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Broken Letter

Contemporary art from Arab countries. Works from 15 artists at the Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Germany.
May 2005

The exhibition, which was organized and produced by the Kunsthalle Darmstadt under the direction of Peter Joch, includes paintings and sculptures from 15 artists. The works go back to 1960 and come principally from private collections and foundations in Saudi Arabia.

An essential point of departure for the curators is the thesis that art from Arabic countries still has to fight the prejudice in the "West" that it is only a "hoard of calligraphically inspired pattern", a "cosmos of ornaments, in which figurative scenes largely remain left out". This is "the first comprehensive exhibition outside of Arab institutions to present central positions" of Arab modernism.

The title "Broken Letter" refers as much to traditional calligraphic patterns as to a contemporary attitude towards signs and ornaments in the consciousness of these traditions. The show presents "surreal groups of figures, large scale figurative "opera scenes", informal color clusters, fragmentation of space in a late expressionist style, contorted figurative bronzes and alienated Obelisks."


(The quotes are from the press release)

11 March - 21 May 2003

Kunsthalle Darmstadt

Steubenplatz 1

Direction: Dr. Peter Joch



Chafik Abboud

Mohammed Al Kacimi

Shakir Hassan Al Said

Faysal Al Samra

Dia Azzawi

Rafik El Kamel

Adam Henein

Mohammed Jasim

Mohammed Omar Khalil


Ahmed Moualla

Fateh Moudarres

Adel Siwi

Ismail Fathah-Al Turk

Karim Risan Zaman

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