The Aesthetics of Contemporary Arabic Calligraphy in the Paintings of Nja Mahdaoui


Contemporary Arabic calligraphy art is related to the practice of handwriting or lettering. Traditional Arabic calligraphy art was used as a way of expression that delivered the aesthetic spirit of the Arabic language. The use of contemporary Arabic calligraphy art by the artist Nja Mahdaoui raises a question dealing with the aesthetic quality of Arabic calligraphy in terms of form and theme. This study discusses the visual characteristics illustrated in contemporary Arabic calligraphy paintings created by Nja Mahdaoui. The visual analysis approach by Feldman was chosen and highlighted through the application of line, shape, texture, balance, repetition, and space. The research concludes that the art of Mahdaoui defies the static conceptions of fine art and the tradition of modern calligraphy. The Arabic calligraphic art created by this artist is a means of communicating a particular aesthetic experience with the spirt of the Arabic language. Mahdaoui seeks to create a total art, which could speak to global audiences. Mahdaoui’s calligraphy art is not only about how we read the Arabic word, it is also greatly informed by the beauty of the composition and the rhythm of the calligraphic line.

Keywords: contemporary, Arabic calligraphy, aesthetic

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