Joseph Sassoon Semah

1948 · Iraq

Artist biography

Joseph Sassoon Semah is an established contemporary artist, who was born in Iraq, like other famous artists such as Walid Siti, Hayv Kahraman, Joseph Semah, Raid Houby, and Gorka Mohamed. Joseph Sassoon Semah was born in 1948.

Joseph Sassoon Semah's exhibition

Joseph Sassoon Semah most recent exhibition recorded on Artland was at Lumen Travo in Amsterdam with the exhibition On Friendship/(Collateral Damage) III – The Third GaLUT: Baghdad, Jerusalem, Amsterdam. The exhibition was open from 06 September 2019 until 11 October 2019.

Further Biographical Context for Joseph Sassoon Semah

Born in 1948, Joseph Sassoon Semah's creative work was largely inspired by the 1960s. The astronomical impact of the 1960s was truly sensational across the globe. Representative of a time inspiring both hope and anger, the 1960s triggered an outburst of new ideologies and movements, truly exciting and spectacular. Historically set in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly influential impact internationally, mainly defined by the Iron Curtain dividing Europe both physically and spiritually, and drastically marked by the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The 1960s re-defined all pre-existing assumptions on gender, race and justice, questioned education as well as morality and selfhood – for instance through the civil rights movement and second wave of feminism, as well as student political uprisings. The significant escalation of mass consumerism also defined the era, generating new trends in marketing and advertising. Minimalism established the central idea that art should exist in its own reality, and not try to mimic the real world. Born of a desire to eradicate all pre-established notions about art, Minimalism turned into a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key figures. Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler were artists who sought to explore further some of the most fundamental philosophies of Abstract Expressionism, while getting rid of the emotional and highly personal aspect it would often associated with it. This led to the creation of Colour Field painting, deeply identifying with Minimalism. The iconic contemporary art movements that reverberated through the wave of radicalism of the 1960s also had their own distinctions and scopes, particular to different regions or countries. Spatialism, for instance, was founded in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies embraced by the Zero group in Germany. Throughout Europe, the philosophy of Existentialism strongly influenced artists such as Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who sought to portray the raw human emotions often associated with reflections on death and the lingering angst of the meaninglessness of life.

Joseph Sassoon Semah