Born in 1938 in Baghdad, Iraq, Tariq Ibrahim is a pioneering modern ceramist. He earned his diploma from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad in 1955. Later, Ibrahim pursued his education in...
TARIQ IBRAHIM, Iraq (1938 - 2021)
Born in 1938 in Baghdad, Iraq, Tariq Ibrahim is a pioneering modern ceramist. He earned his diploma from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad in 1955. Later, Ibrahim pursued his education in ceramics at the Central Institute of Applied Arts in Beijing, China, graduating in1964. Ibrahim also trained in Moscow, Russia, before moving to Cuba, where he worked in a ceramics factory from 1966 till1969. Upon his return to Baghdad, he taught ceramics at Baghdad University, College of Fine Arts, from 1970 until 1979.
Ibrahim adopted both archaic and contemporary pottery traditions in his work. He valued the rough, cracked effect subjected by heat in old clay creations. As such, Ibrahim promoted the adoption of contemporary plastic forms while preserving the authentic look of shipped and unfinished pottery. In a modernist approach, Ibrahim often retained fissures and slits on the surface of a pure geometrical form before finishing it with a lustrous glazed texture. He is well-known for his ceramic sculptures featuring architectural structures inspired by historical sites in Iraq. Though smoothly finished, they are toned in earthy colors and marked with signs and symbols that mirror the rustic panorama of Iraq.
Ibrahim incorporated three-dimensional Arabic calligraphy into his ceramics. The most significant feature in his art is the interplay between vividly colored bold geometrical designs and the supple intrusion of a single selected letter. In addition to the ornamental nature of an Arabic letter, he exploited its roundness, lengthiness, and lifting ability, which helped him blend it into an otherwise rigid body. Often the single letter is painted in gold, adding to its historical and spiritual value. Such works remind us of old traditional Islamic pottery in Iraq, which aimed at awakening an inner consciousness through abstract formal representation. Ibrahim maintained the succession of artistic traditions from eras of ancient Iraq to date. Tariq Ibrahim passed away in 2021 in the USA.
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TARIQ IBRAHIM Artwork
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