Between Legend and Reality - Modern Art from the Arab World

23. November 2002 - 19. January 2003


This exhibition, coming from the permanent collection of the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts in Amman, is an attempt to present the human face of the Arab world that has recently been distorted in the hope that cultural exchange can lead to greater understanding and peace among different peoples. The exhibition aims to give a clear view of the development of modern art in the Arab countries by showing a range of works by both male and female artists from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. It illustrates the issues that have occupied their thoughts while reflecting on their creative output in various artistic styles and media. Socio-political and gender themes make their presence felt strongly through numerous expressive modes, as well as the return to tradition and heritage that connects artists to their spiritual and mythical past. Islam?s restriction on figurative imagery was, and still is, in effect in places of worship. Although the training of all Islamic artists today is Western orientated, they usually share a common search for an artistic identity that allows them to combine their Eastern origins with their Western education and way of life.

The curator of the exhibition is Her Royal Highness Princess Wijdan Ali, who holds a Ph.D. degree in Islamic Art from London University.

The exhibition is done in cooperation with the Akureyri Art Museum.

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Laila Shawa

Laila Shawa


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