Fahrelnissa Zeid: Painter of Inner Worlds
By Adila Laïdi-Hanieh.
Coinciding with a touring Tate exhibition of her work, this book is the first biography of influential abstract painter Princess Fahrelnissa Zeid (1901–91), a pioneer of Turkish art whose rich life spanned the first 90 years of the 20th century. Zeid is best known for her large-scale paintings that combine Islamic, Byzantine, Arab and Persian influences with stylistic elements developed in Europe during the postwar period. Born into a prominent family in Istanbul, she emerged as a leading figure of Turkish modernism and went on to become a prominent member of the 1950s École de Paris abstract art movement, praised by André Breton. In the same decade, she was also one of the first women to exhibit at London’s ICA. This book covers her peripatetic life, the evolution of her practice and her reinvention in her eighties as a teacher, redefining her for the contemporary reader as one of the most important female modernists.