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Arabic Sculpture, Promises Without Fulfillment

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Sculpture still suffers from the reluctance of its students and recipients, which limits its development and spread, although it advances other visual arts in its aesthetic values, the strength of its impact, and the important roles it can play in human life. This was confirmed by a number of specialists in the field to “The statement,” noting that the attempts made to renew and advance it, as promised without fulfillment, have not yielded anything.

Sculpture art belongs to the plastic arts, which in turn belongs to the fine arts, and it rises on two branches: the first is stone or salon, represented by the small sculpture that takes its way into a closed space, and the second is a monument inhabiting open spaces such as gardens, streets, squares and building facades. This art is also the most capable of expressing human feelings and will, as it approaches reality and possesses it.

The German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770 – 1831 AD) sees sculpture as the second art to appear historically, an art that transforms heavy, impermeable matter into a living form and a free product of the artist’s soul.

The Kyrgyz writer Chinggis Aitmatov (1928 – 2008 AD) believes that nothing can reflect the harmony of the human spirit with such penetration and certainty as the work of a sculptor, who by means of sculpture stops the moment forever.

One of the pioneers of plastic art in Egypt, Ahmed Amin Assem (1918 – 1989 AD), believes that sculpture is the art that immortalized civilized values ​​for us with its capabilities and raw materials that lived through time and challenged centuries, to preserve the person’s personality, which is always capable of creating civilization, including its material and spiritual values.

Our Arab country has known the art of sculpture since ancient times, accompanied its civilization, and its effects are still present in reality, and in the halls and corridors of local and international museums, but in the modern era it is shy to attend plastic movements, in architecture and urban planning, and in the homes and offices of the Arab citizen.

Evolution Despite the great development witnessed by the fine art movement in the Emirates, sculptors still count on the fingers of one hand, and even the Arab sculptors residing there (and they are many) refrained from practicing this art in which they specialized, and turned to other arts, most notably photography.

In the forefront of the Emirati plastic artists who studied sculpture, Abdul Rahim Salem, who confirmed to Al Bayan that he did not decide to migrate sculpture, but rather his circumstances at one stage pushed him to draw and paint, because of the ability of this means of expression to embody his ideas more than sculpture that lives in a state of isolation and exclusion. , practiced by the Arab recipient, which made this recipient refrain from watching sculptural works, especially diagnostic ones. The result, says Salem, is that the double effort expended in the sculptural work is met with less approval by people compared to what the painting obtains.

As for Dr. Najat Makki, who also specializes in the art of sculpture and left it for photography, she confirmed to Al-Bayan that she carried many of the characteristics of sculpture to the new methods that she worked on, and the phenomenon of the transformation of the “sculptor” into a “photographer” in our Arab countries is related to our society’s view of art. Statues and their relationship to idols that were forbidden at the beginning of Islam, in addition to a number of objective reasons that Makki summarized by the lack of materials and raw materials for sculpting art, the absence of a technician specialized in the molding and casting of sculptures, the difficulty of dealing with their heavy weights, and poor marketing, stressing that the “sculptor” can turn into a “photographer.” “But the latter finds it difficult to practice sculpting.

Effective and effective poles

Dr. Fouad Dahdouh, Head of the Sculpture Department at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Damascus University, said: All the first attempts in contemporary Arab sculpture (despite the presence of some individual propositions in Egypt and Iraq, among some sculptors such as Mahmoud Mukhtar and Jawad Selim) remained limited in impact and influence, and this is due to the small number of creators. Arabs in this field, in contrast to what was the case in oil painting, in which influential and effective poles emerged, such as (Fateh Al-Modarres, Mahmoud Hammad, Mahmoud Saeed, Dia Al-Azzawi, Shaker Hassan Al Said… and others), while all the proposed attempts remained. The renewal and advancement of Arab sculpture made promises without fulfillment and without yielding anything, and there is a major factor that effectively contributed to the backwardness and lack of advancement of this art, which is the religious factor that had a profound impact in curbing all manifestations of embodiment, in addition to that the contemporary Arab sculpture has no One of the characteristics that distinguishes it from other artistic activities, it was and is still more distant from our heritage and originality, and more closely related to the Western model, and it became a follower that revolves in its axis without impact or dazzle, and when he tried to be alone and distinguished, we found him scattered, due to the absence of in-depth critical studies of it, and the loss of reason Mutual relations between the artists themselves, at the local and Arab levels.

Various factors

The sculptor and Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts at Damascus University, Dr. Ihsan Al-Arr confirmed to Al-Bayan that the religious factor is at the forefront of the reasons that limited the spread of sculpture in Arab societies. Egypt was distinguished from the rest of the Arab countries in this field, as the conditions existed for a general renaissance in it, which included the art of sculpture, which continued to exist in educational institutions, and in public life, as evidenced by the spread of its effects in squares and streets, and the abundance of sculptors who were able to create modern sculpture, bearing originality The ancient Egyptian sculpture, and the data of modern European sculpture, the most prominent of these are Mahmoud Mokhtar and Abdel Hadi Al-Jazzar. In the rest of the Arab countries, the presence of this art was limited to a limited number of individual experiments that were not able to achieve a sculptural current with its own identity. Al-Arr points out that the issue of prohibiting this art has met with a lot of controversy in Egypt, but the majority called for its development and dissemination, as long as it serves architecture, urban planning and tourism.

low vision

Sculptor Dr. Samir Rahma, Professor of Sculpture at the Faculty of Fine Arts at Damascus University, confirmed to Al-Bayan that the presence of sculpture in modern Arab societies seems limited compared to the art of photography, and this is due to the lack of a correct perception among most people, of the importance of sculpture and its values Functional and aesthetic, the Arab citizen strives to search for a painting to decorate his home or workplace, regardless of its content or artistic level. There is a shortage of his artistic culture. Rahma points out that the religious view of sculpture may be one of the reasons that prompted people to refrain from it, but the absence of their artistic culture is the main reason for this reluctance.


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