Welcome Note

Welcome to the first issue of the Atassi Foundation Journal.

As a non-profit initiative, one of Atassi Foundation’s main missions is to raise awareness of 20th century Syrian art. We hope this Journal will be just one small way in which we can promote its study, as well as share news on our projects and artist.

Each issue of the Journal will be themed, so it felt fitting to start under the idea of Beginnings. In that spirit, we have an artwork spotlight on two works by early 20th century artist Tawfik Tarek, as well as an interview with our first resident artist, Ghaith Mofeed.

We are also delighted to present a new English translation of famed Syrian academic and artist Elias Zayyat’s The Visual Arts in Syria, from its Roots to Contemporary Art. This text originally featured in Atassi Gallery’s 1998 book, Contemporary Art in Syria and provides a wide-ranging overview of the history of art in Syria. Arabic speakers will know that Zayyat’s mastery of the Arabic language is rich and evocative and so can read the original here.

Finally, in this issue we share information on our upcoming project, the Modern Art Syria Archive (MASA), a free, online archive that documents art in Syria in the 20th century.

The spirit of Atassi Foundation and this Journal is to share knowledge, so we would love to hear your feedback, and any possible contributions and collaborations moving forward. Drop us a line any time on info@atassifoundation.com

Happy reading,

Shireen Atassi & Anna Wallace-Thompson


Artwork Spotlight

Artwork Spotlight

Tawfik Tarek

In the spirit of beginnings, in this issue we highlight two works by pioneering artist Tawfik Tarek (1875-1940). Among his contemporaries, Tarek was one of the first to attend art school overseas, travelling to Paris at the age of 20, where he was to spend the next six years studying oil painting at the Academy of Fine Arts before returning home.

Meet the Artist

Meet the Artist

Ghaith Mofeed

The Atassi Foundation recently supported a residency at London’s prestigious Delfina Foundation for Istanbul-based Syrian artist Ghaith Mofeed. Here, he tells us about the resulting work – Transmissions. A sound installation translating a call for help into multiple languages for radio broadcast, it seeks to connect Syria to the world.

Launch of Atassi Foundation’s Modern Art Syria Archive (MASA)

Launch of Atassi Foundation’s Modern Art Syria Archive (MASA)

We are excited to announce the launch of the Modern Art of Syria Archive (MASA) project, which we hope, when complete, will provide a much-needed, internationally accessible, free, online archive of Syrian art.