Mehdi Moutashar French-Iraqi, b. 1943


Mehdi Moutashar’s art lies at the confluence of two artistic traditions, the western heritage of geometric abstraction and the Islamic aesthetic tradition of geometrical order and lines. His art is a radical, geometrical abstraction with figures that are never enclosed inside the limits of a contour but open, fragmentary and constantly shifting.


Born in the city of Hilla in central Iraq, close to the ancient city of Babylon, Mehdi Moutashar graduated from the Institute of Fine Arts, Baghdad, Iraq in 1966 and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France in 1970. He is a former professor at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, 1974-2008.

Moutashar has held numerous solo exhibitions, including 'TRAME' at Abbaye de Cluny, France (2022), Racines carrées, AL/MA Gallery, Montpellier, France (2021), Abbaye de Cluny, France (2021), Hoffmann Gallery, Friedberg, Germany (2019), Measuring Space, National Theatre & Albareh Gallery, Bahrain (2017), Victor Sfez Gallery, Paris (2016), AL/MA Gallery, Montpellier, France (2016), Le Petit Temple Gallery, Lasalle, France (2014), Linde Hollinger Gallery, Ladenburg, Germany (2013), AL/MA Gallery, Montpellier, France (2012), and Kleine Museum, Weissenstadt, Germany (2011), amongst others.

In 2018 he won the prestigious Jameel Prize 5 at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) London, sharing the accolade with Marina Tabassum, an architect from Bangladesh. Moutashar received the award for his bold work of minimalist abstraction rooted in Islamic geometry - exhibited as part of the finalists’ group show at the V&A (2018), followed by a second iteration at Jameel Art Center, Dubai (2019).


Other select group exhibitions include Beirut and the Golden Sixties: A Manifesto of Fragility at the  16th Lyon Biennale, macLYON, Lyon, France (2022); Art Dubai with Lawrie Shabibi (2022); Small is beautiful!, Galerie Denise René, Paris (2021); Structure du Silence, Galerie Denise René, Paris (2021); Espace Oblique, Galerie Denise René, Paris (2018); Bagdad Mon Amour, Institut des Cultures d'Islam, Paris (2018); Art Dubai with Albareh Gallery (2017); Au-delà de la forme: Richard Serra / Mehdi Moutashar, Palais du Tau, Reims (2016); Hommage au Carré noir de Malevitch, Musée Vasarely, Budapest (2015), Galerie Deleuze-Rochetin, Arpaillargues (2011); and François Morellet et Mehdi Moutashar, Institut des Cultures de l’Islam, Paris (2010).

His work is held in public collections worldwide, including: Fonds Régional Art Contemporain Provence Alpes, Côte d’Azur; Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Kleine Museum, Weissenstadt, Germany; Montbéliard Museum, France; Conseil général des Bouches-du-Rhône, France; Klingspor Museum der Stadt, Offenbach, Germany; Fine Arts Museum, Cholet, France; Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris; National Gallery of Fine Arts, Ammann, Jordan; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; Modern Art Museum, Tunis; and, National Modern Art Museum, Bagdad, Iraq.

Moutashar lives and works in Arles, France.