Shakir Hassan Al Said (Iraq, 1925-2004) Window to the Word (Hurrufiyya)

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Lot 16
Shakir Hassan Al Said
(Iraq, 1925-2004)
Window to the Word (Hurrufiyya)

Sold for £ 37,500 (US$ 46,849) inc. premium
Shakir Hassan Al Said (Iraq, 1925-2004)
Window to the Word (Hurrufiyya)
mixed media on cardboard laid onto canvas
signed and dated "1966" on the verso, executed in 1966
125 x 125cm (49 3/16 x 49 3/16in).

Footnotes

  • Please note that in the catalogue the estimate of £10,000-15,000 is incorrect.
    Provenance:
    Property from the family collection of Shakir Hassan Al-Said

    "From a philosophical point of view, according to Al Said, the One-Dimension is eternity, or an extension of the past to the time before the existence of pictorial surface; to the non-surface. To Al Said our consciousness of the world is a relative presence. It is our self-existence while our absence is our eternal presence"
    - Dr Nada Shabout

    An artist of unfathomable versatility, Shaker Hassan's movement from figurative, folk motifs towards an increasingly abstract, spiritual form of calligraphic representation demonstrates the consummate technical and conceptual variety this illustrious artist possessed.

    Conceiving of calligraphy as primarily a form of spiritual practice, Shakir Hassan explores the primitive and mystical functions of the Arab letter form in a manner seldom seen in the history of Islamic calligraphy. Academic, formalized and rigid, calligraphy was traditionally the highest form of religious and court craft in the Arab world.

    Shakir Hassan completely subverts these principles, for him, as with the Sufi's who communicated using a mystical coded numerological alphabet, the meaning pregnant dimensions of calligraphic practice lie in the meditative, introspective and contemplative aspects of the creation of letter-forms.

    The primitive freedom, abstraction and lightness with which Al Said treats his calligraphic representations emphasize the conceptual economy which the One Dimension Group professed. For Al-Said, the "One Dimension", the spiritual point of convergence between the man and the divine, was a mercurial place, a belief aesthetically expressed in the faintness, delicacy and ethereal nature of his calligraphy.

    Densely inter-locked forms, relief-like imprints and a sense of spontaneity all pervade the composition. For his canvas, Al Said chooses the rugged aesthetic of the urban wall, breaking the constraints of conventional "easel" painting and ultimately questioning the validity of the very notion of an "artistic surface".

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that in the catalogue the estimate of £10,000-15,000 is incorrect.
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