Dia Azzawi

Born in Baghdad in 1939, Dia Azzawi started his artistic career in 1964, after graduating from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad and completing a degree in Archaeology from Baghdad University in 1962. In 1969, Azzawi formed the New Vision group (al-Ru’yya al-Jadidah), uniting fellow artists ideologically and culturally as opposed to stylistically. Through his involvement with the New Vision group Azzawi found inspiration in contemporary subjects and issues, particularly the plight of the Palestinians. From 1968-1976, Azzawi was the director of the Iraqi Antiquities Department in Baghdad. He has lived in London since 1976, where he was art advisor to the city’s Iraqi Cultural Centre, from 1977-1980. Azzawi’s move to London led him to rediscover book art (dafatir), an art form that he has encouraged other artists from the region to explore. His art features in international collections, including the Museums of Modern Art in Baghdad, Damascus and Tunis, Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah; Kinda Foundation, Saudi Arabia; Una Foundation, Casablanca; Arab Monetary Fund, Abu Dhabi, Development Fund, Kuwait, Jeddah International Airport, the British Museum, Tate Modern, and Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Institut du Monde Arabe, Bibliothèque Nationale de France and Colas Foundation, Paris, Harba Collection, Iraq and Italy, Gulbenkian Collection, Barcelona, and Library of Congress and the World Bank, Washington DC.