Jewad Selim's untitled 1957 painting depicts a domestic scene featuring a lone, stylised figure staring into the distance. The figure nonchalantly leans on a piece of furniture and is flanked by a traditional coffee pot to one side and a potted plant to the other, with the composition centered by a perfectly square window emphasising the roundness of the subject's daydreaming face. Celebrated for his part in establishing a modern Iraqi aesthetic that combined ancient Iraqi motifs with the modalities of Western artistic movements, the artist's studies in Paris and Rome were disrupted by the outbreak of war. Selim resumed his education at the Slade in London from 1946 to 1948, where his exposure to the work of artists like Henry Moore made a lasting impact on his practice. The artist later went on to establish the Baghdad Modern Art Group along with Shakir Hassan Al Said, in 1951.
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.