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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."
11 March - 21 May 2003
Direction: Dr. Peter Joch
Mohammed Al Kacimi
Shakir Hassan Al Said
Faysal Al Samra
Rafik El Kamel
Mohammed Omar Khalil
Ismail Fathah-Al Turk
Karim Risan Zaman
Internat. Architecture Exhibition, 22 May - 21 November 2021. Curator: Hashim Sarkis.
59th International Art Exhibition, 23 April - 27 November 2022. Artistic Director: Cecilia Alemani.