Jerusalem in exile

Meaning and abstraction in Arab and Islamic art 

On the 24th January 2020 the Centre, in collaboration with Jesus College and the Department of the History of Art, held a symposium to celebrate the works of Kamal Boullata and officially open an exhibition of his hand-made silk-screen prints and hand-made books.

As part of the launch we were delighted to host Hirmer Books (represented by Heffers Book shop) who released two new books on Kamal and his work: ‘There where you are not‘ and ‘Uninterrupted Fugue‘.

We were also delighted to be able to sell copies of these and also a unique chapbook created by an old friend of Kamal’s; Christopher Strutz.

The exhibition could not have happened without the generous sponsorship of the Barjeel Foundation and A.M.Qattan.

<p>The invitation</p>
<p>The artist at home</p>
<p>The Symposium - one of the panels</p>
<p>The beautfiul gallery space in the West Court of Jesus College where the exhibition was held</p>
<p>Arbre et Os</p>
<p>Three Quartets</p>
<p>12 Lanterns for Granada </p>
<p>Uninterrupted Fugue</p>
<p>There where you are not</p>

Symposium schedule

13:00  Khaled Fahmy / James Clackson / Donal Cooper / – Short introductions 

(Centre of Islamic Studies, Jesus College) 


13:15  Elizabeth Key Fowden – Kamal Boullata: Byzantine, Islamic and abstract artist 

(University of Cambridge) 


13:45  Claudia Tobin – An operator of colours: conversations in word and image 

(University of Cambridge) 


14:15  Venetia Porter Artists books by Kamal Boullata and his contemporaries in the British Museum    (British Museum) 


14:45  Coffee Break 


15:00  Rémi Labrusse – Against geometry? On Matisse and the Arts of Islam 

(Université Paris Nanterre) 


15:30  Mercedes Volait – An early Egyptian display of Islamic art at the 1867 World’s Fair in Paris: Dr. Meymar’s exhibits (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris) 


16:00  Coffee Break 


16:15  Burcu DoğramacıExiled artists from the Arab world 

(Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München; Hirmer volume editor) 


16:45  Nasser Rabbat – Kamal Boullata: For the love of Jerusalem 

(Massachusetts Institute of Technology) 


17:15  Finbarr Barry Flood – Kamal Boullata and the aesthetics of radical humanism 

(New York University; Hirmer volume editor – read by Elizabeth Fowden) 


  Open discussion 


18:00  Book launch (There where you are not  and  Uninterrupted Fugue) 

Exhibition public opening and reception  


The Committee wishes to express its thanks to the generous donations by our valued sponsors: the AM Qattan Foundation, the Barjeel Art Foundation, the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies and the Department of History of Art (University of Cambridge) without whose help this event would not have been possible. 


The Committee is also very grateful to the Master, President, Fellows and Staff at Jesus College, Cambridge for their hospitality and assistance in hosting this exhibition and symposium.