01 Work, MIDDLE EAST ARTISTS, The art of War, Abed Abdi’s Expulsion from the Homeland, with Footnotes

Henry Zaidan
3 min readMar 2, 2024
Abed Abdi
Expulsion from the Homeland, c. 1967

Oil on canvas
56 by 76cm.; 22 by 29 3/4 in.
Private collection

Palestinian art history is largely characterized by fragmentation, both in style and content, which is a result of ongoing wars and displacement of people. Despite historical ruptures in time and space, artists have flourished in a multitude of voices and places to create a vibrant Palestinian art scene. The featured works by Abed Abdi (Lot 77), Samira Badran (Lot 78) and Asim Abu Shakra (Lot 79) are archetypal of Palestinian art in the aftermath of war, reflecting unique and distinct styles expressing the broad struggles and experiences of the Palestinians. More on this painting

Abed Abdi (born February 1942 in Haifa) is a Palestinian painter, graphic designer, sculptor and art lecturer.

Abdi worked as a blacksmith and illustrated Arabic publications that appeared in Israel. After studying in Dresden, Abdi became the first Palestinian to build monumental art on native soil. His allegorical monuments in Galilee, honoring human fortitude and resistance, include a narrative mural depicting Elijah’s defiance and survival and a bronze Land Day memorial.

Abdi held his first exhibition in Tel Aviv in 1962. He then pursued academic studies at the Fine Arts Academy in Dresden (Germany). His masterwork at the academy received the 2nd prize, which allowed Abdi to spend another year at the academy and specialize in murals and environmental sculpture. In 1972 he returned to Haifa, and worked as graphic designer for a number of Arabic language publications, taught arts and designed murals. The city of Haifa awarded Abdi the “Hermann Struck Best Artist of the Year” Prize in 1973. That year, he also obtained the Young Artist’s award at the Berlin International Youth Festival. The city of Haifa awarded him the “Best Artist of the Year Hermann Struck” award for the second time in 1999.

Abdi is an active member of the Haifa branch of the Israeli Association of Painters and Sculptures, as well as the Jewish-Arab Center of Beit Hagefen. This has enabled him to unite Palestinian and Israeli artists, and organize joint exhibitions. Abdi founded the Ibda’ society for the promotion of visual arts in the Arab Israeli sector and Ara belle — Visual Arts Workshop in Haifa, for the promotion of the visual arts and intercultural dialogue through the arts. Abdi is president of Al Midan Theater in Haifa. He has been teaching fine arts in the Arab Pedagogical College in Haifa since 1985. More on Abed Abdi

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Henry Zaidan

In my Blog is an Online collection of significant paintings from the 1st century to today; complete with art-history and artist bibliographies.