January 14 – March 02, 2019
In the work of Lara Assouad principles of abstraction play a central role. Arabic letters are paired down to basic volumes and shapes. The use of letters in the context of contemporary and modernist applied and fine art dates back to the early Bauhaus school. Explored in varied visual traditions, text has been central in the evolution of several artists oeuvre.
With this body of work titled ‘alphabets’, Assouad expresses her interest in exploring the physicality and symbolism of the Arabic alphabet, its modularity and rhythm beyond its function as language and cultural signifier.
About Lara Assouad
Lara Assouad is a graphic and type designer with a particular interest in the relation between Arabic and Latin writing systems and multicultural identities. She has a Bachelors in Graphic Design from the American University of Beirut and researched Arabic writing and typography at the Atelier National de Recherche Typographique in Nancy, France.
In 2006, Assouad collaborated with Fred Smeijers to develop Fresco Arabic (for ‘Typographic Matchmaking’ a project initiated by Khatt Foundation), which won a Certificate of Excellence in Typography in 2008 from the Type Directors Club in New York.
She has worked on two children’s books in collaboration with Dar Onboz, Tabati and Aswat al Abjadiyyah, which were exhibited in Munich at the Haus Der Kunst in fall 2010 and at Agial Art Gallery in Beirut end of 2010. Tabati, the typeface developed for the two books was awarded a Certificate of Excellence in Typography in 2011 from TDC New York. Assouad received the Opera Prima Award at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 2012 for the illustrations, type design and layout of Tabati the book.
In April of 2014, Lara took part in the outdoors exhibition of the Sharjah Calligraphy Biennale with an installation entitled ‘Anta/Ana’ consisting of five laser cut individual Arabic letterforms spelling the Arabic words Ana and Anta.
Lara Assouad was one of the 11 selected artists for Jameel Prize 4 in 2016 for her Modular Arabic Typography project.
In 2018 she was one of 10 recipients of the inaugural Al Burda Endowment, an initiative conceived by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.