01 Painting, Middle East Artists, Ahmed Shibrain’s Letters from Khartoum, with Footnotes, #54

Mixed media on paper
36 x 36cm (14 3/16 x 14 3/16in).
Private collection

Ahmed Shibrain is an integral and leading figure of Modernism in Sudan. Shibrain was born in 1931 in Berber, Sudan. In the early 1950s, Shibrain studied at the Khartoum Technical Institute, and in 1957 he went onto studying at the Central School of Art and Design in London. Alongside his influential contemporaries Shibrain was one of the founders of The Khartoum School in the 1960s. The Khartoum School was a movement of visual artists who cultivated a new visual style called Sudanawiyya, which expressed local and Pan-African traditions alongside Western influences. Through the use of calligraphy, the aesthetics of hurufiyya (transforming Arabic letters into abstract shapes; named after harf the Arabic word for letter) and Islamic motifs, the movement attempted to convey the cultural fabric of Sudan. After returning to Khartoum, Shibrain became the head of the graphics department at his former college in 1970, and its dean in 1975. He was known for his design of presidential medals, postal stamps and various ebony murals. He held numerous exhibitions in Africa and abroad, published several books and critical essays and held many functional and academic positions in Sudan. In 1966 Shibrain founded the non-profit Shibrain Art Gallery which showcases Sudanese artists. More on Ahmed Shibrain

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