Exhibition view.
Exhibition view.
Exhibition view.
Um al-Kundum, 2002.
Pilgrims, 1980.
Three Phases in Four Decades


"In a festival of shape and color, Darat al Funun - The Khalid Shoman Foundation presents Jordanian artist Wijdan in an exhibition of her art work collected from 40 years of artistic production and experience. The exhibition, patronized by his Royal Highness Prince Ali Bin Nayef, will be held at Darat Al Funun's main building between the 19th of December 2002 and the 20th of February 2003.

The artist will portray three different stages of her art work in this exhibition; ranging from abstract painting, to landscaping and calligraphy. 'This collection is too small to be considered a retrospective exhibition, but it sheds light on the intertwining styles I have worked with in my journey with art so far,' she reflected.

Each of the three styles will be displayed in one of the building's three halls; the center hall will exhibit abstract works, an art form which Wijdan delved into starting in the sixties and seventies; when influenced by Jordanian artist Muhanna Durra, she discovered the mighty expressive powers of color. The impressive paintings display a sensitive sense in movement and reflection, capturing impressions and sensations that can only be expressed by such skillful brush strokes.

The second hall will exhibit a glimpse of Wijdan's experience with impressionist landscaping; an almost obsessive kind of love for the desert drove her to recreate impressions of Wadi Rum and other desert areas in Jordan with colors that dazzle, in addition to several paintings from the plains of the Jordan River and suburban trees of Amman. 'Painting the desert is a stage that will never end for me … I may visit some greenery and plains but I always go back to my true love in the desert,' she said.

Another stage of Wijdan's art was calligraphy, an art form which allowed poetry and the aesthetics of Arabic words and letters to seep into her art creations. Wijdan started with calligraphy after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in the early nineties, a tragedy which affected her deeply, and from which she sought solace in the usage of letters and words in her paintings which brought her back in touch with her roots as an Arab and gave her more power of expression.Wijdan expressed her pleasure to have this kind of an exhibition at Darat Al Funun: 'Darat al Funun, alongside the Jordan National Gallery, is the foremost art center in Jordan,' she said.

Wijdan was born in Baghdad in 1939, she carries a B.A. in History from the Beirut College for Girls (currently the Lebanese American University), and a Ph.D in Contemporary Islamic Arts from London University. She currently holds the position of Dean at the University of Jordan's School of Arts and Design, and is the President of the Royal Society of Fine Arts. She published several books about contemporary Islamic and Arab Arts in both Arabic and English languages; such as "Contemporary Art From the Islamic World" and "Modern Art in Jordan", and she was awarded many prestigious awards and decorations such as the French Ministry of Culture's Officer of the Arts award." Yacoub Abu Ghosh, 2003