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Nja Mahdaoui (Tunisian, b. 1937)
Lots are subject to 5% import Duty on the importat… Read more THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR
Nja Mahdaoui (Tunisian, b. 1937)

Jorf II

Nja Mahdaoui (Tunisian, b. 1937)
Jorf II
signed in Arabic (lower left)
India ink, acrylic, gold and silver paint on canvas
78¾ x 39 3/8in. (200 x 100cm.)
Executed in 2007
Galerie El Marsa, El Marsa.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Special Notice

Lots are subject to 5% import Duty on the importation value (low estimate) levied at the time of collection shipment within UAE. For UAE buyers, please note that duty is paid at origin (Dubai) and not in the importing country. As such, duty paid in Dubai is treated as final duty payment. It is the buyer's responsibility to ascertain and pay all taxes due.

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Lot Essay

Charmingly known as the 'Choreographer of Letters', Tunisian artist Nja Mahdaoui is heavily inspired by Arabic calligraphy and has managed to transform the Arabic letter into pictorial art. Remarkably innovative in his use of an aesthetic dimension, he creates dispositions between clearly marked geometrical figures and flows of tiny gold writings that are undecipherable. In Jorf II Mahdaoui's use of overlapping geometrical shapes and meaningless calligraphy brings forth an intense spatial rhythm interweaving through tradition and Modernism.
Meaning 'cliff' in Arabic, Jorf II implies a sense of dizzying height. In this way, the calligraphy Mahdaoui has implemented offers a rhythmic and melodic composition that is juxtaposed against the harsh angles of the shapes he has used. They conjure up the sharp and dangerous edges of the cliffs that are reminiscent of his native Tunisia. Strongly influenced by Tunisian cultural traditions, such as textile arts, Mahdaoui manages to harmonise traditional calligraphic styles with a thoroughly modern sensibility.

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