Wissam Shawkat’s Monochromatic Marvel

Wissam Shawkat's Monochromatic Marvel

Art can transcend boundaries, evoke emotions, and stimulate the imagination. Renowned Iraqi artist Wissam Shawkat, an award-winning virtuoso, is set to mesmerize art enthusiasts with his latest exhibition, “Black & White.” This extraordinary showcase, hosted at the prestigious Mestaria Gallery in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, promises to be a journey into the heart of calligraphy. Shawkat’s masterful strokes, deliberate absence of color, and meticulous exploration of form are bound to leave an indelible mark on your artistic soul.

Unveiling “Black & White”

Wissam Shawkat’s “Black & White” exhibition, scheduled to run from Saturday, 11th November to 12th December 2023, is a testament to the artist’s unwavering commitment to the world of calligraphy. Featuring 111 artworks, this monochromatic masterpiece offers a unique perspective on the art form. Let’s delve deeper into this captivating artistic odyssey.

The Monochromatic Elegance

In “Black & White,” Shawkat deliberately removes the vibrant hues that often adorn calligraphic works. This decision elevates the essence of calligraphy itself. The absence of color forces us to focus on the essence of form, shape, and composition. It’s a rhythmic monochromatic elegance that takes us beyond the surface and into the soul of calligraphy.

The Dance of Positives and Negatives

One of the most striking aspects of Shawkat’s exhibition is the delicate dance between positive and negative spaces. In the absence of color, the interplay between ink and paper becomes all the more apparent. The deliberate choices of where to apply black and where to leave the canvas white create a mesmerizing visual symphony.

The Strength of Black, The Purity of White

Within the confines of black and white, Shawkat’s artistry shines. Black, with its deep and commanding presence, contrasts beautifully with the purity of white. This stark duality creates a captivating graphic symbolism further enhanced by the various beige background tones. It’s an enchanting visual experience where simplicity meets elegance.

The Artist’s Palette

Shawkat’s palette is not one of colors but of technique. Each artwork is meticulously crafted on handmade paper, treated with soot pigment ink. This blend results in a striking balance of form, line thickness, depth, dimensions, and structure. It’s a palette that speaks volumes about the artist’s mastery over his craft.

Understanding Calligraphy’s Flow

As Shawkat eloquently says, “It feels to me a universal truth that master calligraphers do not first see color; we see the form.” In “Black & White,” the focus is squarely on the intricate relationship between letterforms, their rhythm, and the space they occupy. It’s an invitation to understand and appreciate the very flow of calligraphy itself.

Endless Possibilities

Despite the reduced scale and limited color palette, Shawkat’s brilliance shines through in each piece. He effortlessly composes various forms of contour lines, breathing endless possibilities of shapes and letters. The exhibition offers art enthusiasts a unique opportunity to witness Wissam’s mesmerizing ingenuity in his gentle strokes, conveying a play between light and dark.

Affordable Collectible Art Treasures

“Black & White” is not just an exhibition; it’s a chance to own a piece of modern calligraphy art history. Shawkat’s recognizable calligraphy styles, including “Al Wissam” and “Calligraforms,” are displayed in smaller, more affordable artworks. It’s an opportunity to own a collectable art treasure that encapsulates elegance and subtlety.

Exhibition Details

Before you embark on this artistic journey, here are the essential details:

  • Exhibition: Black & White by Wissam Shawkat
  • Dates: Saturday 11th November to 12th December 2023
  • Location: Mestaria Gallery, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai
  • Timings: Open daily from 10am-7pm


“Black & White” is not merely an exhibition; it’s an invitation to experience the very essence of calligraphy. Wissam Shawkat’s deliberate choice to strip away color reveals the core beauty of form, shape, and composition. As you explore each artwork, you’ll immerse yourself in a world where monochromatic elegance meets the spirit of calligraphy. This is an opportunity to witness artistry at its finest and to own a piece of history. Don’t miss the chance to be a part of this artistic odyssey. Join us at Mestaria Gallery in Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, and let “Black & White” awaken your appreciation for the world of calligraphy.

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