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.
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.