fathi hassan artThe Gallery at Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCUQatar) is to present ‘The Depth of Hope’, by acclaimed Egyptian Sudanese artist Fathi Hassan with an opening reception on Wednesday 15 January at 7 pm at the Gallery at VCUQatar.

The reception is preceded by Crossing Boundaries lecture entitled “Signs, Traces & Calligraphy” by Rose Issa, London-based curator, writer and producer, at 6 pm at the atrium at VCUQatar. Both events are open to the public.

In his drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations, Fathi Hassan experiments with the written and spoken word, exploring the theme of ancient languages erased by colonial domination. With invented, Kufic-inspired scripts, he plays with the symbols, textures and calligraphy of his Nubian heritage to explore the space between graphic symbolism and literal meaning in vibrant colors and collage.

As well as the solo show, “Fathi Hassan: “Haram Aleikum”, curated by Rose Issa Projects at Leighton House Museum, London (2010), he has participated in “The Seven Valleys”, Rose Issa Projects, London (2013); “Re-Orientations II”, Rose Issa Projects, London (2012); “Arabicity ” curated by Rose Issa Projects at the Beirut Exhibition Center, Lebanon, and “Arabicity – Such a Near East” curated by Rose Issa Projects at the Bluecoat Art Centre, Liverpool (2010). Over the past 30 years he has participated in numerous solo and group shows in Italy (including the 1988 Venice Biennale), Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, Great Britain and New York. Recent solo exhibitions include “Faces and Voices”, John Rylands Library, Manchester (2012) Fathi Hassan: Transformation, Skoto Gallery New York (2011); Fathi Hassan, Leighton House Museum (2010); “Tasaheel”, Centro d’Arte L’idioma, Ascoli Piceno (2010); “Kenuz”, Domus Artis, Naples (2009) and a solo show at the Museo Nazionale Villa Pisani, Stra, Venice (2008). Group shows include: “Summer Exhibitions “Royal Academy, London (2012); Rose Issa Projects at Abu Dhabi Art (2011); “Arabicity” at the Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool, and Beirut Exhibition Center, Lebanon (2010); “Text Messages” at the October Gallery, London (2006); and an installation at The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC (2002). His work is in the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum, London and The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC.

Fathi Hassan was born was born in Cairo in 1957 to Sudanese and Egyptian parents. Since graduating in 1984, he has lived in Le Marche, Italy, and currently works between Italy and Great Britain. Rose Issa is a curator, writer and producer who has championed visual art and film from the Arab world and Iran for nearly 30 years. She has lived in Iran, Lebanon, France and, for the last 25 years, London, where from her project space in Great Portland Street she showcases upcoming and established artists, as well as producing exhibitions and publications with public and private institutions worldwide. Through curating numerous exhibitions and film festivals, she introduced Western audiences to many artists who have since become stars of the international scene, including: Chant Avedissian, Ayman Baalbaki, Shadi Ghadirian, Monir Farmanfarmaian, Bahman Ghobadi, Hassan Hajjaj, Farhad Moshiri, Abbas Kiarostami, Rashid Koraichi and Nja Mahdaoui among many more.

As part of VCUQatar’s Crossing Boundaries Lecture Series, ‘Signs, Traces and Calligraphy’ focuses on the first international impact of contemporary Arab and Iranian artists in the West that started with “Signs, Traces and Calligraphy”, an approach that was not only new in the Western world – because they referred to their own cultural background – but encouraged artists to impose the own original signature and aesthetics in the world art scene.

‘The Depth of Hope’ runs from 15 January to 27 February 2014.

For more information, visit VCUQatar’s website or email VCUQatar Exhibitions and Speaker Curator Caitlin Doherty at [email protected].