• International Modern & Contemp auction at Christies

    Sale 7893

    International Modern & Contemporary Art, Including Masterpieces from The Collection of Dr. Mohammed Said Farsi

    27 April 2010, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel

  • Lot 8

    Ahmed Moustafa (Egyptian, b. 1943)

    Flowers That Sing The Dreams Of The Earth

    Price Realised  


    Ahmed Moustafa (Egyptian, b. 1943)
    Flowers That Sing The Dreams Of The Earth
    each signed, dated and numbered (lower left)
    silkscreen print on paper; polyptych of four panels
    Each: 41 3/8 x 41 3/8in. (105 x 105 cm.); Overall: 82¾ x 82¾in. (210 x 210cm.)
    Excecuted in 2002, this work is number eleven from an edition of twenty five (4)

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    Ahmed Moustafa's calligraphic works visualize the text embedded in them. In the present work, comprising four panels, a line of poetry by Abdullah bin Al-Mu'tazz (c. 861-909) is arranged to resemble flowerheads in combinations of complimentary and harmonious colours.

    Having originally trained as a figurative painter in the European tradition at Alexandria University, where he then taught, in 1974 Ahmed Moustafa went to London's Central School of Art and Design to study advanced printmaking, and later began to lecture at the same school on Arabic calligraphy. He went on to research the khatt al-mansub (proportional script) of the 10th century Abbasid calligrapher Ibn Muqla, and received his doctorate from St Martin's College of Art and Design in 1989. After 11 years of painstaking study, he revealed the exact geometric grid underlying Ibn Muqla's script, whose time-honoured formula has been followed for a thousand years.

    Having rediscovered his Islamic roots, Moustafa emerged convinced that innovation in art and the devotional practice of Islamic art are not irreconcilable. Fusing his training as a painter, scribe and scholar, his paintings from that period incorporate sections from the Holy Qur'an or from early Islamic texts, visualised through colour and form to create complex images that can be appreciated at once on several different levels- from the precise content of text to the abstract composition of the words and colours.

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    Pre-Lot Text



    Saeb Eigner, Art of the Middle East: Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World and Iran, London, 2010, p.70.