Basel Fasnacht is a three-day Swiss festival. Whilst Zeid’s Basel Carnival
1953 is abstract, there are many elements that reference the physical celebration – eye-like shapes allude to the brightly coloured papier-mâché masks of the revellers, and the densely-filled, crowded canvas calls to mind the throng of people that gather along the narrow streets.
Date of work
Fahrelnissa Zeid is best known for her densely filled abstract works, and stylised portraits in later life. She was born in Istanbul in 1901 into an elite family of statesmen and intellectuals and later married into the Hashemite royal family of Iraq. She became one of the first female modern painters in Turkey, joining the d group – an influential group of progressive Turkish avant-garde artists. Widely travelled, Zeid exhibited her work in London, Paris, Brussels, New York and Jordan.