Museo Correr

Museo Correr

Calligraphy exhibition THE WAY OF WRITING

Hassan Massoudy (Iraq)

Hassan Massoudy blends the essences of the contemporary and the historical by interweaving elements of Eastern and Western artistic traditions.
While maintaining the legacy of tradition, he simultaneously breaks away from its boundaries, promoting an evolution of writing forms. Inspirations for his compositions are drawn from a wide range of sources, ranging from the verses of poets to the prose of writers from different cultures to the eternal wisdom of folk sayings. Each trait in his work reflects his unwavering commitment to exploring the nuances of human experience through art.



Hassan Massoudy (Najaf, Iraq, 1944) studied classical calligraphy in Baghdad and has lived in France since 1969 where he pursued art studies at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Massoudy writes large letters in bright colors on paper or canvas to create works that bring traditional Arabic script into a contemporary context. Inspired by Eastern and Western authors, poets and philosophers, he draws the viewer’s attention to the sculptural dimensionality and aesthetic wonder of both the letter form and the process of tracing it on paper. His works are legible, and the author claims that legibility is an element of essential importance in his work. Massoudy has become an important reference point for artists who call themselves calligraffiti. Street artist El Seed, who uses calligraphy in his art, said the work of Iraqi painter Hassan Massoudy was a major source of inspiration for him: “Massoudy’s work was totally different from anything I had seen before, from the shapes of the letters to the use of color. He completely revolutionized the art of calligraphy.”