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Reverberating Echoes: Contemporary Art Inspired By Traditional Islamic Art

By: | posted on: Jan 31, 2017

Date(s) - 01/31/2017 - 05/26/2017
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

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Doug Adams Gallery


Contact Person:
Mamoun Sakkal

Doug Adams Gallery


This exhibition highlights the work of seven American artists of diverse interests, backgrounds, and training.  Inspired by traditional Islamic art, their works echo historic aesthetic concerns, often advancing human knowledge and understanding by experimentation with new technologies.

Traditional concerns focused on the spatial dimension and the effects of light on form, the association of Arabic language and script with revelation, and patterns in the plane, exploring the nature of two-dimensional space.

Drawing upon a shared Islamic visual heritage of calligraphy, floral ornament, geometric pattern, architectural forms and figural imagery, contemporary works selected for this exhibition include both traditional media (such as glazed ceramics, woven textiles, works on paper, and carved wood) and new technologies (dye sublimation and 3D-printing, digital imagery, computerized design, and LED projection).

Just as in the past, each of these artists seeks to make meaning through art, exploring forms and relationships through craft and technology to inspire awe and wonder. We are privileged to view the results of their efforts to which each of us brings our own interpretive lens.

Participating artists include: Mamoun Sakkal, Nazanin Hedayat Monroe, Chris Palmer, Phil Webster, Manzar Rassouli, Hooman Koliji, and Nathan Voirol.

About the event

Reverberating Echoes: Contemporary Art Inspired By Traditional Islamic Art
Carol Bier, Curator
January 31 – May 26, 2017

Opening Reception: Tuesday, January 31, 2017 from 5-7pm

Dillenberger Lecture: Friday, March 10, 2017 from 5-7pm
Dr. Alicia Walker (Bryn Mawr College): Pseudo-Arabic as a Marker of Christian Identity in Middle Byzantine Art and Architecture

Address: Doug Adams Gallery, 2465 Le Conte Avenue, Berkeley,CA

Free and open to the public

About the artist

Dr. Mamoun Sakkal was born in Damascus, Syria in 1950 and raised in Aleppo, Mamoun early on recognized a passion for the utilitarian in art and life reflected in his surroundings. His early training as an architect in Syria led to future choices as a design professional.

After immigrating to the United States, he sought to learn more about his cultural heritage and received a PhD from the University of Washington with a thesis on the history of Islamic calligraphy. His MA, also at the University of Washington, explored the vaulting system of muqarnas, an Islamic architectural form developed in Baghdad in the 11th century, designed to effect spatial transitions.

Today he lives and works as a graphic designer in Bothell, Washington, with a focus on typography and font design. He has designed numerous proportional fonts for various languages (such as Uighur) that utilize the Arabic script. His clients are global, and he has served as the Arabic typography specialist for Microsoft. Pursuing his interests in utilitarian aspects of the arts in a globalized world, he has developed a product line for many of his works, which are marketed online at

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