Earliest artworks

This section features some of the earliest artworks in the Barjeel collection, created by artists from Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Palestine. It presents a variety of representations of the human figure – from academic portraits and stylized scenes of everyday life, to symbolic depictions of people as embodiments of angst. This group of works is also an interesting window into the diversity of backgrounds from which modern artists in the Arab World came from – here we can see paintings by artists with Armenian, Jewish, and Greek backgrounds. We can also see works by artists who were pivotal in the development of the art in the region, for instance Adham Wanly, who along with his brother Seif Wanly established the first art atelier in Alexandria in 1935, or Faiq Hassan, who founded Baghdad’s Ar-ruwwād (The Pioneers) art collective in 1950.

Text by Suheyla Takesh

© Photo: Courtesy of Barjeel Art Foundation, Photography by Capital D Studio

A Century in Flux - photos

Highlights from the Barjeel Art Foundation. Sharjah Art Museum, UAE, 12 May 2018 - 31 May 2023. Curators: Salwa Mikdadi, Mandy Merzaban, Karim Sultan.

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