Ismail Khayat – known as the stone man or the grandfather of Kurdish Art – is one of Iraq’s most prolific modernist artists specifically in Kurdistan. With a career spanning nearly six decades, he initiated the Kurdistan Iraqi Art Movement and is an icon in the Kurdish art circle.
He was also the former Director of Plastic Arts at the Ministry of Culture in Kurdistan.K hayat’s works belong in several art institutions, both regionally and internationally.
Born in 1944 in Khanaken, Kurdistan – Khayat got his drawing inspirations from his surroundings, the struggles of the Anfal genocide, and Kurdish folklore and symbolism. He taught for more than 24 years, while being the supervisor of the art schools in Sulaymaniyah. He later joined the American University of Iraq, Sulaymaniyah (AUIS) as a lecturer.
With his unique style and getting inspirations from his surroundings, along with his passion for teaching arts, we explore the works of more than six decades of his art practice and impact on the Kurdish art scene. The show includes over a 100 artworks on display done in various medium and techniques.
The exhibition is part of the Lasting Impressions series, held annually at the Sharjah Art Museum. The aim is to focus on prominent Artists from the Arab region, who had a prolific career and left a lasting impression on the development and evolution of modern art in the Arab world.
This exhibition is co-curated by Alya Al-Mulla and Hayas Khayat.