Meet the Artist
Fateh Moudarres (b. Aleppo, 1922, d. Damascus 1999) is widely regarded as one of Syria’s most famous and influential artists. Throughout his career, he experimented with modernizing forms of expression and did so by combining components from Syrian art heritage and the human face with elements from nature. In his boldly-hued paintings, Islamic, Sumerian, Assyrian and Christian visual traditions merged and transformed into a distinctive style that hovered between abstraction and figuration, resulting in an oeuvre rich in symbolism. Moudarres was also keenly interested in Surrealism and Existentialism, exploring the role of the subconscious as a tool for inspiration, often practicing automatic drawing to this effect. He also drew on intense personal loss – his father died when he was a young child, and he, in turn, lost two children prematurely – and his work is full of the transformative power of death. To this effect, he was also interested in the potential of artwork to harness time, experimenting with color and form in an effort to try to distill and capture time itself. In addition to painting, Moudarres wrote extensively, producing poems and short stories, as well as critical essays on his philosophical and art critical inquiries. Initially self-taught, Moudarres went on to graduate from the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome in 1960, then the École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1972, before becoming a teacher and Dean at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus University, where he would work until 1993. Throughout his career, he was the recipient of numerous awards, and, together with Louay Kayyali, represented Syria at the 1961 Venice Biennale. He exhibited widely in solo and group exhibitions around the world, and his works can be found in prestigious collections such as Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, the Barjeel Foundation, the Atassi Foundation and, in Damascus, the National Museum, Ministry of Culture and Dummar Museum.
Works by the Artist
Co-edition with Atassi Foundation