Arabic Hurufiyya


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Arabic Hurufiyya
Arabic Hurufiyya

Art and Identity

translated from Arabic by Samir Mahmoud.
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The history of a modern art movement in the Arab world.
A book which recollects the history of a modern art movement in the Arab world, called “Hurufiyya.”
Re-inventing calligraphy and focusing on the formal elements of the Arabic letter, it is one of the most significant art movements that took place in the Arab world beginning in the 14th century, and peaking again in mid-20th century. This movement fuses
the traditional and the contemporary, the letter and the sign, in a way that the letter
is perceived as an artistic form and does not require to be read or decrypted.
Written by Charbel Dagher, Arabic Hurufiyya: Art and Identity was published in its first Arabic edition in 1990. Until the publication of Professor Charbel Dagher’s seminal text there had not been much in the form of a book to document the history and contemporary practices of what is often referred to as Letterism.
Although Hurufism traces its roots back many centuries, Professor Dagher’s book is a study of its modern iteration that he regards as having emerged in the late 1940s in the Arab world. The volume credits pioneering artists who have played a leading role in this movement, such as Iraqi Madiha Omar, who was born in Ottoman Aleppo and went on to exhibit in Washington in the 1940s, and Iranian Hossein Zenderoudi, one of the founders of the Saqqakhaneh school of art, established in the mid-twentieth century, that sits on the junction of geometry and calligraphy. Hurufism is also very much a dynamic art form that continues to inspire a new generation of artists using digital media and street art in the Middle East and beyond.
This is the first time that these texts are published in English, and are accessible to a non-Arabic speaking audience.
Charbel Dagher, a professor at the University of Balamand, Koura, Lebanon, has been an active and prominent voice on the Arab cultural scene, mainly in the fields of poetry, Arabic language, and Arab and Islamic arts. He is a journalist and a writer in both Arabic and French.
Dimensions24 x 28cm
Colour illustrations105
shipment Shipments on national territory and abroad in 4/5 working days.


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