Fahrelnissa Zeid was a Turkish artist, but, being the daughter of a diplomat, she was educated in France and Turkey and she lived in many different countries during her life (Germany, Iran, Iraq…). This mix of cultures is evident in her works, which are a combination of Persian tiles and European abstraction.
In 1938 she saw the landscape from an airplane for the first time because she had to go away from Berlin were she was living because of the Nazi party rising. That landscape, with all the little roads and the squared fields, was fascinating for her, and from that moment on she started approaching abstract art, shifting from her previous figurative paintings.
This work seems to be a kaleidoscope of colors and forms, were the observer can get lost. In fact, this is facilitated also by its huge dimensions: it is 5 metres wide, and more than 2,5 metres high (we already spoke about this concept of feeling “lost” in a work of art, when we wrote about Rothko and Yves Klein: che them out!).
The artist was re-discovered in recent times, and her works started being estimated for very high prices. In 2013, this work was sold by Christie’s at auction for 2,7 millions of dollars!
In Turkey she is celebrated as a national hero, due to her important artistic research, but actually no nation will ever be able to revendicate her provenance, since she was a blend of different nationalities, never with stable identification (as her art shows).
Bibliography and further readings: