Don’t miss Osman Young’s exhibition at Safarkhan gallery

Nagwa El-Ashri , Tuesday 4 May 2021

Osman Young
Osman Young

Celebrating Ramadan, the “Madad” trio exhibition of paintings at Safarkhan gallery features newcomers Mohamed Hassan and Osman Young alongside Rana Chalabi

Dedicated to charity, the exhibition was curated around the universal concept of madad (divine aid), with work that attempts to demystify the notion, emphasising the implications of trust, gratitude and divine connection it embodies. Remodelled Arabic calligraphy by Hassan and Young are supplemented by geometric re-imaginings of Fatimid Cairo by Chalabi.

In this show, Osman Young offers us a fresh and bold outlook that is open-minded in terms of both the selection and composition of the verses he expresses in his own calligraphic form. Young’s works are conceived in a variety styles, with angular lines belying curves. He also employs an unusual palette of pastels, notable in their understated nature and how the allow him to leave parts of the canvas blank. 

His original and thoughtful choice of colour is entirely unusual for traditional calligraphic works, though more common to Sufi art – entirely bright and optimistic. 

Despite adding a modern touch of flair to a nearly unaltered ancient form, the boldness of Young’s palette never strays too far. Instead, the Qur’anic verses he presents rather take on an enthusiastic, vigorous appearance.

The exhibition remains on view until 11 May. 


*A version of this article appears in print in the 6 May, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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