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Alcove: Intimate Essays on Arab Modernist Artists


Author & editor: Myrna Ayad
Forword by: Dr Nada Shabout

Spanning a pivotal time in Arab art, from the 1950s through to the 1980s, the book celebrates the lives, careers, and personas of some of the region's pioneering artists and features archival material, images of artworks as well as of the artists themselves. Alcove, from the Arabic "al qubba", meaning vault or chamber, reflects on the importance of these stories, inviting readers into a treasury of prized histories. The book is a compilation of articles narrated by the relatives, friends and students of modernists from the Arab world.

Featured artists:

Shafic Abboud
Hamed Abdallah
Etel Adnan
Layla Al Attar
Nahil Bishara
Huguette Caland
Saloua Raouda Choucair
Ali Omar Ermes
Abdel Hadi El Gazzar
Paul Guiragossian
Mohammed Ghani Hikmat
Nabila Hilmi
Menhat Hilmy
Jumana El Husseini
Louay Kayyali
Helen Khal
Baya Mahieddine
Mohamed Melehi
Fateh Moudarres
Nuha Al Radi
Aref El Rayess
Mona Saudi
Juliana Seraphim
Abdullah Al Shaikh
Asim Abu Shakra
Hassan Sharif
Hussein Shariffe
Laila Shawa
Hedi Terki
Madiha Umar

Book Design: Kate Scott

About the Authors

Myrna Ayad

For over two decades, Myrna Ayad has authored, edited, and contributed to several books, magazines and dailies on visual art and culture from the Arab world and Iran. A frequent panellist, jurist, and moderator, her role as an independent cultural strategist has allowed her to work on projects within the luxury sector, government entities, private companies, and non-profit organisations in the Arab world. Based in the UAE for over four decades, Ayad is a graduate of the American University in Dubai.

Dr Nada Shabout

Nada Shabout is a professor of art history and coordinator of the Contemporary Arab and Muslim Cultural Studies Initiative at the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, U.S. She is the founding president of the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art from the Arab World, Iran and Turkey. Shabout is the Project Advisor for the Saudi National Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2019. She is the author of Modern Arab Art: Formation of Arab Aesthetics, University of Florida Press, 2007; co-editor with Salwa Mikdadi of New Vision: Arab Art in the 21st Century, Thames & Hudson, 2009; and co-editor with Anneka Lenssen and Sarah Rogers of Modern Art in the Arab World: Primary Documents, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2018. She is the curator of Sajjil: A Century of Modern Art, Interventions: A dialogue between the Modern and the Contemporary, 2010; co-curator of Modernism and Iraq, Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, 2009, and curator of the traveling exhibition, Dafatir: Contemporary Iraqi Book Art, 2005-2009. Her awards include Writers Grant, Andy Warhol Foundation 2018; The Presidential Excellency Award, UNT 2018; The American Academic Research Institute in Iraq fellow 2006, 2007; MIT visiting Assistant Professor, spring 2008, and Fulbright Senior Scholar Program, 2008 Lecture/Research fellowship to Jordan.

Technical Details

Publication Date:
Saturday, March 2, 2024
16.5 x 24 cm
0.5 kg
Number of Pages:
Kaph Books