The Second issue -Second year of the Makou electronic magazine - Jun. 2021
العدد الثاني- السنة الثانية من مجلة ماكوالإلكترونية - حزيران 2021

We would like to share with you the second issue of the second year of MAKOU electronic Iraqi visual art Magazine, which is managed by the renowned the artist Dia Azzawi in the Arabic language, this issue was devoted to the homage of late Iraqi Artist Mahmoud Sabri (born 14 July 1927 - died 13 April 2012) one of the important pioneer of the Iraqi modern art. We’ve briefed hereunder some of statements in English to give you a very short brief of this activity and let you mainly enjoy the images of the artworks themselves.

In the midst of the revolutionary political movement in Iraq that began since the thirties, especially with the Iraqi Communist Party and some other left and national movements during the monarchy age in Iraq, objecting the government policies and approaches, especially in rapprochement with what was called at the time the Western colonial powers represented by Great Britain, under the influence of this leftist wave that swept the world. Some plastic artists stood out to express their ideas and political ideologies, which in turn belonged to what was called at the time the Soviet Union, expressing in their work the objectives and goals of these ideologies against the governess authority. Among them was the late Mahmoud Sabri, who left his distinguished mark during the fifties through works that varied between political topics and other devoted to expressing the social conditions of the poor classes in addition to what he wrote and published in from of articles criticizing the trend of other renowned artist like Jewad Selim trying to promote his ideological Marxist reference. in 1960 Sabri left Iraq toward Moscow which was the destination of communists at that time. Ssince then it became difficult to follow to know the development of his experience and his intellectual or stylistic developments.

In this issue, MAKOU magazine tried to collect what is possible for the various stages of his attempts. The fifties constituted a special importance within the history of Iraqi art, as there was only a limited number of artworks did not exceed twenty works on paper or canvas, same for the publishing books or articles and references documenting his art courier. For that, to come up with a proper evaluation of his courier will be very difficult, despite its importance compared to the experiences that the artist went through after leaving Iraq to Moscow to study art, or as it is also said to carry out his mural work under the title (My Country), which was planned to be behind Jewad Selim's mural in Liberation square in central Baghdad, but it was not executed.

During the sixties and early seventies, it became clear that he was influenced by the Russian iconic style in form and color with a limited preservation of the remains of his characters from the period of the fifties or iconic products that are in contrast to his entire experiment.

And soon this style was abandoned to a stage called the Sumerians because of its reference to what is known in the ancient Iraqi civilization with the cylinder seal. This stage appeared to have a clear limitation and a non-creative connection with the formation of the seal. With these two opposing orientations he produced abstract works in a common style about Tal al-Zaatar and Chile inspired by the painting (The Rise of Sins) by the Dutch artist Jerome Bosch. After this stylistic diversity, he issued a statement of what he called “quantum realism” in 1971, and after a few years from this date he devoted himself completely to developing his theory until his death in London in 2012.

We hope that this effort will incite the rest of the artist's family, artistic institutions and art studies centers, to work in order to document his artists journey, to trace his experience so he would be positioned in the right place among the other pioneers within the history of Iraqi and Arab art”.

Viewing Mahmoud Sabri's artistic experience is in a way a historical record of political and social rebellious events, coups d’état, and ripples by some young military officers supported by the public and lefties which shaped the modern Iraq and the Arab region charted its political history, and its fate in the following eras, down to the situation we are in today.

For more information about the artist in English pls. refer to:

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