Glimpse of Wider Islamic World at San Antonio Museum of Art in Jameel Prize Exhibition


SAN ANTONIO, Texas, May 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- What does San Antonio have in common with London, Paris, Madrid and Stanford? It is also a venue (the second and final U.S. one) for The Jameel Prize: Art Inspired by Islamic Tradition, an exhibition that explores the dialogue between Islamic artistic traditions and contemporary practice and informs a broader debate about Islamic culture.

The Jameel Prize is a £25,000 international art prize inaugurated by the Victoria and Albert Museum (V &A) in London in 2009. Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid is its patron. Leading curators, designers, artists and cultural figures around the world were invited to nominate candidates. Nearly 200 submissions were received. The ten finalists whose work is on display are of Pakistani, Iranian, Iraqi, Egyptian and Algerian origins. Several of the artists have lived or live in the United States and explore the notion of assimilation and the socio-cultural issues that arise from living in both the Middle East and the West.

The winning work, Rachid Koraïchi's Les Maîtres Invisibles (Invisible Masters), consists of a series of cotton appliqué banners, which incorporate the ancient traditions of Islamic script and textile arts into a modern work. Koraïchi uses Arabic calligraphy and symbols from a range of other languages to explore the legacies of the 14 great mystics of Islam. The work aims to show that the world of Islam, in contrast to contemporary perceptions of crisis and violence, has another side entirely, evident in the writings of great Muslim thinkers and poets such as Rumi and El Arabi.

According to Ms. Hadid," The artists' work now goes beyond established painting, sculpture, and calligraphy to explore new media and reflect the diverse cultures and histories of the region. For millennia, the Islamic arts and sciences have bridged the cultural divide between East and West, teaching us that these worlds are not mutually exclusive, but rather layered upon each other and profoundly interlinked."

The Jameel Prize is awarded every two years and the exhibition is organized by the V &A in partnership with Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives. Prior to the San Antonio Museum of Art, The Jameel Prize was on view at the Institute du Monde Arabe in Paris, Casa Árabe in Madrid, and the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. The exhibition is on view through August 11, 2013. For more information about The Jameel Prize and the San Antonio Museum of Art visit

The San Antonio Museum of Art is housed in the historic Lone Star Brewery on the Museum Reach of the San Antonio Riverwalk. The collection contains more than 25,000 works representing 5,000 years of history and cultures from around the world.

Associated Image Captions:
Rachid Koraïchi
Les Maîtres Invisibles (The Invisible Masters), 2008
Cotton with black cotton applique
137 x 79 in.
Photo by Jonathan Greet
Courtesy of October Gallery

Soody Sharifi
Fashion Week, 2010
Digital collage
60 x 40 in.
Courtesy of LTMH Gallery, New York

Photos accompanying this release are available at:

CONTACT: Tatiana Herrera-Schneider 210-978-8107Source:San Antonio Museum of Art