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 Shaker Hassan Al Said  (1925 - 2004)

About: Shaker Hassan Al Said


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Lived/Active: Iraq      Known for: abstract painting with calligraphy

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Born in Samawa, a city southeast of Baghdad, Al Said lived, worked and died in Baghdad.  He received in 1948 a degree in social science from the Higher Institute of Teachers in Baghdad and in 1954 a diploma in painting from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad where he was taught by Jawad Saleem.

He continued his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts* in Paris until 1959, where he was taught by Raymond Legueult. During his stay in Paris, he discovered Western modern art in galleries and Sumerian art at the Louvre.

After his return to Baghdad in 1959, Al Said studied the work of Yahya ibn Mahmud al-Wasiti, sufism* and Mansur Al-Hallaj.  He gradually abandoned figurative expressions and centered his compositions on Arabic calligraphy*.

He co-founded in 1951 with Jawad Saleem Jama'et Baghdad lil Fann al-Hadith (Baghdad Modern Art Group*), one of the most unique arts movements in the Middle East in the post-World War II, that aimed to achieve an artistic approach both modern and embracing of tradition. This specific approach was called Istilham al-turath (Seeking inspiration from tradition), considered as "the basic point of departure, to achieve through modern styles, a cultural vision".  He headed the group after the death of Saleem in 1961.

In 1971, he founded Al Bu'd al Wahad (the One-dimension Group*)",which promoted the modern calligraphic school in Arab art.

"Shakir Hassan Al Said", Wikipedia,

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