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Founded in 1979, October Gallery, in central London, exhibits innovative, contemporary art from around the world. For over 39 years, October Gallery has pioneered the development of the Transvangarde - the trans-cultural avant-garde.
  • Hassan Massoudy. photo © Jonathan Greet 2012
  • Hassan Massoudy. photo © Jonathan Greet 2012

ARTISTS






Hassan Massoudy

Hassan Massoudy is an artist for whom the word itself remains the most sublime creative force.  His creations are a subtle mix of present and past, oriental and occidental, tradition and modernity.  The words and phrases, which are the inspiration for his calligraphy, are drawn from proverbs, poets and philosophers throughout the centuries, ranging from St. Augustine, Virgil and Ibn’-al-Arabi to Baudelaire and Rousseau.


Hassan Massoudy was born in 1944 in Najaf, southern Iraq in a traditional Iraqi society.  He moved to Baghdad in 1961, where he learnt the various classical styles of calligraphy, studied graphic design and fine arts.   His desire to study art, coupled with the political events in Iraq at the time, saw him leave for Paris in 1969 where he enrolled at the École des Beaux- Arts. Massoudy was not only influenced by the great Arabic masters but also the artists Leger, Matisse, Soulages and Picasso.  After receiving his degree in 1975 he returned to calligraphy in a more enriched way, employing classical styles in a newer and freer manner. From 1972 he toured Europe for thirteen years with his Arabesque performance combining music, poetry and calligraphy.

Peace and tolerance are central themes of his work leading him to work with Amnesty International, UNICEF and other related organisations.
Massoudy’s work was exhibited and used as the primary promotional image for the British Museum’s 2006 exhibition, Word Into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East.

"The gestures of the calligrapher become an open space, welcoming the words of the poet and the imagination of the onlooker".
Hassan Massoudy



Even if happiness forgets you occasionally, never forget it completely.
Jacques Prévert (1900-1977)

Life and joy culminate where beauty reigns.
Schiller (1759-1805)

With a strong will one can go through gray stone.
Alexis Kivi (1834-1872

Time is like a dream, all its misfortunes and favours are unintentional. Therefore, neither praise nor blame it!
Al-Touhami (12th c.)


Wisdom comes to us in dreams.
Chief Smohalla (19th c.)

Wisdom comes to us in dreams.
Chief Smohalla (19th c.)
Hassan Massoudy. Water-based pigments on paper
"Le parfait voyageur ne sait pas où il va"
Lao Tseu
HM171

'You fled to the desert on the wings of the heart; the desert is lost in the realm of your heart.'

Only someone who is not in love sees their real image reflected in the water.
Seul celui qui n’est pas amoureux voit dans l’eau sa propre image.
Rumi (13th c.)

Nothing is real other than dreams and love.
Anna de Noailles (1876-1933)

Love guided me and I followed it docilely. No one apart from you have I permitted to be my guide.
Ibn Zaydoun (11th c.)

In your love, eternally I delight. To your love, I submit.
Ibn Zaydoun (11th c.)


Where there’s a will, there’s a way. English proverb

On Earth there is enough room for everyone.
Sur terre il y a place pour tous.
Schiller (1759-1805)

Nothing is real other than dreams and love.
Anna de Noailles (1876-1933)

Everyone can create their own happiness.
Seneca (1st c.)


If life is like a big dream, why bother living in torment?
Li Bai (701-762)

I believe in the religion of Love, whatever direction its caravans may take, for Love is my religion and my faith.
Ibn Arabi (13th c.)

'Instead of damning the darkness, it is better to light a little candle.'

"Je me suis abreuvé d’amour, verre après verre, sans que s’épuise cette boisson, sans que je sois désaltéré."
HM300


Celui qui accorde..."
HM247

"La beauté sauvera le monde"
HM327

"Ô ami ne va pas au jardin des fleurs, le jardin des fleurs est en toi."
HM311

"Ô temps suspend ton vol"
HM326


"Meme si le bonheur t'oublie un peu, ne l'oublie jamais tout a fait."
HMP61

"La terre n’appartient pas à l’homme; c’est l’homme qui appartient à la terre"
HM328

"I wish to be a butterfly flitting around the candle of your beauty." Persian Proverb
HM368

'He who doesn’t progress each day regresses each day.'


"Le développement ce ne m’est pas avoir d’avantage mais être d’avantage."
HM310

'Beauty will save the world.'
HMP83

"Better than pearls and coral is the gesture of one man towards another man." Ibn Al-Habbab
HM213

"Ô ami, ne va pas au jardin des fleurs. Le jardin des fleurs est en toi." Kabir XVI.
HMOG340


"Au lieu de fulminer contre les ténèbres il vaut mieux allumer une petite lanterne"
HM347

"Towards another land, a country where only light reigns."
Rumi 13th Century.
HM367

"Méfiez-vous des rêves de jeunesse, ils finissent toujours par se réaliser"
HM301

"Better than pearls and coral is the gesture of one man towards another man." Ibn Al-Habbab
HMP66


"Mon coeur a des yeux qui pour toi seul ont des regards et tout entier il est entre tes main"
HM245
     

       


"If you shut your door to all errors, truth will be shut out. Tagore" (1861-1941)
HM397

"Woman is a ray of divine light, La femme est un rayon de la lumière divine" Rûmi
HM396

"I believe in the religion of Love, whatever direction its caravans may take, for Love is my religion and my faith. Je crois en la religion de l'amour, où que se dirigent ses caravanes. Car l'amour est ma religion et ma foi"
Ibn Arabi (13th c.)
HM392

"Life and joy culminate where beauty reigns." Schiller (1759 - 1805)
HM391


"Are you not made of all the souls, you who are beloved of all hearts" Al-Qadi al Tannoukhi (10th c.)
HM389

"The fall is no disaster, disaster is remaining where one has fallen." Socrates (5th c.)
HM388

"With clay we make vases, but the emptiness within gives the vase its use." Laozi (604-531 BCE)
HM386

"With development it is not a question of having an advantage so much as to be ahead."
Gandhi
HM383


"Towards another land, a country where only light reigns." Rumi (13th c.)
HM382

"There is no way to peace, peace is the way." A.J. Muste (1885-1967)
HM379

"Love guided me and I followed it docilely.No one apart from you have I permitted to be my guide."
Ibn Zaydoun (11th c.)
HM378

"Even if happiness forgets you occasionally, never forget it completely."
Jacques Prévert (1900-1977)
HM377


"Les yeux donnent des nouvelles du coeur."
Zouhair Ibn Abi Sulma (VIIs.)
HM376

"The heart is a guide for the heart as soon as they meet."
Abu Al-Attahia (8th c.)
HM375

"With development it's not a question of having an advantage, so much as to be ahead."
Gandhi
HM374
 


"Oh time, arrest your flight."
Lamartine (1790-1869)
HM422

"Instead of railing against the darkness it's better to light a small lantern." Chinese proverb
HM421

"Knowledge nurtures the man who does not have a high position. Le savoir se situe au plus élevédes rangs.
Avicenna (980-1037)
HM420

"Whenever the vision is broadened the words become narrowed."
HM419


"Better than pearls and coral is the gesture of one man towards another man." Ibn Al-Habbab (8th c.)
HM418

"Love guided me and I followed it docilely. No one apart from you have I permitted to be my guide."
Ibn Zaydoun (11th c.)
HM417

"Time rushes and then rushes back again. Life, how sweet and yet how bitter." Al-Charif Al-Aqili (10th c.)
HM416

"The best speech is precise and concise. Le meilleur des propos est concis et précis." Arabic proverb
HM412


"O friend, don't go to the flower garden, the flower garden is within you. Ô ami, ne va pas au jardin des fleurs, le jardin des fleurs est en toi." Kabir (16th c.)
HM411

"Earth is my country and humanity my family." Gibran (1883-1931)
HM409

"The world is my country. All mankind are my brethren."
Thomas Paine (1737-1809)
HM402

"If the world were a flower, I would like to be a bee." Sultan Abdal (1480-1550), 2016. Water-based pigments on paper, 75 x 55 cm.
HM398

There is no way to peace, peace is the way.
A. J. Muste (1885-1967)

Men build too many walls and not enough bridges.
Joseph Fort Newton (1876-1950)

We can also build something beautiful with stones that hinder the way.
Goethe

"L'amour vainc tout. Love conquers all." Virgil (70-19 BCE)
HM444


"Place your words well, for words place you." Arabic proverb
HM440

"Love understands all languages." Mediterranean proverb
HM439

"When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That's my religion." Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
HM438

"When love comes in, reason flees the scene". Farid Al Din-Attar (1145-1220), 2016. Water-based pigments on paper, 65 x 50 cm.
HM435


Hassan Massoudy, Water-based pigments on paper
“L’amour vainc tout” Virgile

Time rushes and then rushes back again. Life, how sweet and yet how bitter.
Le temps n’est que flux et reflux, la vie que douceur et amertume.
Al-Aqili (10th c.)

Même si le bonheur t’oublie un peu, ne l’oublie jamais tout à fait.
Jacques Prévert (1900-1977)

Regarde la patience si belle de la bougie, elle s’offre en lumière alors que le feu la consume.
Ibn Munqidh (XIIs.)


'Travel if you wish to make something of yourself. Only by travelling through the heavens does the crescent become the full moon.'


'Knowledge nurtures the man who does not have a high position.'
   

Hassan Massoudy Biography

Born in Najaf, Iraq, 1944; lives and works in Paris, France

Selected Solo Shows
2017 Breath, Gesture and Light, October Gallery,  London, UK
Hassan Massoudy, Galerie de L’Embarcadère, Montceau-les-Mines, France
Hassan Massoudy: Words, Breath, Gesture, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Madison Avenue, New York, USA
Hassan Massoudy: Words, Breath, Gesture, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Chelsea, New York, USA
2016 Hassan Massoudy: The Calligrapher, Gama Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
2015 Words of Wisdom in Arabic Calligraphy: The Art of Hassan Massoudy, Farhat Art Museum,  Beirut, Lebanon
Calligraphies Humanistes, Galerie Yolenn White, Geneva, Switzerland
Massoudy Calligraphe, Château de Ladoucette, Drancy, France
2014 Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial, Sharjah, UAE
2013 Calligraphies, Galerie Yolenn White, Geneva, Switzerland
2012 Gestures of Light, Abu Dhabi Festival, Ghaf Gallery and Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Présence orientale, Centre régional d’art contemporain, Château du Tremblay, Fontenoy, France
2011 Musée du Château des Rohan, Saverne, France
2010 Logis Royal, Château de Loches, Loches, France
Festival de Musique Sacrée, Musée Batha, Fez, Morocco
Prieuré Saint-Cosme, Demeure de Ronsard, La Riche, France
2009 Arabesque, Arab World Festival, John F. Kennedy Centre, Washington, D.C., USA
2008 Scriptorial d’Avranches, Musée des Manuscrits du Mont-Saint-Michel, Avranches, France
Hunar Gallery, Dubai, UAE
2007 Modern Arabic Calligraphy, October Gallery, 
London, UK
Chapelle du Seminaire, Moissac, France
Centre d’Art Contemporain, Abbaye de Trizay, Trizay, France
2005 Musée Château Saint–Jean, Nogent-le-Rotrou, France
2004 Maison des Mémoires, Carcassonne, France
2003 Maison des Arts et de la Communication, Sallaumines, France
2002 Hunar Gallery, Dubai, UAE
Galerie Atelier Gustave, Paris, France
Médiatheque François Mitterand, Saint-Denis de la Réunion, La Réunion Centre Culturel Fran çois Villon Enghien-les-Bains, France
2001 Centre Culturel, Artothèque de Cherbourg-Octeville, Cherbourg, France
Pavillon des Arts, Mont-de-Marsan, France
2000 Bibliothèque Municipale, Montbéliard, France
Galerie Tammouz, Brussels, Belgium
1999 Fondation Asselah, Algiers, Algeria 
Festival de Musique Sacrée, Musée Batha, Fez, Morocco Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Oran, Algeria
1998 Comptoir des Ecritures, Paris, France
1997 Centre Culturel Saint-Exupéry, Reims, France
1996 La Médiatine, Brussels, Belgium
1995 Arabian Collections Gallery, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia 
La Collégiale de Saint-Pierre Le Puellier, Orléans, France
1994 Salle des Templiers, Montélimar, France
1993 Musée Barrois, Bar-le-Duc, France 
Maison de la Culture, Bourges, France 
Palais des Congrès, Grasse, France
1991 Theater de Balie, Amsterdam, the Netherlands 
Galerie l’Art à la Page, Paris, France
1990 Palais de l’UNESCO, Paris, France 
ARIAP Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Lille, France
1989 Salle Al Amane, Casablanca, Morocco 
A.R. Galerie Art Contemporain, Brest, France
1998 Soeterijntheater, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
1987 Centre Culturel Français, Constantine, Algeria 
Galerie de Lappe, Paris, France
1986 Museumgouda (formerly: Stedelijke Musea), 
Gouda, the Netherlands 
Westfries Museum, Hoorn, the Netherlands 
Galerie Al Iwan, Kuwait 
1984 Orient Galerie, Paris, France 
Musée Régional, Sarreguemines, France
1982 Maison des Arts et de la Culture, Créteil, France
1981 Musée des Beaux-Arts, Pau, France 
Selected Group Shows
2017 Summer Group Show, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, New York, USA
2016 Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam through Time & Place, Newark Museum,New Jersey, USA
Hassan Massoudy, Gallery by Chatel, Paris, France
2015 Summer Group Show, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, New York, USA
Frontiers Reimagined, an official collateral event of the 56th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
2014 Marked: Contemporary Takes on Mark-Making, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Hong Kong, China
Art13, London, UK, with October Gallery, London, UK
2013 Home and the World Part II, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Singapore
2012 Written Images: Contemporary Calligraphy from the Middle East, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, Hong Kong, China
Art Dubai, Dubai, UAE, with October Gallery, London, UK
2011 Abu Dhabi Art, Abu Dhabi, UAE, with October Gallery, London, UK
Miragens, Instituto Tomie Ohtake, São Paulo, Brazil
Dance of Letters 2, Haleh Gallery, Berg am Starnberger See, Germany
2010 Written Images: Contemporary Calligraphy From the Middle East, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, New York, USA
2009 Signs: Contemporary Arab Art, Sundaram Tagore Gallery, New York, USA
2008 Hunar Gallery, Dubai, UAE
Art Dubai 2008, Dubai, UAE, with October Gallery, London, UK
2007 Espejismos, Contemporary Art from the Middle East and North Africa, Museo San Pedro de Arte, Puebla, Mexico
2006 Word into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East, British Museum, London, UK
2004 Geschriebene Welten. Arabische Kalligraphie und Literatur im Wandel der Zeit, (Written Worlds. Arabian Calligraphy and Literature in the change of time), Museum Angewandte Kunst, Frankfurt, Germany
2001 Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, UAE
1986 Signe et Calligraphies, Musée des Arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, Paris, France
Public Collections

British Museum, London, UK
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, USA
Newark Museum, New Jersey, USA
Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University,
New York, USA
Museum Fünf Kontinente, Munich, Germany
Farhat Art Museum, Beirut, Lebanon
Wereldmuseum, (formerly: Museum voor Land - en Volkenkunde), Rotterdam, the Netherlands
Museumgouda (formerly: Stedelijke Musea), Gouda, the Netherlands
Westfries Museum, Hoorn, the Netherlands
Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts,
Amman, Jordan
Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, UAE
Riyadh King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka, Japan
Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore
Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, France
Cabinet des Estampes, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France
Mémorial de Caen, Caen, France
Musée Balzac, Château de Saché, Saché, France
Demeure de Ronsard, Prieuré de Saint-Cosme, La Riche, France
Musée Rabelais, Maison de la Devinière,
Seuilly, France
Artothèque de Vitre, Vitre, France
Artothèque d’Angoulême, Angoulême, France
Artothèque de Cherbourg-Octeville,
Cherbourg, France
CAF de Roubaix-Tourcoing,
Roubaix-Tourcoing, France
Médiathèque, Saint-Denis de la Réunion,
La Réunion, France
Médiathèque du pays de Mauriac,
Mauriac, France
Conseil Général du Cantal, Aurillac, France
King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture,
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
La Ville de Saint-Apollinaire,
Saint-Apollinaire, France
La Ville de Rezé, Rezé, France
La Ville de Saint-Avertin, Saint-Avertin, France
La Ville de Dieppe, Dieppe, France
La Ville de Creil, Creil, France
La Ville de Colombes, Colombes, France
La Ville d’Avranches, Avranches, France



   
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