About Saadi Al Kabbi
Born in Najaf, Iraq, 1937, his paintings draw from the rich and diverse reservoir of Iraqi art and heritage. His art in the 1960s experimented with Cubism and Expressionism, as the simplified planes and strong outlines. Marrying aesthetic influences from Cubism with those from Sumerian, Assyrian, Babylonian and Islamic art, Al Kaabi’s work explores the nuances and contradictions of the human condition.
Al Kaabi is a significant member of Iraq’s second generation of modernist artists. A graduate of Baghdad’s Institute of Fine Arts in 1960, the artist’s signature style emerged in the 1970s after two decades of involvement in the avant-garde modern art scene.
Al Kaabi applies thick layers of paint in his contemporary art, using ginger earth tones to compose highly textured works. His practice forms part of a broader post-independence artistic approach in the Arab world concerned with fashioning a new national identity that involved looking to the past in search of cultural authenticity.
Al Kaabi has participated in numerous international exhibitions, including the 1976 Venice Biennale. In the 1980s, he torched his personal archive of press clippings covering his career as a way of expunging the suggestion of his success to start anew.
He Worked from 1981 – 1985 / Director of the theatre production in the cinema and theatre foundation and theatre and he designed the decoration of many plays and movies and from 1985 – 1988 / Director of The Artistic Culture in the ministry of Culture,from 1985 – 1987 / founder & head of The Iraqi plastic art club ,from 1986 – 1990 / he was elected as a President of the Iraqi plastic artists association in 1999 / he was chosen as a member of the international jury of Dacca biennale – Bangladesh , and in 2004 / he was chosen as a member of the jury of Islamic art biennale Tehran - Iran.