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Taking Shape: New Perspectives on Arab Abstraction
Session 3: Modern Art in Algeria and Egypt

Taking Shape: New Perspectives on Arab Abstraction, A Zoom Webinar Series
Session 3: Modern Art in Algeria and Egypt
Co-organized by NYU’s Grey Art Gallery and Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, and co-sponsored by ArteEast.

Until the late 1960s, 20th-century art from the Middle East and North Africa was greatly understudied. Yet by the turn of the millennium, scholars, museum curators, and collectors were actively engaged in creating a global art history. Among questions to be considered are: Why did modern artists from these regions choose to create nonfigurative works? How can we approach Arab abstraction without falling back on borrowed methodologies?

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.

Closed captions available.