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In this section, the visitor see representations of the human figure in a multitude of settings and configurations—from women as personifications of national symbols to men in a bathhouse—presenting a medley of social and political subjects that works in the Barjeel collection address.
The 1977 work by Suleiman Mansour titled Sad Tunes (third from the left) portrays women in the traditional Palestinian embroidered dress, a common depiction of the female adorned with national symbolism which underscores the artist’s intention to capture Palestinian heritage and customs through painting, thus upholding Palestinian national identity. Born in 1947, Mansour spent his teenage years between Bethlehem and Birzeit painting portraits. He attended the Bezalel Art Academy in Jerusalem in 1967, where he became acquainted with European art theory. With a particular focus on the city of Jerusalem, orange and olive trees, and indigenous villagers, Mansour depicts the lushness and deprivation of his homeland. His figures are portrayed in ways that signal their connection to their ancestral lands.
Text by Suheyla Takesh and Mandy Merzaban
© Photo: Courtesy of Barjeel Art Foundation, Photography by Capital D Studio
Highlights from the Barjeel Art Foundation. Sharjah Art Museum, UAE, 12 May 2018 - 31 May 2023. Curators: Salwa Mikdadi, Mandy Merzaban, Karim Sultan.