What is the secret of Google's celebration of Maliha Afnan?

Google, celebrates today, Monday, the artist Maliha Afnan, one of the most important artists of the Middle East in the 20th century. Unusually for Google, it celebrates Maliha Afnan's career, although the day does not coincide with her birthday on March 24 or the date of her death on January 6.

Who is Maliha Afnan?

Maliha Afnan is a plastic artist, born in 1935 in the Palestinian city of Haifa to Persian parents, and later moved with them to Beirut, where she attended high school and obtained a Bachelor of Arts from the American University in the Lebanese capital.

In 1956, Afnan moved to Washington, DC, where she obtained a master's degree in fine arts from the Cucurat School of Art in 1962.

During her studies, Maliha used Arabic and Persian calligraphy in her artwork, to gain the admiration of her teacher, and introduce her to the American calligrapher artist, Mark Toby.

Maliha Afnan lived in Kuwait between 1963 and 1966, then moved to Beirut, where she stayed until the civil war there forced her to leave in 1974, and move to the French capital, Paris, and resided there for 23 years, before moving to the British capital, London in 1997.

Most notable work of Maliha Afnan

Maliha Afnan has used mixed media in her “written paintings” and works mostly inspired by antique scrolls.

Afnan's interest in the written language developed when she was a child who used to scribble imaginary text and numbers on the pages, to develop from that a distinctive style of abstract calligraphy.

Through her artwork, which she describes as “written paintings,” Maliha Afnan explores various issues, such as exile and displacement, while recognizing the conflicts in the Middle East and the impact of her cultural heritage.

The secret behind Google's celebration of the artist Maliha Afnan today?

Google celebrates Maliha Afnan today, Monday, July 5, 2021, because that date coincides with the end of a virtual group exhibition entitled “Consistency of Fragility”, but last year, which presented one of Afnan’s most famous works in 1979 entitled “Wharton”. The exhibition was launched This is the Institute of Contemporary Art in Milan, Italy.

Maliha Afnan's artwork appeared mainly in France and London, and her first solo exhibition was at the Basel Gallery in Switzerland in 1971, organized by American artist Mark Tobey.

Some of Mleiha's works are also in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the British Museum in London, the Ritten Art Collection in Germany, the Arab World Institute in Paris, and the Ball Collection in Paris.


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