Thursday, April 29, 2010

(Social) Realism: Syria

Louay Kayyali
Louay Kayyali, (1934-1978) was a Syrian modern artist. Kayyali was born in Aleppo, Syria in 1934 and studied art in the Accademia di Belle Arti after having studied at the Al-Tajhiz School where his work was first exhibited in 1952. He met Syrian artist Wahbi Al-Hariri there and the two would share a friendship for the rest of Kayyali's life. Al-Hariri would become his mentor as he was for artist Fateh Moudarres that Hariri introduced to Kayyali in 1955. Moudarress and Kayyali would together represent Syrian modern art at the Venice Biennial Fair. He suffered from depression and died in 1978 from burns incurred from his bed catching fire, reportedly from a cigarette.

Abdel mannan Shamma (1937)
1937 Born in Hims city – Syria. 1950 - 1958 Studied on the hands of his first pioneering drawing teacher Mr. Subhi Shuaib. 1958 Won the first position of the Art Contest after which was sent under scholarship to Moscow for art study. 1965 Merited MA Degree of Mural Painting with Honors from Sorikov Academy of Plastic Arts – Moscow. 1965 – 1966 Taught at the Teachers’ Institute in Hims city. 1966 Won the Sole Seat Contest towards the post-graduate study in favor of the Faculty of Fine Arts – Damascus University. For the second time, he was sent under scholarship to Moscow for this purpose. 1971 Obtained Ph.D. in Fine Arts from the Academy of Soviet Arts in Moscow. It was the first academic qualification ever in the field of fine arts obtained by a Syrian artist and researcher. After that, he was appointed at the teaching staff of the Faculty of Fine Arts – Damascus University and ever since he is a member of the Syndicate of Fine Arts in S.A.R.

World (Social) Realist Art (Index of Countries)
This blog page is part of an ongoing project by artist and part-time lecturer Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin ( to explore Realist / Social Realist art from around the world. The term Realism is used in its broadest sense to include 19th century Realism and Naturalism as well as 20th century Impressionism (which after all was following in the path of Courbet and Millet). Social Realism covers art that seeks to examine the living and working conditions of ordinary people (examples include German Expressionism, American Ashcan School and the Mexican Muralists).

Click here for (Social) Realist Art Definitions, World (Social) Realism and Global Solidarity, Art and Politics, Social Realism in history and Country Index.

Suggestions for appropriate artists from around the world welcome to

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