Shakir Hassan Al Said

Shakir Hassan Al Said graduated with a degree in social science from the Higher Institute of Teachers, Baghdad, in 1948, and later received a diploma in painting from the Institute of Fine Arts, Baghdad, in 1954. At the Institute he was taught by Jewad Selim and co-founded the Baghdad Modern Art Group with him. From 1955 to 1959, after receiving a scholarship, Al Said travelled to Paris where he studied at the Académie Julien, École des Arts Décoratifs, and the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts. Back in Baghdad the artist formed the One Dimension group in 1971, a collective that was primarily concerned with the exploration of the Arabic letter. Resembling the neglected and war-torn buildings, this evocative, untitled work from 1976 makes up part of the artist's well-known Walls series. Impulsive, clandestine, anonymous and sometimes illegible, as if not intended to be read; the inscriptions in the compositions evoke the furtive nature of an act performed under repressive conditions, hinting at the censorship that the writing sought to evade.