<strong>Hassan Massoudy</strong>, <em>Without hope it is impossible to find the unexpected. Heraclitus (535-475 BC)</em>, 2017. Water-based pigments on paper, 75 x 55 cm.Work in progress. Photo: © Jonathan Greet, 2012.<strong>Hassan Massoudy</strong>, <em>Instead of damning the darkness, it is better to light a little lantern. Chinese proverb</em>, 2007. Water-based pigments on paper, 75 x 55 cm.


Hassan Massoudy.
Photo: © Jonathan Greet, 2012.
Hassan Massoudy. Everyone can create their own happiness. Seneca (1st c.), 2015. Water-based pigments on paper, 65 x 50 cm.

Master artist-calligrapher, Hassan Massoudy, is an artist for whom the word itself remains the most sublime creative force. His work features the texts of a diverse range of writers, from poet, Charles Baudelaire and philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Virgil and Ibn ’Arabi. A sense of balance prevails in his art, whether between erudite discipline and artistic experimentation, or as played out through his understanding of the vigorous use of line, strength of gesture, abandon and grace.

Born to a traditional Iraqi family, Massoudy moved to Baghdad in 1961, where he learnt the various classical styles of calligraphy, and studied the fine arts. He departed for Paris in 1969, where he enrolled at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts. Massoudy was not only influenced by the great Arabic masters but also by the artists Leger, Matisse, Soulages and Picasso. Peace and tolerance, central themes of his work, led him to collaborate with Amnesty International and UNICEF. His work was exhibited in the British Museum’s 2006 exhibition, Word into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East and in 2007, his first solo exhibition at the Gallery, Modern Arabic Calligraphy took place. In 2012, Gestures of Light – The Art of Hassan Massoudy, was displayed at the Ghaf Art Gallery for ADMAF, Abu Dhabi, UAE. His work is in many private and major international collections, including the British Museum, London, UK; the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman, Jordan; the Musee du Quai Branly, Paris; the Biblioteque Nationale, Paris, France; the National Museum of Ethnography, Osaka, Japan; the Sharjah Museum, UAE; and the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, USA.

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

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View below for career highlights and works for sale by the artist.





Born in 1944, Najaf. Lives and works in Paris, France.
Selected Solo Shows
2021 There is place on earth for everyone, Contemporary Script Art by Hassan Massoudy, Pergamonmuseum, Berlin, Germany
Hope Is My Strength: Mohammad Al Ameri and Hassan Massoudy, Orient Gallery, Amman, Jordan
2020 Hassan Massoudy, Galerie Bertrand-Hassoun, Besançon, France
2018 Hassan Massoudy, Médiathèque, Chambray lès Tours, France
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
2019 Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam through Time & Place, Phoenix Museum of Art, Phoenix, USA
2018 Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam through Time & Place, Asia Society Texas Center, Houston, USA
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
Museum für Islamische Kunst - Pergamonmuseum, Berlin, 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