17. June - 08. October 2017 Tate Modern

FAHRELNISSA ZEID RETROSPECTIVE

Fahrelnissa Zeid (1901–1991), Resolved Problems, 1948, Oil paint on canvas, 130 x 97 cm, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art Collection, Eczacibasi Group Donation, Fahrelnissa Zeid (1901–1991), Triton Octopus, 1953, Oil paint on canvas
181 x 270 cm, Istanbul Museum of Modern Art Collection, Eczacibasi Group Donation, © Raad Zeid Al-Hussein © Istanbul Museum of Modern Art
Fahrelnissa Zeid (1901–1991), Fight against Abstraction, 1947, Oil paint on canvas, 101 x 151 cm, Istanbul Modern Collection/ Eczacibasi Group Donation, © Raad Zeid Al-Hussein © Istanbul Museum of Modern Art

The Painter Princess

A key figure in Turkish modernism, Fahrelnissa Zeid was one of the first female students to study fine arts in Turkey. After marrying into the Jordanian royal family, this artist princess went on to travel the world, attending art school in Paris and exhibiting in London.

Through her long career Zeid explored many different styles and experimented with a range of techniques and materials. Trained in both Paris and Istanbul, Fahrelnissa Zeid was an important figure in the Turkish avant-garde Group in the early 1940s and the École de Paris (School of Paris) in the 1950s.

Her vibrant abstract paintings are a synthesis of Islamic, Byzantine, Arab and Persian influences fused with European approaches to abstraction. Zeid’s reputation as an artist was cemented in the 1950s when she was living between London and Paris and exhibiting extensively internationally.

The artist also began experimenting with painting on turkey and chicken bones, which she later cast in polyester resin panels evocative of stained-glass windows. In the later years of her life she unexpectedly returneto to figurative painting, creating stylised portraits of her friends and family.

Zeid would go on to participate in almost 50 exhibitions in Europe, America and the Middle East. Her husband died in 1970, and in 1975 she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she established the Royal National Jordanian Institute Fahrelnissa Zeid of Fine Arts. She died in 1991.

At Tate Modern, visitos can now indulge in the artist’s obsession with line and dazzling colour. The exhibition "Fahrelnissa Zeid" is the first mayor retrospective to rediscover one of the greatest female artists of the 20th century, and will be open to the public until October 8, 2017.

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