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.
Cardinal PointsMehdi Moutashar 5 Oct - 24 Nov 2021Cardinal Points - French-Iraqi artist Mehdi Moutashar's first solo at the gallery - presents a curation of contemporary artworks and a large-scale installation that are quintessential to his practice, celebrating Moutashar as a meeting point between Islamic tradition and experimental optical art. Born in Iraq in 1943, Moutashar spent most...Read more
Mehdi MoutasharCardinal Points : Exhibition Walkthrough November 1, 2021Cardinal Points - the first solo exhibition of French-Iraqi artist Mehdi Moutashar (b. 1943, Iraq) at the gallery - presents a body of contemporary artworks...Read more
Online Cultural Majlis: Mehdi MoutasharPresented by the Barjeel Art Foundation September 14, 2021The cultural majlis was founded by Sultan Al Qassemi as a platform to host creatives and intellectuals from across the Arab world. Named after the...Read more
Jameel Prize 5: Mehdi MoutasharArtist Profile by V&A London September 14, 2021In 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...Read more
Conversations on Practice: Mehdi MoutasharJameel Arts Centre, April 2019 September 14, 2021Iraqi artist Mehdi Moutashar discusses his practice with Art Jameel’s Head of Exhibitions, Nora Razian as part of the Jameel’s ‘Conversations on Practice’ series of...Read more