This “master class” offers an in-depth introduction to the art and ethos of Fateh al-Moudarres (1920-1999)—one of Syria’s most beloved modernist painters, and a deeply complex thinker and educator with a far-reaching yet little understood legacy. Led by artist Issam Kourbaj and art historians Anneka Lenssen and Ambra D’Antone, the class provides attendees with a series of lessons in ways to read the different guises of al-Moudarres. We will incorporate close readings of works, writing, recollections of his teaching, and concepts derived from the artist’s ongoing discussions with Adonis and other cultural figures.
Ambra D'Antone (Research Associate Bilderfahrzeuge, Max Weber Stiftung) will explore the relationship between word and image in al-Moudarres’s work, presenting examples of his distinctive approach to questions of meaning, form and intelligibility.
Issam Kourbaj (Former artist-in-residence, bye-fellow, and lector in art, Christ’s College, Cambridge University) will draw on his experience as a student of al-Moudarres at the College of Fine Arts, Damascus, as well as has own extensive experience teaching artists in the UK, UAE, and elsewhere, to discuss the artist’s different attitudes toward creative being, everyday life, and aesthetic judgment.
Anneka Lenssen (Associate Professor, University of California, Berkeley / Senior Humanities Fellow, NYU Abu Dhabi) will lead the group through an analysis of al-Moudarres’s selection and use of particular media (paint, sand, ash, other) with a particular focus on the element of chance in his oil painting practice.
Presentations will be followed by a dynamic Q&A