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Session 3: Modern Art in Algeria and Egypt
Between the 1950s and the 1980s, Arab countries were transformed through decolonization, the rise of nationalism, socialism, rapid industrialization, and wars and mass migrations. At the same time, artists were revitalizing their practices, finding inspiration in Arabic calligraphy, geometry and mathematics, and local topographies. Hannah Feldman, Associate Professor of Art History, Northwestern, will focus on abstract art in Algeria; and Alex Dika Seggerman, Assistant Professor of Islamic Art History, Rutgers University–Newark, on figurative art in Egypt. Moderated by Sarah-Neel Smith, Assistant Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism, Maryland Institute College of Art.

"Taking Shape: New Perspectives on Arab Abstraction, A Zoom Webinar Series" is being recorded and will be made available captioned on our website at a future date.

Co-organized by NYU's Grey Art Gallery and Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, and co-sponsored by ArteEast. Offered in conjunction with the exhibition "Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s," on view at NYU's Grey Art Gallery in early 2020.

Madiha Umar, ''Untitled,'' 1978 (detail). Watercolor on paper. Collection of the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE

Jun 18, 2020 06:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Hannah Feldman
Associate Professor @Northwestern University
Hannah Feldman is Associate Professor of Art History at Northwestern University. She has published widely on the relationship of aesthetics to geopolitical conflict in journals, including "Artforum," "Art Journal," "Frieze," "Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art," "October," and "Third Text," as well as in exhibition catalogues. Her first book is "From a Nation Torn: Decolonizing Art and Representation in France" (Duke University Press, 2014). From 2008 to 2010 she was chair of "Art Journal"’s editorial board.
Alex Dika Seggerman
Assistant Professor @Rutgers University–Newark
Alex Dika Seggerman is Assistant Professor of Islamic Art History at Rutgers University–Newark. She has published essays on modern Egyptian and Egyptian Surrealism. Her first book, is "Modernism on the Nile: Art in Egypt between the Islamic and the Contemporary" (University of North Carolina Press, 2019). She is currently co-editing "Making Modernity: 19th Century Art in the Islamic Mediterranean" (Indiana University Press, forthcoming 2021), which will include her chapter analyzing the impact of reproducible image technologies on Cairo’s Muhammad Ali Mosque.
Sarah-Neel Smith
Assistant Professor @Maryland Institute College of Art
Sarah-Neel Smith is Assistant Professor of Art History, Theory, and Criticism at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her current book project, "Metrics of Modernity: Art and Development in Postwar Turkey" focuses on the intersection of modern art and economic development after World War II, and she is working on a second book on American contemporary artists, curators, and collectors’ engagement with Islamic art from the 1960s to the present.