Bassem Dahdouh was born in 1964 in Damascus, Syria. He graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Damascus in 1981. Bassem holds both a Master’s Degree and PhD from the University of Helwan in Egypt. Dahdouh is a member in Syndicate of Fine Arts, Syria as well as a member in Arab Artists League.
In his series the ‘humanoid bull’, the artist uses mixed media on various mediums to create his art pieces. Newspapers, ink, water colour or acrylics rhyme together in a flowing harmony to create striking images.
The artworks illustrate the awkward societal transformation that is ongoing, but incomplete. The earthy colour palette implies that the hybrid being is in an ever-changing, nebulous state.
For the past eight years the artist has tried to reflect on the events of the war that have affected the souls, minds and feelings of everyday Syrian people. Dahdouh highlights the issue of over-production in the developed world, when billions of those less-fortunate lack the most basic of needs elsewhere.
He won his first prize in 1979 for an oil painting. Since then he participated in many solo and group exhibitions both locally and internationally throughout the 1980s and 1990s and has obtained recognition both in the Arab and international art worlds. From 2000, Bassem exhibited in many countries including Egypt, Jordan, Switzerland, UAE, Italy and France.
The message from Bassem Dahdouh:
“The only truth about art is that there is nothing absolute. There is always the invitation there for the artist and the audience to experiment and enjoy the art in their own way.
In my paintings there are no taboos. I always try to make it an adventure for the soul as I believe in the non-static nature of art.
At first glance, a painting cannot convey its full meaning. You need to slow down. Only then can you start communicating with the piece.
In this collection, the humanoid bull is an injection of pain and suffering into the canvas. It is an indirect analogy of frustration that corrupts its own character and personality.
The creature has no gender or persona, it is not definitively a bull or a human, but arrested in between. It portrays us, oppressed when reaching out for a breath of fresh air in an attempt to lead normal lives.
It is my hope that we as humanity would succeed and plant some kindness and compassion in this land before it is too late.”
Solo and Joint Exhibitions:
1979 - won prize for painting with oil.
1984 - first solo exhibition, Arabic cultural centre, Damascus.
1987 - second solo exhibition Gallery Ishtar Damascus.
1989 till now - participated in the Faculty Exhibition for Professors.
1989 - Participated in the International Exhibition for youth Sofia, Belgrade.
1990 - 3rd solo exhibition Al-Said Gallery, Damascus.
1991 - participated in Exhibition ,ten Artists,Gallery Ishtar.
1991 - participated in Exhibition, Eight Artists,Gallery Wafaa.
1992 - 4th solo exhibition Ishtar.
1992 - Exhibition in Tripoli Lebanon.
1993 - Youth Exhibition, Cairo and Alexandria,Hotel Sisil.
1993 - 5th personal exhibition AlSayed Gallery.
1994 - Joint exhibition, five artists from Syria, Cairo.
1994 - 6th solo exhibition “Mashrabieh Hall for modern Art” Cairo.
1995 - participated in second Bienali Sharja, won first prize.
1995 - 7th personal Exhibition ,Cairo”Art for all Hall”
1996 - participated Bienali Cairo.
1996 - 8th personal exhibition Cairo “Mashrabieh Hall”.
1996 - Joint Exhibition “Women in abstract eyes” Dunia Hall,Cairo.
1996 - Joint Exhibition with Egyptian artists “Europe Hall” Cairo.
1997 - 9th solo exhibition, Ghardaga, Egypt.
1997 - Appreciation prize in third Bienali Sharja.
1997 - 10th solo exhibition Alexandria.
1997 - Joint Exhibition “three artists” Atassi Gallery.
1997 - participated in Al mahaba Bienali Latakia.
1998 - 11th solo exhibition “Kawaf Gallery” Aleppo.
1998 - Joint Exhibition, Gallery Fairouz, Bahrain.
1999 - ”Big Painting Exhibition “ French Cultural Centre, Damascus.
1999 - Joint Exhibition “Beit Sibai Artists”,Gallery Ishtar.
1999 - participated in “Syrian Atelier” Unesco Hall, Beirute capital of Arabic culture.
2000 - Solo exhibition,Ishtar Gallery.
2000 - 2001 - Chairs Exhibition ,Meridein Damascus, Khanji Aleppo, Imar Latakia
2000 - “Munamnamat” Exhibition Beit Jabri.
2000 - Group exhibition “Humans in Resistance”, National Musuem ,Damascus
2000 - Group exhibition “Wonders” Kawaf, Aleppo.
2001- Group exhibition “Exhibition of Syrian modern art” Institute of Arabic world, Paris.
2001 - “Syrian modern experiences” Green Art Gallery, Dubai.
2001 - Exhibition “Women and War” Red Cross, Damascus, Amman, Geneva.
2002 - Exhibition “Art Sud” Beirute, Paris.
2002 - Exhibition “Europe Art” Geneva.
2007 - Exhibition “La Biennale Venezia 52”, Italy.
2017 - Solo exhibition in The Art House Gallery, Damascus.