The present painting is by one of the most important Iraqi contemporary artists on the international art scene today, Dia Azzawi, who is also an author, a curator, and an art consultant. Azzawi also plays a very important role in promoting the works of and encouraging Iraqi and Arab art and creating an international platform around it.
Azzawi works on a variety of mediums including monumental sculptures, paper, prints, and artists books, where he fuses poetry by known Arab writers with his visual understanding of the texts, creating beautiful contemporary manuscripts.
Encouraged early in his career by the pioneer Iraqi artist Jawad Selim to study art and archeology at the Faculty of Arts at Baghdad University, his work started out by combining techniques of contemporary painting with motifs drawn from the Sumerian, Assyrian and Babylonian heritage of Iraq, and with geometric patterning and arabesque from the contemporary tribal culture of the desert. From the mid-1960s these elements formed the basis of his painting.
It was at the end of the 1970s that Azzawi developed what is now his distinctive bright colour palette, which continues to be dominant in his work until today.
This present lot is a very fine example from his work from the mid-1980s. His readings and poetry had a very strong impact on his work, which is why he fuses letters with coloured shapes and moves it with strong brush strokes. In the 1980s geometry took its lead in his work, where the space was more relaxed around a mass composition creating the balance in the painting, with straight lines and elements from the alphabets, as we notice in this particular work, the tip of the letter (Ha'a) the sixth letter in the alphabet, at the top right corner of the composition, and the few dots in the lower right part of the composition giving a sense of building.
In 1976 Azzawi left Iraq, and moved to England. He settled in London, where he lives and work today. His work is in permanent collections at the British Museum, World Bank, Institut du Monde Arabe, The Colas Foundation French National Library, The Kinda Foundation, the Ona Foundation, Mathaf Museum in Qatar, and numerous private collections around the world.