01 Painting, Middle East Artists, with Footnotes, #39; Alaa Ismail, Untitled
Iraqi born Alaa Ismail (1974) started practicing the art of calligraphy from a young age. He studied various artistic disciplines at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Baghdad, including decorative arts, Islamic architecture, glass painting and Islamic Art, graduating in 2003. Currently living in Damascus, Syria, Ismail has taught and lead many projects looking into the use of calligraphy within Arab art, as well as promoting the importance of classical Arab music. His paintings seek to use calligraphy in an expressive and gestural manner, displaying words of meaning and poetic significance. This marrying of bold textural strokes combined with Ismail’s love of the Arabic word, successfully presents calligraphy in a colorful layered contemporary style.
Ismail has participated in the 4th Sharjah Calligraphy Biennale in 2010, shown as part of Iraqi Cultural Week in New York in 2009, and exhibited in numerous exhibitions in Iraq, Syria and Jordan. In 2010 he won first prize at the Al Burda Awards for modern calligraphy, an award presented by the Abu Dhabi Ministry of Culture. More on Alaa Ismail
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