Online event Conference

Textual Abstraction within Transnational Modernism

Hamed Abdalla, ‘Lost or Escaped’ 1966
Hamed Abdalla, Lost or Escaped 1966. Tate. © Family Hamed Abdalla

Explore how artists experimented with script and letterforms in North Africa, West Asia and South Asia in the wake of independence movements

This symposium will bring together scholars and researchers to explore an artistic current that transformed Arabic (including Persian and Urdu) letters and script into abstract visual forms across North Africa, West Asia and South Asia in the wake of independence movements and the rise of avant-garde groups and schools.

The discussions will take a comparative transnational approach to explore the ways in which artists engaged with the abstract and expressive possibilities of script either independently or through the formation of 'schools' (Khartoum school, Casablanca Art School) and movements (Lettrism, Hurufiyya, Saqqakhana) at critical moments of transformation throughout the 20th century, particularly against the socio-political context of decolonization. This framework will open up questions around the development of transnational aesthetics of decolonization, as well as how these practices gesture at broader networks and spheres of affiliation, beyond national frameworks.

Programme

Friday 6 November – Part One

17.30–17.35

  • Introduction by Professor Sussan Babaie, Professor in the Arts of Islam and Iran, The Courtauld

17.35–18.15

  • Presentations
    • Professor Iftikhar Dadi, Associate Professor, Cornell University
    • Dr Fereshteh Daftari, Independent Curator and Scholar

18.15–18.35

  • Panel discussion moderated by Professor Sussan Babaie, Professor in the Arts of Islam and Iran, The Courtauld

18.35–19.00

  • Q&A from the audience

Watch the recording

Friday 13 November – Part Two

17.30–17.35

  • Introduction by Nabila Abdel Nabi, Curator, International Art, Tate

17.35–18.15

  • Presentations
    • Professor Salah M. Hassan, Goldwin Smith Professor, Cornell University, and Director, The Africa Institute, Sharjah, UAE
    • Professor Nada Shabout, Professor, University of North Texas

18.15–18.35

  • Panel discussion moderated by Nabila Abdel Nabi, Curator, International Art, Tate

18.35–19.00

  • Q&A from the audience

Watch the recording

Download the full programme [PDF 1.38 Mb]


This event is organised by Hyundai Tate Research Centre: Transnational in collaboration with The Courtauld.

Online Event

Dates

6 November 2020 at 17.30–19.00

13 November 2020 at 17.30–19.00

In partnership with