Exlplore the art of the written word at Misk Art 2018

The gallery presented visitors with the dynamic curls and swirls of the written word that characterize Arabic calligraphy. (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)
Updated 04 November 2018

Exlplore the art of the written word at Misk Art 2018

RIYADH: The spellbinding beauty of exquisitely scripted words set against white walls was almost overpowering at the Arabic Calligraphy Gallery that ran as part of Misk Art 2018 in Riyadh.

The gallery presented visitors with the dynamic curls and swirls of the written word that characterize Arabic calligraphy — some of the pieces on show featured whole verses of the Qur’an, while others were smaller, more delicate works.

The exhibit, which will close its doors on Saturday, was curated by Fahad Al-Mujahidi, a calligrapher who was mentored by a renowned calligraphy artist in Turkey, Hassan Jalabi.

“We picked the calligraphy works based on its artistic value,” Al-Mujahidi told Arab News.

“We picked the most prominent calligraphers in the world — from Turkey, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Yemen and Saudi Arabia,” he added.




 (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)

When asked what his favorite piece in the gallery was, he said: “They are all close to my heart, but my favorite would be the ones by Daud Baktash,” a Turkey-based artist who is widely considered a master calligrapher.

“One of the most difficult Arabic handwriting (forms) is Al-Thulth then Al-Naskh,” Al-Mujahidi said, referring to two of the many different recognized styles of Arabic calligraphy. “I am specialized in both. It is a rich art and we continue to learn its trade.”
Seventeen calligraphers showcased their masterpieces in the exhibition, including Mohammad Farouq, Muthana Al-Obaidi, Ahmad Fares and Mohammad Özçay among others.




 (AN Photo/Basheer Saleh)


Although Misk Art 2018 has wrapped up, art aficionados will still be able to see the final creations of the Misk International Sculpture Symposium. Curated by the Saudi sculptor Ali Al-Tokhais, the event sees 21 artists from 13 countries gather in the capital to create original art pieces out of locally sourced marble blocks over the space of three weeks.

Misk Art 2018 also featured a special exhibit curated by Jeddah-based Athr Gallery — a contemporary and modern art fair that showcased eight Saudi galleries in a diverse exhibition of local creativity.

Another section, titled Every Possible Angle, presented audiences with fresh and unexpected forms of technology-driven art.


Iraq Pavilion at Venice Biennale shuts in solidarity with protesters

The Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale has shut down in solidarity with protesters. Supplied
Updated 13 November 2019

Iraq Pavilion at Venice Biennale shuts in solidarity with protesters

  • In a show of solidarity with anti-government protestors, the Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale has shut down
  • Initially set to run until Nov. 24, the exhibition entitled “Fatherland” was closed on Nov. 5.

DUBAI: Iraq is currently in the midst of ongoing anti-government protests that have claimed the lives of more than 260 Iraqis since they erupted earlier this month. In a show of solidarity, the Iraq Pavilion at the Venice Biennale has shut down.

Initially set to run until Nov. 24, the exhibition entitled “Fatherland” was closed on Nov. 5.

“Fatherland” is a collection of expressionist paintings by Iraqi-Kurdish artist Serwan Baran that were commissioned by Baghdad-based non-profit organization the Ruya Foundation, which in an official statement shared that the move was to show support to “the popular youth uprisings that have erupted in Iraq against state corruption and deteriorating economic and living conditions.”

“We condemn the use of violence against peaceful protesting, and the bloodshed that has led to the death of over 265 protesters so far,” read the statement shared on the organization’s Twitter account. “Peaceful protesting is a basic right, enshrined in Article 38.c of the Iraqi Constitution.”

“Since our founding in late 2012, we have worked hard, frequently in inhospitable circumstances, to create a platform for artists across Iraq to freely express their creativity, in a firm belief that culture is an integral component of any society, and a powerful force for change towards an open and free country. This is particularly important for Iraq, given its difficult recent history and authoritarian past,” it continued.

The Baghdad-based foundation, which was co-founded by Tamara Chalabi, daughter of former Iraqi politician Ahmed Chalabi, has overseen the Iraq Pavilion in Venice since 2013.