Modern and Contemporary Arab Art from the Levant: The Majida Mouasher Collection
Majida Mouasher and Luitgard Mols
Majida Mouasher owned an art gallery called 4 Walls, in Amman, Jordan between 2000 and 2006. During that time she worked with more than ninety artists, 45 of whom form the nucleus of her beautiful and important private collection comprised of contemporary art from the Middle East in general and the Levant in particular, spanning over sixty years of superb quality art. In Jordan at the time there were mostly foundations or institutions, and only very few contemporary art galleries. The artists depended mostly upon their own personal efforts and contacts in order to promote themselves. There was a vacuum that needed to be filled and a public that wanted to see contemporary art and get to know the artists. The aim of 4 Walls was to promote the artists by exhibiting and helping sell their works. During that period, Majida Mouasher bought consistently work from these artists. What makes this collection so special, is that even though it is concentrated on the Levant, it is very diverse. The artists in the collection have deep cultural roots from whatever the origin of their inspiration is; be it China, Russia, the West or their country of origin. Though many of them are now living in the diaspora, they all share in common an honest reaction to their environment, their cultural and social or historical backgrounds, their ethnic origins or political upheavals. Due to the wars and upheavals in the Middle East, people are moving across countries and to the shorelines of Europe, bringing with them new and different cultural ways. Now that the Middle East is so much in the spotlight, there is an urgency to show its contemporary art to the Western public. Art can bypass conflicts and bring more and better understanding between cultures. The artists in the collection and presented in this book are: Chafik Abboud, Nawal Abdallah Adonis, Nasr Abdul Aziz, Saadi Al Kaabi, Nuha Al Radi, Shaker Hassan Al Said, Rajwa Ali, Hani Alqam, Clara Amado, Mohammad Al-Ameri, Jamal Ashour, Dia Azzawi, Khaled Barakeh, Kamal Boullata, Diana Chamounky, Hiram Charib, Ghada Dahdaleh, Dodi, Muhanna Durra, Ismail Fattah, Ghassan Ghaeb, Riham Ghassib, Samia Halaby, Himat, Farouk Kaspauli,s Ammar Khammash, Khalid Khreis, Sadik Kwaish Alfraji, Halim Mahdi, Fouad Mimi, Mohammad Nasrallah, Rafa’ Nassiri, Joman Nimri, Said Nusseibih, Mahmoud Obaidi, Karim Rissan, Khalil Ryyan, Nabil Shehadeh, Rula Shukairy, Samer Tabbaa, Mahmoud Taha, Madiha Omar, Samer Ussama (Samer Hatam,) Wijdan, Nazar Yahya. The book will contain in-depth texts from: Luit Mols Ph.D., owner of Sabiel – Research, Curating, Education and Consultancy in Islamic Art; Nada M. Shabout Ph.D., Professor of Art History at the University of North Texas and President and cofounding board member of the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World, Iran, Turkey (AMCA); H.R.H. Princess Wijdan Al-Hashemi Ph.D., President of the Royal Society of Fine Arts, Amman, Jordan.