Gestures of Light

The art of Hassan Massoudy

Published by Abu Dhabi Festival - 2012

Produced by October Gallery and ADMAF

Gestures of Light

Texte bilingue anglais/arabe

Format 30x30cm - 278 pages, 90 calligraphies

Hassan Massoudy is building a legacy that shall effortlessly transcend the temporality of time. His life story and career progression from Baghdad to Paris has been nothing less than awe-inspiring. Over the last 40 years, Massoudy has made significant sacrifices to attain a level of visual expression that resonates across cultures and continents. As a craftsman, he preserves the cultural practice of millennia; that which was borne from the banks of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers. As an artist, he is evolving tradition to new levels of beauty and meaning and advancing expression to new forms.
Through mutual respect, tolerance and understanding – also the founding principles of the UAE - Massoudy has used ‘the common language of the human heart’ to bring the world together. It is my great pleasure in 2012 to welcome him home to the Arab world for Gestures of Light.

Her Excellency Hoda Al Khamis Kanoo Founder, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation


Hassan Massoudy is a pure soul who cannot be bound by rational strings no matter how delicate or transparent; a boundless spirit who only soars in a world of subtle words, borrowing elusive verse and enticing the heart towards a distant play of meanings, sounds, voices, light and shadow. Only there and then does Massoudy find himself, in a creative milieu that fuses the restrictive rules of calligraphy with the free will of imagination; thus the classical master calligrapher provokes the contemporary painter to conceive works of art which defy classicism and modernity alike.
One of the foremost contemporary Arab artists, Massoudy has succeeded in conquering his ego or nafs, as it is known in the Sufi tradition. With his large vertical strokes and sparse horizontal lines, he alternates between the spiritual and temporal, the perpetual and ephemeral, painting and writing (or is it writing and painting?) as if in a trance, without the least care for the material outcome of his creativity; in this lies his brilliance.

Princess Wijdan Al-Hashemi of Jordan