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Hurouf : The Art of the Word

Hurouf : The Art of the Word

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Published by Abidin Zein
(I) You cannot find poetry anywhere if you do not hold it within yourself- Joubert 1754-1824
(II) We just have to bend the branches of love
Whose fruits are presented to us
To pick as many as we desire- - Ibn Zaydoun XI century
(III) If you are different from me, brother, it's not wrong, on the contrary you enrich me - Antoine de St. Exupéry
(I) You cannot find poetry anywhere if you do not hold it within yourself- Joubert 1754-1824
(II) We just have to bend the branches of love
Whose fruits are presented to us
To pick as many as we desire- - Ibn Zaydoun XI century
(III) If you are different from me, brother, it's not wrong, on the contrary you enrich me - Antoine de St. Exupéry

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: Abidin Zein on May 26, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/31/2013

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SADEQUAIN

1930 - 1987
SURAH AL-RAHMAN

signed and dated 1985
oil and ink on canvas

94.7 by 152cm.; 37 1/4 by 59 3/4 in.

ESTIMATE 60,000 - 80,000 USD
Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 31,250 USD

PROVENANCE

Collection of M.A. Khan (acquired directly from the artist)
Private Collection, London (acquired directly from the above by the present owner)

LITERATURE

Dr. Salman Ahmad, The Legend of Sadequain: Renaissance of Calligraphic Art in Pakistan, La Mesa 2010, p. 10,
illustrated in colour

CATALOGUE NOTE

inscription:

Qur'an, surah al-rahman (LV), verse 19

'He has made the two seas to flow freely (so that) they meet together,
Between them is a barrier which they cannot pass.'

A master of calligraphy, Sadequain fast became one of Pakistan's most celebrated artists. This outstanding
example of his work illustrates his radical departure from established calligraphic norms.

Devoting the majority of his life to the art of the pen, Sadequain's unabashed departure from calligraphic tradition
and the generosity with which he distributed his works, led to his name being synonymous with calligraphy in
Pakistan and the Middle East. He was a legend in his own time and is single-handedly responsible for the
renaissance of Pakistani calligraphy.

Searching for a new manner of expression, Sadequain was the first, and ultimately the most famous Pakistani to
use calligraphy for both religious and artistic purposes. In a short period of time, he had made a huge impact on the
calligraphic world and ushered in what has been described as a calligraphic revolution. Inspiring a generation of
calligraphers by encouraging experimentation and innovation, in what had arguably become a stagnant art form.

In this exquisite work, the calligraphy and its aesthetic dominate the image, conveying the essential meaning of the
script without requiring translation. Even for those who cannot comprehend the inscription, the power and majesty
of the words is evident. Sadequain focused on preserving the mystical power of the letter and the concepts behind
the word, through visual representation.

Sadequain painted this work in 1985 as part of a series in which he separated the individual refrains of Surah al-
Rahman which he began in 1969. This particular painting is by far the most moving, and evokes the calm serenity
of the sea. Surah al-Rahman, The Beneficent, is the fifty-fifth surah of the Qur'an and is often described as 'the
beauty' of the Qur'an.

Here the artist chooses to illustrate verses nineteen and twenty, separating the two seas of dark blue and dusty
green with a forbidding barrier in white script framed in black, the calligraphy itself forms the "barrier which they
cannot pass". Inspired by the medieval Islamic script thuluth, Sadequain elongates the letters generally used in bold
inscriptions on facades of religious buildings, or in large copies of the Qur'an visually, calligraphically and
conceptually linking this work to its spiritual inspiration.

To this day Sadequain is highly respected for his skill, the way in which he enriched dry traditional forms with a
lyricism and artistry that is second to none and his influence on the generations of artists that followed his calling.

Hurouf: The Art of the Word

Doha | 16 Dec 2010, 7:00 PM | DO1001

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