Bassem Dahdouh

Born – Damascus, Syria
1999 – Ph.D in Art Science, Hilwan University, Cairo, Egypt.
1986-1992 – MFA and BFA, University of Damascus

Conversation with Bassem Dahdouh from his studio and the impact of the Syrian war on his art making

– – –  << Recent Exhibit, Figures Distorted – 2012-2017 >> – – –

– – –  << Abstractions – 2012-2017 >> – – –

Bassem Dahdouh was born in Damascus, and continued to live and work in Damascus, Syria. He studied in Adham Ismail Art Centre, and graduated from the Department of Painting, Faculty of Fine Arts, Damascus University; in 1986. He got his PhD from Hilwan University in Egypt in 1999. Currently, he is the dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, International Arab University in Syria. He won two awards, and held solo exhibitions in Damascus, Beirut, Alexandria, Tunis, and Kuwait. He also participated in group events in Damascus, Aleppo, Istanbul, Tehran, Canada, Bulgaria, Geneva, and Cairo. At first, Dahdouh followed the traditions of realism in depicting his subjects, but in his more recent work, he shifted focus towards composition. Most of his work is depictions of portraits and the human body.

Dahdouh’s work before the Syrian war was influenced by Cubism in a fresh and inventive contemporary approach. The subject of his work and style was developed during the Syrian war in which he expressed his vision through the influence of post-world war II German expressionism. His recent work is focused on distorted figures which signify a shift in the style. He focuses on the subject and the composition by using an earth color palette to portray a lost and confused generation of the Syrian society through the depiction of portraits and figures significantly distorted to express the horror which has befallen upon his world by the war.

1999 – Ph.D in Art Science, Hilwan University, Cairo, Egypt
1986-1992 – MFA and BFA, Damascus University, Syria

Professional Career
2014 – Present – Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Arab International University, Syria
2000 – Present – Visual Arts instructor at the University of Damascus
2007 – Venice Biennale, representing Syria
Board member of the Syrian Visual Arts Union

Awards and Lectures
2000-2020 – numerous awards in the Middle East and Europe and has been a guest lectured in several Middle Eastern universities and art institutions.

Solo Exhibitions
2020 – “Waiting” Mission Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
2000 – 2017 – 10 Solo exhibitions in Damascus, Aleppo, Beirut, Amman, Cairo, Bahrain, Kuwait, Russia, France, Germany and Canada.
2003 – Ahmad Adwan Gallery, Kuwait
2000 – Ashtar Gallery, Damas
1997 – Qawaf Gallery, Aleppo
2007 – 52e Biennale de Venise
2005 – The Syrian contemporary art Exhibition, Orok Gallery, Damascus
2004 – The Arab world festival, Université Concordia, Montréal

Group Exhibitions
2021 – “Selections from Syrian Contemporaries” Arab International University Gallery, Damascus, Sy
2020 – “Contemporary Syrian Art” ArtServe in collaboration with Khawam Gallery, Ft Lauderdale, FL
2019 – Oct 9-10 at Florida International Trade & Cultural Expo, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center, Oct 4-6 at Verasoni, Fairfield, NJ; Sept 27-29, Syrian Arts & Culture Center, Brooklyn, NY.
2019 – Contemporary Art in Syria, organized by, Breman, Germany
1990-2017 – 15 group exhibitions in Damascus, Aleppo, Beirut, Amman, Cairo, Alexandria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Dubai, Tahran, Istanbul, Russia, Bulgaria, France, Germany and Spain.

Bassem Dahdouh’s work are in many private, public and museums collections around the Middle East, Russia, Europe and U.S.A.

Bibliography Published
Boca Magazine by John Thomason Syrian Art Exhibition South Florida (10/2020)
The Brooklyn Reporter,  – by John Alexander (10/2019)

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