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History & Heritage


From hieroglyphics to calligraphy, The Louvre Abu Dhabi puts writing in the spotlight

The first exhibition of the year 2021 for the Louvre in Abu Dhabi is an opportunity to highlight the evolution of writing and to explore the cultural links that innervate more than 80 works of abstract art from the Kingdom.

If many Western lands have seen the birth of artists of all times and are recognized worldwide today, they owe much to the Eastern civilization from which they have been able to borrow much inspiration, particularly in the field of writing

The last exhibition at the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, entitled Abstraction and Calligraphy, brilliantly demonstrated how artists of the early 20th century were able to create a visual vocabulary while borrowing the technique of Asian and Islamic calligraphy as a base material.

This is what the renowned Abu Dhabi Museum wanted to showcase in its first exhibition of the year. Between hieroglyphics, kufic writing, and Zen calligraphy, the Louvre presents all the writing systems that artists such as Paul Klee, Joan Miro and André Masson, and Wassily Kandinsky have studied and dissected to bring new forms to their canvases.

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The exhibition, which opened its doors to the public a few days ago, consists of a collection of more than 80 works of abstract art created by precursor artists of the Western and Arabic canonical period.

Divided into four sections, the exhibition examines the elements of abstract art, the use of symbols, expressionist tendencies and its links to calligraphy. Evidence of the importance of Western art history, the Louvre in Abu Dhabi puts into perspective the role of Eastern visual arts by combining both works and artifacts with contemporary paintings by Arab and Asian artists.

The masterworks in Abstraction and Calligraphy, some on display in the region for the very first time, are exceptional for many reasons” says Mohamed Al Mubarak, chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. “Not only because they have been crafted by some of the world’s most celebrated artists, but because they tell stories of discovery and inspiration across time, cultures and geographies.”

An exhibition not to be missed! 

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Published on 19 February 2021