Fateh Al-Moudarres

Biography

Fateh al-Moudarres was one of the leaders of the modern art movement in Syria. He studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome, where he was influenced by Surrealism, and at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris where he honed his technical and compositional skills. After he completed his studies, he returned to Syria where he developed his talent under the auspices of long-time friend, mentor, and tutor Wahbi Al-Hariri "The Last of the Classicists".

Moudarres abandoned the traditional formulas of painting prevalent in Syria and began to create a language where his vocabulary was drawn from the primitive and ancient arts of his country. In his expressionistic idiom reality is mixed with fiction. The heroes are taken both from contemporary and ancient civilisations, and are both nameless peasants and legendary figures. Their square-shaped heads recall those of Assyrian statuary, and those of the figures in Palmyrene frescos, and also of early Christian iconography. These characters are enriched with warm and vibrant colours and executed in a variety of ways, sometimes with dense application of paint, sometimes scratched, or stippled, or with the addition of sand. Often a specific group of colours, such as red and black, or white and fawn, will dominate the painting.