In this issue, we go back to basics and review definitions of frequently (or infrequently) words in the art world while referencing art from the MENASA region. IN THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES, YOU’LL DISCOVER AN ALPHABETICAL LIST OF ART-RELATED WORDS PAIRED WITH ARTWORKS THAT BEST ILLUSTRATE EACH WORD’S MEANING. ALL WORKS ARE BY MIDDLE EASTERN ARTISTS WHO HAVE LEFT AN INDELIBLE IMPRINT UPON THE INTERNATIONAL ART SCENE.
A time of revival and rebirth of art, culture and science in 14th-century Europe marking the transition from the ancient world to the modern “enlightenment” period. The conflict between idealism and realism was characteristic of High Renaissance portraiture with many of the great 16th-century masters treating portraiture as a side-line, e.g. Raphael, or as submerged individuality in atmospheric effects.
(b.1972, Cairo Egypt, live and works in New York, USA)
Blurring the lines between painting and photography, Youssef Nabil says that “Cinema is the distillation of life.” Through this lens, he began staging tableaus in which his friends acted out melodramas recalling film stills from the golden age of Egyptian cinema. The 1990s marked a period when he began a series of photographs of artists, singers, musicians and celebrities that saw him portray them in dream-like, atmospheric and surreal situations far removed from their public personas as a kind of rebirth. Catherine Deneuve sees the famous French artist captured wearing a tarha, Arabic for the headscarf used to covering hair that had been depicted in Renaissance portrait paintings and was historically worn in the Middle East outside of religious connotations long before it arrived in the Arabian Peninsula during the seventh century.
A visual art and technical drawing illustration, an idea. It is the process of formulating, adding colour, shading and adding texture to an image.
An exact copy or reproduction of something is a close – sometimes exact – likeness. It is usually smaller than the original, resembling this in its shape and appearance.
(b.1977 Berkeley, USA, lives and works in Vancouver, CA)
The Weight of the World, a staggering seven-foot fibreglass replica of a statue originally found in an appendix to the Parthenon, forms part of a larger body of work by Iranian Canadian artist Babak Golkar consisting of taxidermy, ceramics and 3D-printed ABS, among other materials. The series questions values of creation and the role of the artist in governing these systems. The sculpture, the artist notes “is an incredibly insensitive afterthought and maybe one of the first representations that describes the weight of the world on women.” Golkar’s research-informed practice stems from his interest in the relationship between space and human conditions as a way to both examine and upend established ways of looking. The artist’s signature working process employs deconstruction, replication and transformation.
A VERSION OF THIS ARTICLE APPEARED IN PRINT IN SELECTIONS, ART GLOSSARY #52 PAGE 126-129.