February 17 – March 11, 2006
Open Book Lobby Gallery
Minnesota Center for Book Arts is proud to partner with Carleton College to bring the exhibition Dafatir: Contemporary Iraqi Book Art to Minnesota. The word “Dafatir” translates to “notebook” in Arabic. Dafatir the exhibition highlights the flourishing book arts in modern day Iraq and celebrates the persistence of the artistic impulse in a nation troubled by tyranny and war. Curated by Nada Shabout, an Iraqi art historian who teaches at the University of North Texas, the exhibition presents experiments in the book art format by seventeen Iraqi artists spanning three generations. All drawn from the collection of London-based Iraqi artist Dia al-Azzawi, the works embody many approaches to style, materials and content. The works range from radiantly colored abstract paintings realized in three-dimensions to vessels of visual/verbal poetry to material and metaphorical responses to contemporary events. The book, reconceived as a sculptural object, also connects back to rich Arab traditions in calligraphy and manuscripts.