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10 December 2008 - 07 February 2009

© Fateh Moudarres
Wada Al- Aliha Fi Beirut, 1976
Courtesy of Art Space Gallery, Dubai


Curated by Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath

December 10, 2008 – February 7, 2009

“ItaliaArabia” juxtaposes 80 paintings by mid 20th century Italian artists with paintings and sculptures by Lebanese, Egyptian, Syrian and Iranian artists revealing the influence that one culture has had on the other. A collection of 100 additional manuscripts, textiles, musical instruments and cartographic documents create a historical frame of reference for an entire millennium of Italian, Ottoman, Safavid and Qajar convergences that led up to the visual and thematic exchanges of the 20th century.
Between the years 1940 and 1965, several artists from the Arab-Persian world could be found studying at the fine art academies of Rome, Milan, Venice, and Florence. In this post Second World War period much of European art was moving towards the reinvention of a less sentimental Classical tradition, expressing aesthetic, liturgical and political concerns. Those “student-artists” were to eventually become some of the leading masters back in their home countries and introduce 20th century Italian influences to the modern and contemporary art of the Middle East.

Featured artists include:

Lebanon: Hussein Madi, Paul Guiragossian
Egypt: Saif Wanly Hamed Oweiss
Iran: Nasser Ovissi, Praviz Tanavoli
Syria: Fateh Moudarress, Louay Kayyali
Italy: Massimo Campigli, Giulio Turcato, Alberto Magneli and Gino Severini

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