier, 92 x 64 cm. Donation Claude & France Lemand. Musée, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. © Dia Al-Azzawi. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

  • AZZAWI, Sunset over Basrah.

    Sunset over Basrah, 1990. Acrylique sur toile, 90 x 120 cm. Donation Claude & France Lemand. Musée, Institut du monde arabe, Paris. © Dia Al-Azzawi. Courtesy Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris.

Dia Al-Azzawi : A Retrospective, from 1963 until tomor­row.


A major retros­pec­tive of the work of Dia Al-Azzawi is to take place simul­ta­neously at Mathaf : Arab Museum of Modern Art and QM Gallery Al Riwaq in Doha, ope­ning over two days on 16 and 17 October 2016 and run­ning until 16 April 2017.
Dia Al-Azzawi is an inter­na­tio­nally reco­gni­sed and pro­mi­nent figu­res of modern and contem­po­rary art in the Arab world.The exhi­bi­tions will show­case 400 works span­ning two museum spaces total­ling 9,000 square metres, this will almost cer­tainly be the lar­gest ever solo exhi­bi­tion by any Arab artist. Azzawi has lived in London since 1976.

I am the cry, who will give voice to me ?

The exhi­bi­tion is cura­ted by Catherine David, Deputy Director at Centre Pompidou in Paris. Work on all scales and media will be fea­tu­red, inclu­ding pain­ting, sculp­ture, dra­wing, print and artist books, incor­po­ra­ting ori­gi­nal and limi­ted edi­tions of art­works on view for the first time.

Conceived for the two venues, Mathaf and QM Gallery Al Riwaq, the retros­pec­tive is orga­ni­sed in two parts tra­cing the tra­jec­tory of the artist’s prac­tice. One tra­jec­tory charts the emer­gence of a rela­tion­ship bet­ween image and text in Azzawi’s work, and its evo­lu­tion as a solu­tion to an artis­tic pro­blem of repre­sen­ta­tion ; the other tra­jec­tory fol­lows the artist’s enga­ge­ment with the key moments in the poli­ti­cal his­tory of Iraq and the Arab world. Both routes depart from an encoun­ter with the poet Muzaffar al-Nawwab in 1968.

Dia Al-Azzawi (born Baghdad, 1939, lives and works in London) star­ted his career as an artist in 1964, after gra­dua­ting from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad and com­ple­ting a degree in archaeo­logy from Baghdad University in 1962.

In 1969, Al-Azzawi (with Rafa Nasiri, Mohammad Muhriddin, Ismail Fattah, Hachem al-Samarchi and Saleh al Jumaie) formed the New Vision group (Jama’at al-Ru’ya al-Jadidah), uni­ting fellow artists ideo­lo­gi­cally and cultu­rally as oppo­sed to sty­lis­ti­cally. Through his invol­ve­ment with the New Vision group Al-Azzawi found ins­pi­ra­tion in contem­po­rary sub­jects and issues, par­ti­cu­larly the plight of the Palestinians. He was also brie­fly a member of Shakir Hassan Al Said’s One Dimension group (Jama’at al-Bu’d al-Wahid).

From 1968 to 1976, Al-Azzawi was the direc­tor of the Iraqi Antiquities Department in Baghdad. He has lived in London since 1976, where he served as art advi­sor to the city’s Iraqi Cultural Centre, from 1977 to 1980. Al-Azzawi’s move to London led him to redis­co­ver artist books (dafa­tir), an art form that he has encou­ra­ged other artists from Iraq and the region to explore.

His work is held in inter­na­tio­nal pri­vate and public col­lec­tions inclu­ding the Museums of Modern Art in Baghdad, Damascus and Tunis ; Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman ; Mathaf : Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha ; Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah ; Kinda Foundation, Saudi Arabia ; Una Foundation, Casablanca ; Arab Monetary Fund, Abu Dhabi ; Development Fund, Kuwait ; Jeddah International Airport ; British Museum, Tate Modern, and Victoria and Albert Museum, London ; Institut du Monde Arabe, Bibliothèque Nationale de France and Colas Foundation, Paris ; Harba Collection, Iraq and Italy ; Gulbenkian Collection, Barcelona ; and Library of Congress and the World Bank, Washington, DC.

Dia Al-Azzawi has had a long asso­cia­tion with Qatar Museums, fea­tu­ring in the ope­ning exhi­bi­tion of Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art and QM Al Riwaq in 2010. His work is inclu­ded in the ongoing Mathaf Encyclopedia of Modern Art and the Arab World, a pio­nee­ring online pro­ject deve­lo­ped by Qatar Museums, Qatar Foundation and Mathaf, to com­pre­hen­si­vely docu­ment the work of Arab artists of the 20th and 21st cen­tury.

Qatar Museums will publish an autho­ri­ta­tive book on the artist, docu­men­ting the full spec­trum of his work and career. The mono­graph will include essays by lea­ding experts in the field : Catherine David, in her role of Exhibition Curator ; Nada Shabout, Professor of Art History and Director of Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Initiative at the University of North Texas ; May Muzzafar, poet and writer on the sub­ject of Iraqi art since the early 1970s and Zainab Bahrani, Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Art and Archaeology in the Department of Art History at Columbia University.

Copyright © Galerie Claude Lemand 2012.

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