Thursday, March 21, 2019

01 Paintings, The amorous game, Part 45 - With Footnotes

Johannes Vermeer, (1632–1675)
The Procuress, c. 1656
Oil on canvas
Height: 1,430 mm (56.29 ″); Width: 1,300 mm (51.18 ″)
Old Masters Picture Gallery Dresden 

The woman in black, the leering coupler, "in a nun's costume", could be the eponymous procuress, while the man to her right, "wearing a black beret and a doublet with slashed sleeves", has been identified as a self portrait of the artist. 


The man, a soldier, in the red jacket is fondling the young woman's breast and dropping a coin into her outstretched hand. According to Benjamin Binstock the painting could be understood as a psychological portrait of his adopted family. Vermeer is in the painting as a musician, in the employ of the madam. Vermeer used his family as models; the whore could be Vermeer's wife Catherina and the lewd soldier her brother Willem. More on this painting


Johannes, Jan or Johan Vermeer (1632 – December 1675) was a Dutch painter who specialized in domestic interior scenes of middle-class life. Vermeer was a moderately successful provincial genre painter in his lifetime. He evidently was not wealthy, leaving his wife and children in debt at his death, perhaps because he produced relatively few paintings.

Vermeer worked slowly and with great care, and frequently used very expensive pigments. He is particularly renowned for his masterly treatment and use of light in his work.

He was recognized during his lifetime in Delft and The Hague, but his modest celebrity gave way to obscurity after his death. In the 19th century, Vermeer was rediscovered by Gustav Friedrich Waagen and Théophile Thoré-Bürger, who published an essay attributing 66 pictures to him, although only 34 paintings are universally attributed to him today. Since that time, Vermeer's reputation has grown, and he is now acknowledged as one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age. More Vermeer




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01 Paintings, MODERN & CONTEMPORARY MIDDLE EASTERN ART, With Footnotes - 2m

Charles Hossein Zenderoudi (Iran, b. 1937)
Untitled
Oil and metallic paint on canvas
146 x 97cm (57 1/2 x 38 3/16in)
Private collection


Charles Hossein Zenderoudi (born 1937 Tehran) is one of Iran's most accomplished modern artists, and as a founding father of the highly influential Saqqa Khaneh movement, has been a pioneering figurehead of Iranian neo-traditionalism.

His choice of subject matter, calligraphy, has historically been the most established mode of formal artistic expression prevalent in Iran, but, by emphasizing form over meaning, and by stripping the written word down to its aesthetic, structural, fundaments, Zenderoudi subverts the traditional values of Persian calligraphy. Zenderoudi's text is intentionally illegible and carries no literal meaning, freeing it from the constraint of linguistic limitation, and imbuing it with a sense of universality which rescues the archaic practice of calligraphy from obscurity, giving it renewed relevance in a contemporary context. 

Zenderoudi's compositions pay homage to centuries of Persian religious imagery and employ a systematic repetition of letter-forms that finds its genesis in the mystical practice of Sufi numerologists, who believed in the spiritual significance of singular letters and worked these principles into hugely intricate talismanic charts. Zenderoudi's methodical compositions, whilst not accurately following the grammar or axioms of numerology, capture the aesthetic and conceptual qualities of its cryptic nature. 

Zenderoudi's early works focused on dense talismanic imagery, mixing iconography, freehand script and numerals. The density of these compositions sought to capture the visual intensity of popular religious expression in Iran, where banners, standards, altars, murals and mosques exuberantly adorn the urban landscape.

Works from the present series, composed in the early 1970's, mark a shift towards a more compositionally terse, technical and measured approach to calligraphy. The crowded iconography of the early works is replaced by a greater focus on larger letter-forms, which exhibit a formal refinement lacking in their earlier counterparts. 

Measured but spontaneous, technical yet effuse, Zenderoudi' manipulates Persian calligraphy with effortless ease, boasting a visual scope which faithfully captures the salient elements of Iran's traditional popular religious aesthetic. Rendered with the use of rich and vibrant colours, his canvases replicate the tonal and textural qualities of the votive art so common to the Iranian urban landscape. More on Charles Hossein Zenderoudi



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Sunday, March 17, 2019

01 Painting, MODERN & CONTEMPORARY MIDDLE EASTERN ART, With Footnotes - 2l

Parvaneh Etemadi, (Iranian, 1947)
Woman and Urn, c. 1977
cement and oil on panel
31.30 in. (79.50 cm.) (height) by 46.85 in. (119.00 cm.) (width)
Private collection


Parvaneh Etemadi, born in Tehran in 1948, with nearly five decades of lively presence on the scene of visual arts, Parvaneh Etemadi is one of the most successful and popular Iranian artists both in the eyes of art virtuosos and laymen. 

Even though she was born in Tehran,  Etemadi she spent her early childhood in the city of Birjand (in south of Khorasan close to the vast barren eastern Iranian plateau). After finishing both her primary and secondary education in Tehran she began to study at the Fine Art College of Tehran University (1967). This coincided with the foundation of Ta’la’r-e Iran (Hall of Iran, later changed to Talar Ghandriz) by a group of visual arts activists; a significant event attracting many young artists including Parvaneh who not only participated in more than 10 group exhibitions displayed there from 1967 to 1977, but also held her first solo exhibition at the same hall (Ghandriz) in 1969.

During the first period of her artistic activity she appeared as an abstract painter. Her abstract works were free compositions of forms appearing in pleasing proportions with extensive touches of cold opaque colors, nevertheless designed and worked out candidly and resolutely. 

This second period of her artistic activity which took shape in the seventies was a synthesis of constructivism of her first period with a return to figurative art. The works of this period with their rough sketchy textures of oil color on a cement infrastructure and their modern minimal structure, together with the least application of line and color as well as design and figure emerged as plain agreeable charming still lives

In the third period of her works (from 1980 onwards) was a return to the imaginary basement of her grandmother with trunks of old forgotten outfits and textiles. During this period, by virtue of her perfect brilliant technique, a colorful pallet of warm shinny harmonious and balanced colors, she reproduced fine garments and textiles of silk and termeh designed with familiar flowers, fruit and home utensils in very gorgeous still lives. 

In her collages which mark the fourth period of her work, Etemadi began a new venture. Her compositions now made up of cut photocopied pieces of her previous color pencil paintings glued on the surface of wide canvases with still more colorful and varied pallet appeard as a kind of artistic improvisation of fantastic free dancing outfits often breaking through the surface and the frame of the canvas as though refusing to be imprisoned in any limited fixed form. 

After 2000, Parvaneh Etemadi ventured new experiences. Participation in an installation calling public attention to the environment in Hanover, Germany in the same year, working with ceramic and combining it with calligraphy displayed in an applied art exhibition held at House of Iranian Artists and finally beginning a new period (still continuing) exhibited under the title Once upon a Time held at Golestan Gallery in 2004 showing the peak of her collages, this time combined with ancient Iranian myths, fables and literature. More on Parvaneh Etemadi



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Saturday, March 16, 2019

01 Paintings, MODERN & CONTEMPORARY MIDDLE EASTERN ART, With Footnotes - 2k

Suad Al Attar, (Iraq, born 1942)
Unknown
Oil on canvas
 Possibly from the collection of the Iraqi Museum of Modern Art 


This vibrant work, by Suad al Attar, is electrified through the hyper-realistic rendering of a tree’s root system fanning out from the central trunk like lightning through the sky. The color scheme of intense reds and yellows contrasted with black adds to the visual vibrancy of the piece. More on this painting

Suad al-Attar (born 1942) is a renowned Iraqi painter whose work is in private and public collections worldwide, including The British Museum and the Gulbenkian Collection. She has held over twenty solo exhibitions, including one in Baghdad that became the first solo exhibition in the country's history for a woman artist. Her many awards include the first prize at the International Biennale in Cairo in 1984 and an award of distinction at the Biennale held in Malta in 1995.

Suad left Baghdad with her husband and children in 1976, and settled in London. For her, the perpetual sense of longing for "home" has always been balanced by an awareness of the freedom that comes with distance. This freedom—a condition that gained added significance following the regime’s rise to power under Saddam Hussein in the late 1970s—has enabled her to explore her relationship with her homeland and to develop a personal visual language with which to express it.

Elements of this language are to be found within the traditions of Middle Eastern art. The winged creatures of Assyrian reliefs, Sumerian sculptures and the illuminated manuscripts of the Baghdadi School were instrumental. However, this awareness of her Arab heritage did not result in slavish imitation, but was forged with her own romantic imagination and an appreciation of western figurative traditions to create enigmatic images in which narrative and symbolism are intertwined.

A substantial monograph documenting her career was published in London in 2004. Much of Suad’s painting is characterised by an intense dreamlike and poetic sensibility that draws on motifs and symbols from within the traditions of Middle Eastern art. In recent years, these richly-coloured representations of paradise and of sleeping cities bathed in turquoise blue, have disappeared from her work as she has become increasingly preoccupied with the plight of Iraq. More on Suad al-Attar





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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

01 Paintings, The amorous game, Part 36 - With Footnotes

Ray McCarty 1934-2018
"Ma'am Are Those Real?"
Enhanced Giclee on Canvas
 24 x 30
Private collection

Ray McCarty. As early as the age of five, McCarty began demonstrating his artistic talent. Raised in the mountains of northern Utah, his first paintings were sketches of the American West inspired in part by his outlaw ancestry, The McCarty Gang, partners in crime with Butch Cassidy.

Ray graduated from University with a degree in fine art. As a student Ray studied the great masters in Spain and France and his work began to show the distinct influences of Modigliani, Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec. Women in Victorian settings began to take precedence over the cowboys and Indians of his earlier Western paintings. His experimentation for a brief period in non-objective art provided the freedom of technique that contributed to his unique style.Ray McCarty

Ray’s dramatic use of line and color, along with foreshortening techniques make his work instantly recognizable. We can compare his vision with that of Toulouse-Lautrec in his treatment of the female face & form. McCarty uses live models in all of his portraits. His canvasses capture emotion in all of the many human palettes: proud and haughty, sensual and sexually confident, shy and humble, reflective and contemplative.

During the early 1970s, McCarty relocated to Las Vegas. He was acutely aware of the city’s renegade past and fascinated with its brash, glitzy attitude and began to paint scenes from the town’s early gambling saloons. More on  Ray McCarty



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01 Paintings, MODERN & CONTEMPORARY MIDDLE EASTERN ART, With Footnotes - 2j

Suad Al-Attar (Iraqi, born 1942)
Tears of the soul, c. 2002
Oil on canvas
70 x 84 cm. (27.6 x 33.1 in.)
Private collection

Suad al-Attar (born 1942) is a renowned Iraqi painter whose work is in private and public collections worldwide, including The British Museum and the Gulbenkian Collection. She has held over twenty solo exhibitions, including one in Baghdad that became the first solo exhibition in the country's history for a woman artist. Her many awards include the first prize at the International Biennale in Cairo in 1984 and an award of distinction at the Biennale held in Malta in 1995.

Suad left Baghdad with her husband and children in 1976, and settled in London. For her, the perpetual sense of longing for "home" has always been balanced by an awareness of the freedom that comes with distance. This freedom—a condition that gained added significance following the regime’s rise to power under Saddam Hussein in the late 1970s—has enabled her to explore her relationship with her homeland and to develop a personal visual language with which to express it.


Elements of this language are to be found within the traditions of Middle Eastern art. The winged creatures of Assyrian reliefs, Sumerian sculptures and the illuminated manuscripts of the Baghdadi School were instrumental. However, this awareness of her Arab heritage did not result in slavish imitation, but was forged with her own romantic imagination and an appreciation of western figurative traditions to create enigmatic images in which narrative and symbolism are intertwined.


A substantial monograph documenting her career was published in London in 2004. Much of Suad’s painting is characterised by an intense dreamlike and poetic sensibility that draws on motifs and symbols from within the traditions of Middle Eastern art. In recent years, these richly-coloured representations of paradise and of sleeping cities bathed in turquoise blue, have disappeared from her work as she has become increasingly preoccupied with the plight of Iraq. More on Suad al-Attar




Please visit my other blogs: Art CollectorMythologyMarine ArtPortrait of a Lady, and The Canals of Venice

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

01 Paintings, MODERN & CONTEMPORARY MIDDLE EASTERN ART, With Footnotes - 2i

Adham Wanly (Egypt, 1908-1959)
Nocturne Dabaka Dancers, c. 1956
oil on board
49.2 x 64cm (19 3/8 x 25 3/16in).
Private collection

The dabka, literally 'stamping of the feet' is a type of line dance popular at weddings and celebrations throughout the Middle East. In Wanly's work the figures are gracefully depicted, appearing almost to float across the canvas.


Adham Wanly (1908 in Alexandria, Egypt – 1959) was an Egyptian painter who learnt in the atelier of the Italian Otorino Becchi 1932, then set up his own atelier with his brother Seif Wanly (above), and participated in many local and international exhibition specially Venice, São Paulo (Brasil), Alexandria Biennale.


The Museum of Modern Art in Alexandria displays many of his paintings. The artist is mostly famous for recording the life of the theater and circus. He specialized in the ballet and opera as featured in the Cairo Opera House and the Theatre Mohamed Ali, in Alexandria. The paintings render the stage lights and movements of the people involved and he is able to express the light and agility in various ways. He had a talent in caricature in which he used in mockery of himself and the people of his time. There is now a museum in his memory. More on Adham Wanly






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Thursday, March 7, 2019

01 Painting, MODERN & CONTEMPORARY MIDDLE EASTERN ART, With Footnotes - 2h

Seif Wanly (Egypt, 1906-1979)
Spanish Ballet Dancers
Ooil on board
31.8 x 47.1cm (12 1/2 x 18 9/16in).
Private collection

Seif Waly (March 31, 1906 – February 15, 1979) was an Egyptian painter, born Mohammed Seif al-Din Waly into an aristocratic family, of Turkish origin, in Alexandria, Egypt. He was introduced to modern art after studying at the studio of the Italian artist Otorino Becchi. In 1942 he set up his own studio with his brother Adham Wanly (below) and together they participated in more than 17 exhibitions, notably in the Biennale of Venice and in São Paulo, Brazil. Today an entire floor of the Mahmoud Said Museum in Alexandria is dedicated to Seif and Adham Wanly.

His work is collected by several Museums, including Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Darat AL Funoon in Amman.

He died in 1979 at Stockholm at age of 72. More on Seif Waly





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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

01 Paintings, The amorous game, Part 49 - With Footnotes

Pascale Taurua, France
Ripped jeans
Oil on Canvas.
39.4 H x 31.5 W x 0.8 in

"As women, we know we want to be sexy. But is being sexy just about sex? Not really. It's not even about how we walk or what we wear. It's about our personality and how we say and do what we say and do." Pascale Taurua

Pascale Taurua , born in 1961 is a French painter elected Miss New Caledonia 1977 , then Miss France 1978 . She succeeds Veronica Bundle, Miss France 1977. She is the 48 th Miss France.

A few months after her election, she prefers to return to New Caledonia rather than ensure her role as Miss France in France for a year. Pascale Taurua is now an artist-painter.

Pascale Taurua started painting a young age. She graduated from the Conservatory of Art of Papeete in Tahiti. She lives in Pau in the south of France. She has made painting her profession since 1996. Her work is mainly focused on figurative art. She exhibits her paintings in the Pacific and Metropolitan France. She also makes drawings, and participates in many courses and workshops. More on Pascale Taurua



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01 Paintings, MIDDLE EASTERN ART, With Footnotes - 15

Jamil Hamoudi,  (1924–2003) 
Untitled, c. 1959
Acrylic on board, framed
65 x 54cm (25 9/16 x 21 1/4in)
Private collection

"Calligraphy for the Arab artist was for centuries a major outlet of creativity: he employed it inventively and in endless modulations to express a powerful aesthetic impulse often associated with 'spiritual' feelings, largely because most of the phrases thus written were of a religious nature.

The words were sufficient unto themselves as 'content', the beauty of their meaning being reflected in the beauty of their configuration. With the advent of the one-dimensionist
trend in the sixties, calligraphy for the painter had acquired a freedom of form and significance which the old calligraphers would not consider relevant to their sacred. conventional art." Jabra Ibrahim Jabra. 

Jamil Hamoudi (1924–2003) was an Iraqi artist who became the Director of the Ministry of Culture's Fine Arts Department. He is noted for his involvement in various Iraqi and Arabic art movements including the Hurufiyya movement which bridged the gap between traditional and modern Iraqi art.

Hamoudi started out as a self-taught sculptor in Baghdad. He developed a naturalistic style. In 1944, he was taken on to teach drawing and art history at a school in Baghdad. At the same time he attended classes at the Baghdad College of Fine Arts. He graduated in 1945 and in 1947, took a government scholarship to go to Paris, to study at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Académie Julian, and École du Louvre. He also Hamoudi researched the Assyrian-Babylonian art and languages.

In 1943, he created what has been described as the first Iraqi sculpture; a figure of the 11th-century philosopher-poet, Al-Maʿarri. By 1947, he was experimenting with abstract paintings using Arabic characters, and as such was one of the early pioneers of hurufiyya art. This led him on a path to discover the graphic possibilities of the letter in art.

Certain art historians regard him as the "founding father" of the hurufiyya movemen.  He defined his use of Arabic script in the context of rediscovering his own heritage, amid his studies of European art. He wanted to cling onto his own values and traditions as a means of avoiding being overtaken by experiences outside his own heritage. He wrote that there was nothing more sacred that the Arabic alphabet, saying that his art was "a form of prayer."


In 1973 he was appointed as Director of Fine Arts at the Ministry of Culture. More on Jamil Hamoudi



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