Zeid moved to the UK with her husband in 1945, and in the decade that followed she produced many of her most important artworks, as she moved from a figurative to an abstract style. Fight Against Abstraction
1947 documents her internal struggle with this process. Faces and fists fight with, and become, fragmented colours and bright mosaic brush strokes.
Fight Against Abstraction
Date of work
Oil paint on canvas 101 x 151 cm Istanbul Modern Collection/Eczacibasi Group Donation © Raad bin Zeid Collection Photo: Reha Arcan
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.