About The Work
Embodying Dia al-Azzawi’s abiding fascination with his country, the painting, After Sunset was inspired by a trip to the desert. Vibrant colours capture the glow of ebbing daylight which occur when the sun has dropped below the horizon of a desolate, desert landscape.
Regarded as one of Iraq’s greatest artists, Dia al-Azzawi (b. 1939, Baghdad) started his artistic career in 1964, after graduating from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad and completing a degree in archaeology from Baghdad University in 1962. In 1969, al-Azzawi (along with Rafa Nasiri, Mohammad Muhriddin, Ismail Fattah, Hachem al-Samarchi and Saleh al-Jumaie) formed the New Vision group (al-Ru’yya al-Jadidah), uniting fellow artists ideologically and culturally as opposed to stylistically. Through his involvement with the New Vision group, the artist found inspiration in contemporary subjects and issues, particularly the plight of Palestinians. He was also briefly a member of Shakir Hassan Al Said’s One Dimension group (Jama’t al-Bu’d al-Wahid). From 1968–76, al-Azzawi was the director of the Iraqi Antiquities Department in Baghdad. He has lived in London since 1976, where he served as art advisor to the city’s Iraqi Cultural Centre, from 1977–80. The artist's move to London led him to rediscover book art (dafater), an art form that he has encouraged other artists from Iraq and the region to explore. As well as his celebrated painting practice, al-Azzawi also works in sculpture, tapestry and printmaking.
Meem Gallery is a leading international presence in the management and promotion of modern and contemporary Arab, North African and Iranian art. Founded in 2007 by Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, Mishal Hamed Kanoo and Charles Pocock, the gallery deals with primary and secondary market sales. Running an ambitious programme of solo and group exhibitions with a special focus on regional Modern Masters, including Dia Azzawi, Kamal Boullata and Parviz Tanavoli, Meem Gallery also exhibits the work of innovative contemporary artists such as Zhivago Duncan and Mahmoud Obaidi. Works by represented artists can be found in the collections of international museums and institutions such as British Museum, London; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, UAE; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; LACMA, Los Angeles; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; MoMA, New York; Tate Modern, London and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.