PUBLIC TALK: The Opposition to Portraiture in Islamic Art
|The Opposition to Portraiture in Islamic Art : Public talk with Art Gallery WA Director Dr Stefano Carboni
It is commonplace to purport that Islamic art is non-representational because of a religious ban on figurative expressions. Although this statement is far from being comprehensive or entirely true, the opposition to the figurative arts is a constant feature in the landscape of Islamic art throughout the centuries and this is one of the reasons why portraiture never fully develop as a specific genre. However, a few notable exceptions exist and they will be explored during the talk together with an introduction on the reputed religious ban and to which extent the figurative arts blossomed in a secular environment.
Stefano Carboni was appointed the 11th Director of the Art Gallery of Western Australia starting in October 2008. Previously he was Curator and Administrator in the Department of Islamic Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Visiting Professor at the Bard Graduate Center in New York. He joined the curatorial staff at the Metropolitan Museum in 1992 after completing his graduate studies in Arabic and in Islamic Art at the University of Venice and his Ph.D. in Islamic Art at the University of London. At the Metropolitan Museum he has been responsible for a large number of exhibitions, including the acclaimed Venice and the Islamic World, 828-1797 (2006-2007).
His publications include authoring and editing several exhibition catalogues, among which are Glass of the Sultans (2001); the prestigious Barr Award winner The Legacy of Genghis Khan. Courtly Arts and Culture in Western Asia, 1256-1353 (2002); and Venice and the Islamic World; another major publication is the catalogue of the Islamic glass collection in the National Museum of Kuwait (Glass from Islamic Lands. The Al-Sabah Collection, Kuwait National Museum, 2001).
He lectured widely in the museum and outside and taught courses in Islamic Art and Curatorial Studies on a regular basis at the Institute of Fine Arts (NYU), Hunter College (CUNY), and the Bard Graduate Center for the Decorative Arts in New York
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