BA Organizes “Hurufiyya: Art and Identity” Exhibition

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The BA Art Exhibitions and Collections Department, in cooperation with Barjeel Art Foundation, will inaugurate “Hurufiyya: Art and Identity” on 30 November 2016.

The exhibition explores the impact that Hurufiyya—an art form that re-emerged in the mid-20th century—has had in the last century. Marking a break from a previous era of creative output, Hurufiyya (loosely translated as ‘letterism’) was one of the most significant movements in modern Arab art history. Through various aspects of the style, its expression throughout the region, and its trajectory into the present, the exhibition introduces different moments, approaches, and artists, and their concerns over the 20th and 21st century.

On the occasion of the opening, Sultan Sooud al Qassemi, founder of UAE-based Barjeel Art Foundation, will give a talk at 1:00 pm, and Professor Charbel Dagher, an active and prominent scholar on the Arab cultural scene, will also be giving a lecture titled “Exploring Art and Identity in Hurufiyya” at 3:00 pm.

Gamal Hosni, Director of the BA Art Exhibitions and Collections Department, said that the BA aims to promote modern and contemporary arts among its local and foreign visitors. “One of our special points of interest is artistic creativity that is linked to literature, texts, alphabets, languages, or storytelling, he said. “This is why the BA holds a regular special event that is concerned with these ideas and applications”.

“Within this context, he added, the Huruffiya Exhibition is very relevant and appropriately highlights and gives depth to this particular line of creativity. We are glad and proud to collaborate with Barjeel Art Foundation on this enlightening project.”

Karim Sultan, Curator, Barjeel Art Foundation, said: “One of our objectives is to investigate, develop, and exhibit various aspects of regional art history. Hurufiyya is an important 20th Century movement that lies between the international modern art of the day and concerns of artists in the Arab world. It is a fascinating entry point to exploring works and styles from the 20th Century to our present moment.”

Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi, Founder, Barjeel Art Foundation, said: “Alexandria Library is a beacon of knowledge and enlightenment in a region that is experiencing great uncertainty. We are proud to be associated with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and to bring to it a selection of Arabic huruffiya works by modern and contemporary artists.”

“Hurufiyya: Art and Identity” explores the origins of the movement and its route to the present through 8 works, illustrating snapshots by artists who pioneered the movement—namely Madiha Omar, Dia Azzawi, Kamal Boullata, Rafa Al Nasiri, Shakir Hassan Al Said, Rachid Koraichi, and Omar El Nagdi—from across the modern world, including Palestine, Iraq, Algeria, and Egypt.

The exhibition inauguration is going to be held at 5:00 pm on Wednesday, 30 November 2016, and it will be open to the public daily from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm until 28 January 2017.