Dia Azzawi (Iraq, born 1939) Architectural Composition

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Lot 6* AR
Dia Azzawi
(Iraq, born 1939)
Architectural Composition

Sold for £ 62,750 (US$ 85,871) inc. premium
Dia Azzawi (Iraq, born 1939)
Architectural Composition
oil on canvas
signed "Dia Azzawi " and dated "68" in Arabic (lower right), executed in 1968
50 x 114cm (19 11/16 x 44 7/8in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Property from a distinguished collector

    A HIGHLY SIGNIFICANT EARLY PAINTING BY DIA AZZAWI

    "You draw on paper, crescents and signs that lead the traveler to your heart, arousing hope in Baghdad, who invited you into her mornings like a woman full of desire. You called your pictures by her name, like a lover who searches in the corners of memory for friendly signs, a square or a rectangle, a suggestion of a palm tree or a coffee pot, or the faces of tired women in love, hovering between al-Risafa and al-Karkh, between the beginning and the end of a dream ?" - Dia Azzawi "A Hommage to Jewad Selim"


    Compositionally, the present work is perhaps the archetypal of the artistic milleu that Dia Azzawi was operating in during the 1960's, the work flawlessly expresses the aesthetic and conceptual agenda of the "Baghdad Group of Modern Art" which was founded by Jewad Selim and Shakir Hassan Al-Said. The Baghdad group was defined by an attempt to reconcile the grand visual legacy of the past within the contemporary cultural and nationalistic narrative of 20th century Iraq.

    Mixing traditional Iraqi and Islamic motifs with a modernist visual language, Azzawi weaves a form of "folk modernism" which is both vernacular and universal. Focusing on the architectural city scape of downtown Baghdad, Azzawi's composition is stylised and simplified, almost creating a artistic caricature of Baghdad's skyline. A formative painting within Azzawi's body of work, it would set the tone for his later more innovative contributions to the progress of Iraqi Modernism. Painted while the artist was still in his 20's, "Architectural Composition" is a stylistically sophisticated example of a burgeoning modernist movement in Iraq.
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