Modern Square Kufic Tessellations
July 19, 2015 9:41 AM   Subscribe

Islamic Geometric  — Shakil Akram Khan has taken the ancient art of Islamic calligraphic decoration to a whole new place.
posted by scruss (13 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Having a culture that abstains from doing representational art, coupled with a written alphabet that both encourages and withstands extreme variation, Arabic has spawned some really beautiful art. This is a good example....
posted by njohnson23 at 9:58 AM on July 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

After the Ramsay Nasser post I got really excited about Islamic tiling and tesselations. My phone renders the site poorly so it will have to wait until tonight.
posted by Dr. Twist at 9:59 AM on July 19, 2015

My first post on the blue (11 years ago!) was about abstract calligraphy- I went to dig it up and post it here, but the entire thing has succumbed to link rot. I love this stuff! Great link, I'll be showing it to my family.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 10:17 AM on July 19, 2015

His gaze strays to NHK Weather. A low-pressure front is crossing Kansas. Next to it, an eerily calm Islamic downlink ceaselessly reiterates the name of God in a fractal-based calligraphy.
posted by chimaera at 10:18 AM on July 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

Quite a few of the images from "Gallery One" are based on the 99 Names of Allah in Arabic, which actually sounds very nice when read aloud (SLYT).

This is rad, thank you for sharing. Always down to see more stylized Arabic stuff (e.g. eL Seed's work)!
posted by raihan_ at 10:51 AM on July 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

Cool! Reminds me of Celtic repetitive patterns.
posted by alasdair at 12:41 PM on July 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

A few are somewhat less abstract than others. Oh, God.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:28 PM on July 19, 2015

I got to see these in person at Toronto's Aga Khan Museum this past winter. Really interesting.

If you're interested in Islamic geometric design, Eric Broug's website and books are really fantastic. His Facebook group has posts by many current artists and craftsmen from all over the world, showing off new and old designs from sketches to molding and painting to installation. They make my Facebook feed so much more beautiful and interesting.
posted by heatherann at 2:37 PM on July 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

heatherann, I saw Shakil speak at the AKM last week. It sounds like there may be some workshops coming up in the fall.

oneswellfoop, not all of his work is in Arabic. His piece Live and Love was (is?) on the side of the Swift Factory in Hartford, CT. It's also currently at the Stantec Window Gallery in Toronto.

He also has some more mathermatical abstract pieces, such as God and Ulam.
posted by scruss at 6:24 PM on July 19, 2015 [2 favorites]

I really like square Kufic script but I find it hard to read. Do native speakers (readers) have this difficulty?
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:00 PM on July 19, 2015

Oh, and apparently pseudo-Kufic script is a thing in European art.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:06 PM on July 19, 2015

Pseudo-Kufic! Down the interesting internet rabbit hole I go. :)
posted by heatherann at 5:03 AM on July 20, 2015

Scruss, I live super close to the Stantec Window Gallery and I had no idea it existed! I will have to swing by there more often. Thanks for mentioning it!
posted by heatherann at 5:04 AM on July 20, 2015 [1 favorite]

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