"Los tiempos del arte árabe moderno y contemporáneo" (The Times of Modern and Contemporary Arab Art)

Awraq, issue 19,1 (2019)

Entitled "The Times of Modern and Contemporary Arab Art", the latest issue of Awraq, a journal of analysis and thought on the contemporary Arab and Islamic world, is dedicated for the first time to art in the Arab world, with special emphasis on the construction of modernism in the 20th century and current art in the 21st century. With this publication, Casa Árabe wishes to fill a void in textual production on the subject in our country, although with honorable exceptions. The monograph, which provides immediate OA to its content, includes a total of thirteen texts by Spanish and international authors such as Prof. Silvia Naef, Prof. Nadia Radwan, Prof. Nada Shabout, María Gómez López, Dr. Anahi Alviso-Marino, etc.

In parallel with the release of Awraq's latest issue, Casa Árabe organized the fifth conference of the Aula Árabe Universitaria program. The latter was held by Prof. Silvia Naef (University of Geneva) and entitled “The construction of modernism in art in the Arab world”.

Silvia Naef's lecture dealt with the central theme of her paper in Awraq latest issue, namely the period from the 1940s to 1991, which according to the author constitute the decades during which art was adapted to the Western modality, but where references to Arab heritage and culture took on great importance. It was also during this time that the formation of an Arab modernity, based on the heritage and local visual traditions, whether pre-Islamic (Pharaonic or Mesopotamian), Islamic (geometric figures and Arabic calligraphy) or typical of popular art (tattoos, textiles, murals and Berber motifs), became the central theme of the artistic field. Despite the notable differences between individual countries, certain general trends can be observed.