“Islam & Surrealism: Abdel Hadi el-Gazzar’s Postwar Painting in Egypt” with Alex Dika Seggerman
In conjunction with the exhibition Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s
at the McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College
The McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College welcomes Rutgers University Professor Alex Dika Seggerman for a virtual presentation that delves into her recent publication, Modernism on the Nile: Art in Egypt between the Islamic and the Contemporary (2019). In the years after World War II, the Egyptian artist Abdel Hadi el-Gazzar (1925–66) developed a style of oil painting that incorporated Islamic mysticism with surrealist principles. With this practice, Gazzar aimed to make art more accessible to the Egyptian people while also participating in transnational post-surrealist art movements. Drawing from Modernism on the Nile, Seggerman argues that Gazzar’s local and transnational connections are evidence of “constellational modernism,” a framework for understanding modern art in Egypt that challenges Euro-centric narratives of modernism and expands Islamic art history into the modern era.
Register for this lecture with Alex Dika Seggerman at https://tinyurl.com/yynw3jg6
Organized by the McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College.
Alex Dika Seggerman is Assistant Professor of Art History at Rutgers University-Newark. She is author of Modernism on the Nile: Art in Egypt between the Islamic and the Contemporary (University of North Carolina Press, 2019) and co-editor of the forthcoming Making Modernity in the Islamic Mediterranean (Indiana University Press, 2021). In 2020, she participated in the Grey’s online symposium, “Taking Shape: New Perspectives on Arab Abstraction, A Zoom Webinar Series.”