Iftikhar Dadi, Associate Professor of History of Art, Cornell University, and Nada Shabout, Professor of Art History, University of North Texas, will explore how the artists in "Taking Shape" “reterritorialized” the Arabic alphabet and made its aesthetic more accessible to the larger world, not only in detaching Arabic letterforms from Islamic calligraphy and religious history but also in liberating them from their semantic functions. In stripping Arabic letters of their former meanings, artists enabled them to signal modern (pan-)Arab identity and the decolonization of culture. Moderated by Pepe Karmel, Associate Professor of Art History, New York University.
"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 2020.
Madiha Umar, ''Untitled,'' 1978 (detail). Watercolor on paper. Collection of the Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE