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Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Muhanna Durra, pioneer of Jordanian artistic movement, dies at 83

Durra was the first artist to introduce expressionism, cubism, and abstract art into the Jordanian visual arts scene

Ahram Online , Monday 25 Jan 2021
Muhanna Durra
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Renowned Jordanian painter Muhanna Durra died on Sunday at the age of 83, the Jordanian Plastic Artists Association reported.

Regarded as the pioneer of the Jordanian artistic movement, Durra was the first artist to introduce expressionism, cubism, and abstract art into the Jordanian visual arts scene, boosting the development of the local creative community.

Born in Amman in 1938 to a Lebanese father and a Turkish mother, Durra studied arts under Dutch artist William Hallowin, who at the time was residing in Amman, before moving to study at the Royal Academy in Rome.

Durra returned to Amman in 1958 where he taught art and became particularly interested in music, hence his strong connections between music and abstract art.

He received a job offer at the Jordanian Embassy in Rome in 1961, so he moved again to Italy.

Upon his second return to Amman, he taught at the Faculty of Fine Art and Design at the University of Jordan. In 1975, he was appointed as general director of the Jordanian Department of Culture and Arts. Later on, he headed the Jordan Association of Fine Arts.

Throughout his life, Durra received numerous honours and recognitions, including the Jordanian State Appreciation Award in 1977, the Golden Star Medal from the Italian Ministry of Culture in 1978, and the Medal of Honour from the Union of Arab Artists in 1980.

In 2006, he was granted the Order of the Star of Italian Solidarity, and in 2008 he recieved Al-Hussein Decoration from King Abdullah II of Jordan.

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