"BE! AND IT IS." VISUAL PHILOLOGY AS RADICAL HUMANISM IN THE WORK OF KAMAL BOULLATA"
Finbarr Barry Flood, Silsila/NYU
The play between word and image in the work of the Palestinian polymath Kamal Boullata (1942-2019) is suffused with a humanistic sensibility. This lecture considers the nature of Boullata’s humanism and its implications for understanding the entanglements between aesthetics, ethics and history in his painting and writing.
Organized by Silsila: Center for Material Histories, NYU, and co-sponsored by NYU's Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies and Grey Art Gallery.
The lecture is offered in conjunction with the exhibition:
TAKING SHAPE: ABSTRACTION FROM THE ARAB WORLD, 1950s–1980s
Grey Art Gallery, New York University
January 14–April 4, 2020
"Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s" traces the emergence and development of abstraction in the Arab World through paintings and sculpture dating from the 1950s through the 1980s. Drawn from the collection of the Barjeel Art Foundation, the exhibition features nearly 90 works by a diverse group of artists, including Etel Adnan, Shakir Hassan Al Said, Kamal Boullata, Huguette Caland, Ahmed Cherkaoui, Saloua Raouda Choucair, Rachid Koraïchi, and Hassan Sharif, among others. "Taking Shape" is accompanied by an array of public programs. For the complete roster, visit: https://greyartgallery.nyu.edu/programs/
Finbarr Barry Flood is founder-director of Silsila: Center for Material Histories, and William R. Kenan, Jr., Professor of the Humanities in the Department of Art History & Institute of Fine Arts, NYU. In 2019 he was the Slade Professor of Fine Art at the University of Oxford and also held the Chaire du Louvre at the Musée du Louvre, Paris. Among his recent publications are articles on Picasso, abstraction and the historiography of Islamic art in RES (67/68 2017 & 69/70 2018), marble, mosques and modernism in West 86th (23/2, 2016), iconoclasm and Islamic State (Daesh) in Religion and Society: Advances in Research (7, 2016). His books include The Great Mosque of Damascus: Studies on the Makings of an Umayyad Visual Culture (2000), Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval “Hindu-Muslim” Encounter, (2009), and Technologies de dévotion dans les Arts de l'Islam: pèlerins, reliques et copies (2019). He has recently edited and introduced the volume There Where You Are Not: Selected Writings of Kamal Boullata (2019).
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