عنوان مقاله [English]
Since the early years of 1950, which represent the development period of modern Iraqi art, the “return to
the roots” movement has been an impartible mainstream in Iraq. The first generation of modern artists like
Jewad Salim and Shakir Hassan Al-Said considered “cultural continuity” and the link between “tradition and
modernity” and “inspiration from heritage1” as the main essence of their artistic creation and bequeathed
this approach to their next generation.
Having analyzed and described a selection of artworks of modern Iraqi artists, this paper discusses the
evolution of modern Iraqi art, and aims to determine cultural and artistic continuity in modern paintings
of Iraq. It also seeks to answer the questions that investigate the socio-cultural factors that underlie the
formation of art and establish a link between traditional and modern ideas and lead to continuity in
tradition. Therefore, the research hypothesis is put to scrutiny on the basis of Robert wuthnow’s theory.
According to Wuthnow, although configuration and the objective production of this movement is rooted
in the “mobilization of resources”, the artistic content and approach of the painting movement (i.e. the
continuation of the tradition along with addressing modern ideas) is influenced by factors such as “social
Horizon”, “existing discursive context” and “cultural capital” of the painters.
Research results that are derived from historical-analytical methods reveal that modern Iraqi artists used the
four Islamic, pre-Islamic or Mesopotamian, modern source and folkloric sources to create paintings which
were modern and Iraqi at the same time that could be definitely called “Modern Iraqi art”. The impact of
these mentioned sources can be seen in form and content or generally in aesthetic values of these works
which are obviously traceable in large exaggerated Sumerian eyes, dark and thick tracing lines in Abbasid
painting, indigenous colors and amulet, letters, Islamic calligraphy, crescent, dome, and themes of the
Karbala incident. It can be asserted that the Iraqi artist depicts the forms and contents that offer a strong
link to “place”, which is “Iraq”, as the place is the most important element in maintaining and preserving