Monday, April 13, 2015

Iraqi Modernism - Abdul Kadir Al Rassam

Abdul Kadir Al Rassam (Iraq, 1882-1952)
View of Ashra 
oil on canvas, framed
signed "Al Rassam" and dated "1394" (A.H) in Arabic (lower left), titled "View of Ashra" in Arabic (lower right), executed in 1930
61 x 90cm (24 x 35 7/16in).1

Abdul Kadir Al Rassam was a member of the first generation of modern Iraqi painters. He was the pioneer among a group of predominantly amateur artists trained in Istanbul who brought their artistic knowledge back to their home country. This group of "soldier-artists" are widely credited with introducing canvas painting to Iraq at the turn of the century. Working in a realist style, al-Rassam is known for his sweeping landscapes, immaculate portraits, and faithful portrayals of everyday life in Iraq. He is one of the most prominent and prolific painters in Iraq's modern art history and his work heavily influenced the generations that followed. More