MAHMOUD HAMMAD, Syria (1923 - 1988)
Born in 1923 in Damascus, Mahmoud Hammad received a scholarship that enabled him to study painting, printmaking, and metal engraving, at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome, from between 1953 to 1957. Back in Syria, he started teaching art in Daraa before settling in the capital city in 1960 when he also helped for the founding of the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Damascus. In parallel to his teaching career, he was dean of the faculty And from 1970 to 1980. The various skills and knowledge led the artist to find his particular style, mixing with diverse tendencies and inspirations; his earlier oeuvre embodies the national concern, in addition to works that draw the reality of the “Syrian” environment. A revealing stage of his oeuvre is observed in his late abstract calligraphic period when he took creativeness from the Quran, reusing the verses in his compositions. He would integrate the words and the letters through a modern approach, considering them as forms by themselves. Different from classical calligraphy, the letters become more geometrical, and the lines are simplified. The visual render is more important than narrative significance. Mahmoud Hammad died in 1988.
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