My new art heroes are gallerist Hasan Nassar and the artists at his Madarat Gallery.
Did you read Kirk Semple's article in the NYTimes? Read it, really... it's inspiring. Hasan Nassar started an organization called Attitudes Society of Art and Culture in 2004, the gallery opened early last year. Nassar also puts out an arts newspaper, and has an ambitious list of future projects.
The NYTimes article mentions Qasim Sabti, whose Hewar Gallery has been operating since 1992 -
"His gallery remains one of the few remaining hubs for the cultural community here. But even though its cafe is often busy, exhibits are rare. 'Sometimes I am tired, too tired,' said Mr. Sabti".
Qasim Sabti was profiled in this 2003 Steve Mumford feature on Iraqi artists. Here's the Artnet review of a 2006 show of Iraqi artists.
Hasan D. Nassar's Madarat Gallery, 2006 (photo taken from artist Mohammed Sami's site, I think Mohammed is the guy in black).
from the NYTimes article -
"Noori al-Rawi, 82, a painter, curator and art scholar who founded four museums in Baghdad and is regarded by many in the Iraqi art world as one of the pioneers of modern Iraqi art.
Mr. Rawi has become so depressed by the state of his country that he has not picked up a paintbrush for more than two years. He says he is ready to gather all of his art history archives — articles, books, reviews, photographs, slides and paintings — and burn them.
'I feel now that all humanity is against Iraq and against the Iraqi people and against Iraqi history and against Iraqi culture,' Mr. Rawi, frail and slight, said on a recent afternoon while sitting in his dormant studio in western Baghdad. 'We entered an endless dark tunnel.'"
I want to show at Madarat or Hewar Gallery... or something.
(i understand that is probably a pretty stupid thing to say)