Experiment with Calligraphy

Saloua Raouda Choucair Lebanese

Not on view

This work belongs to a series that Choucair termed "geometric paintings," which mark her first attempts to move toward Islamic or Arab points of reference and away from her training in the Western academic tradition of figuration. Here, overlapping fields of color frame a column of characters drawn using a restricted formal vocabulary of straight lines and curves. While the composition is not readable, the title suggests a relationship between these abstract forms and written language. The central vertical sequence also recalls a series of Choucair’s later sculptures she named "poems." Composed of stacks of three-dimensional units, these works evoke the modular nature of modern high-rise buildings. This relationship between language and architecture is mirrored in the Arabic-language term for a poetic verse (or bayt), which can also mean "house."

Experiment with Calligraphy, Saloua Raouda Choucair (Lebanese, Beirut 1916–2017 Beirut), Gouache on paperboard

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