Ahmad Shibrain (Sudan, 1931-2017) Letters from Khartoum

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Lot 44
Ahmad Shibrain
(Sudan, 1931-2017)
Letters from Khartoum

Sold for £ 45,062 (US$ 53,339) inc. premium
Ahmad Shibrain (Sudan, 1931-2017)
Letters from Khartoum
mixed media on paper, framed
signed in Arabic (lower left), executed circa 1970
36 x 36cm (14 3/16 x 14 3/16in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Property from a private collection, Cumbria
    Purchased directly from the artist by the above, who was a teacher at the University of Khartoum in the late 1960's

    Ahmed Shibrain is an integral and leading figure of Modernism in Sudan. Shibrain was born in 1931 in Berber, Sudan. In the early 1950s, Shibrain studied at the Khartoum Technical Institute when the institution was the hub of contemporary African art of the region and in 1957 he went onto studying at the Central School of Art and Design in London. Alongside his influential contemporaries Ibrahim El-Salahi and Kamala Ishag, Shibrain was one of the founders of The Khartoum School in the 1960s. The Khartoum School was a movement of visual artists who cultivated a new visual style called Sudanawiyya, which expressed local and Pan-African traditions alongside Western influences. Through the use of calligraphy, the aesthetics of hurufiyya (transforming Arabic letters into abstract shapes; named after harf the Arabic word for letter) and Islamic motifs, the movement attempted to convey the cultural fabric of Sudan. After returning to Khartoum, Shibrain became the head of the graphics department at his former college in 1970, and its dean in 1975. He was known for his design of presidential medals, postal stamps and various ebony murals. He held numerous exhibitions in Africa and abroad, published several books and critical essays and held many functional and academic positions in Sudan. In 1966 Shibrain founded the non-profit Shibrain Art Gallery which showcases Sudanese artists.

    "As students, we used to rush into the other art studios, but entering his studio, we were always well-prepared as we felt that we were in the presence of creativity and achievement. He used to spend 10 minutes with each student, discussing their creative productions. Those 10 minutes were more than enough to feed us for the whole week, as they were so deep and interesting. Shibrain was fully aware of our potential and was the flaming fire that fed our creativity. We, as students, felt that he was living this 'age of the arts', and that he was always up to date and fully aware of where the arts was going" -Professor Hussein Jumaan
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