A pioneer in Modern Arab calligraphy Lebanese artist, critic and poet Samir Sayegh is known for breaking away from traditional modes of language and meaning. He explains: “My understanding of calligraphy is that it’s not the calligraphy that carries the final meaning. The last word is not declared by this painting or drawing. The true meaning of the drawing is in the interpretation of it by the viewer.”
Born in Beirut, Samir Sayegh (1945) attended classes in art history at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He has written numerous publications and books on Arab contemporary art, Islamic art and Sufi poetry. From 2003–2007, he was a lecturer at the American University of Beirut.
Sayegh has created a number of typefaces driven by his interest in Kufic scripts, and his practice focuses on the aesthetic properties of the written word in an effort to create a universal visual language. Through the formal elements of line and space, he abstracts Arabic letters and words into dynamic geometric compositions, bridging calligraphy and geometric minimalism.
Sayegh has held solo exhibitions across the Arab world, participated in the Sharjah Biennial and has had his work collected by institutions such as the Barjeel Art Foundation, Dalloul Art Foundation and British Museum.