• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7477

    International Modern and Contemporary Art

    31 October 2007, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel

  • Lot 14

    MAHMOUD HAMMAD (SYRIAN, 1923-1988)

    Iqraa bism

    Price Realised  


    MAHMOUD HAMMAD (SYRIAN, 1923-1988)
    Iqraa bism
    signed and dated 'Hammad 1982' and signed again in Arabic (lower left); signed and titled in Arabic (on the reverse)
    oil on canvas
    47¼ x 58¾in. (120 x 149cm.)
    Painted in 1982

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    The text is from the Holy Qur'an, Sura al-Aalq (96) verse 1.

    Since the 1950s the use of Arabic letters and calligraphy in contemporary Arab painting and sculpture has spread rapidly. In fact, and that it became rare for any Arab artist not to experiment with these traditional motifs.
    Hammad's approach was quite different from most. Rather than attempting to treat the characters in a clear, readable way, his style instead developed into a more mysterious way of rendering the words, expressing their message his highly abstracted compositions.