The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

The Letter ‘Kaf’

Ali Omar Ermes (Libya, active London, born 1945)
Libya, Lybian, 1991
Prints; screenprints
Screen print on paper
Plate: 32 1/2 x 24 3/4 in. (82.55 x 62.87 cm); Sheet: 41 3/8 x 31 5/8 in. (105.09 x 80.33 cm)
Gift of Irène Momtaz and Shahbaz Afridi in memory of Mozaffar and Farokh Momtaz (M.2006.131)
Islamic Art
Not currently on public view

Curator Notes

Writing in Arabic is not only a consistent and powerful theme in classical Islamic art but it also resonates with contemporary artists as both an art form and an expression of their cultural or religious identity. In his work, Ermes focuses on a single letter, here a kaf (K). The bold, black letter dramatically offset against the light paper recalls the black inscriptions on a white ground that characterize tenth-century Islamic ceramic wares.

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