Over 50 Years of Art | Welcome to Ali Omar Ermes
IMPERATIVES OF THE LETTER LAM

IMPERATIVES OF THE LETTER LAM

The central motif of this work is the Arabic letter Laam, displaying the powerful presence of this character which is found in words such as Lawiah, Lawhat, and Labeeb.

Poetic excerpts within this piece are by Tarafah and articulate the idea that in time we all learn through experience and that nothing can be hidden forever:
“In time, day and night, all will be revealed to you of what you do not now know, and in time someone will come with news to all who are without it.”

Continue Reading →


THE SEVENTH ODE

THE SEVENTH ODE

The Seventh Ode is one of a group of seven paintings that celebrate the Seven Odes of Arabic poetry, Al Muallaqat As Sabaa or Prize Poems, which enjoy a special place in Arabic literature due to their power of eloquence and historic relevance.

When a poem was judged to be exceptional, it was embroidered in gold on silk cloth and hung on the Kaaba as a sign of general acclaim. Over the years, the Prize Poems which were thus hung at the Kaaba assumed a universal context and appeal.

Continue Reading →


KAF - THE POWER OF EXPRESSION

KAF - THE POWER OF EXPRESSION

The work of the Libyan artist, Ali Omar Ermes, Letter Kaf: The Power of Expression, represents a dramatic departure in its scale, treatment, and intent. Measuring 130 cm x 95 cm, the painting is dominated by the form of a single letter of the Arabic alphabet, the letter ‘kaf’ or ‘k’, created with one continuous brush stroke.

The composition, which reads more as an undulating abstraction than an actual letter, is notable for its boldness and spontaneity.

While evoking the fluidity of Chinese and Japanese calligraphy, the single letter, monumentalised and stripped to its most essential form, also echoes the expressiveness of the ‘New Style’ script discussed earlier.

Continue Reading →


TUGHRAIYAT EBNI ZUHAIR

TUGHRAIYAT EBNI ZUHAIR

This painting comprises of visible brush strokes in prominent yellows, greens, and blues.

Poems by the poet Kaab Ebni Zuhair. The poems can be interpreted as follows:


“Ask protection from God not to suffer hardship or to do what is wrong or shameful, otherwise, you are a loser who is either a criminal or a victim of crime.”

Continue Reading →


HARF AL KAF

HARF AL KAF

This bold artwork includes the inscriptions from a poem narrated by the first Abbasid Caliph, Abu Jaafar Al Mansour, he comments on the injustice of the society of the day and laments its unconcern for the plight of the poor.

From Kitab Al Mustatraf and Kitab Al Mu’talaf wa Al Mukhtalaf.

There is also text around the bold letter that provides an explanation of the term Maghribi, written in Ermes’ characteristic cursive style that is itself intentionally reminiscent of the Maghribi script.

Continue Reading →


AS-SSAD

AS-SSAD

The inscription quotes a poem by Zuhair Ibn Abi Sulma, a pre-Islamic (6th/7th century) poet recognized as a pioneer of fine poetry in Arabic. In these beautiful verses, Ibn Abi-Sulma seeks to placate his wife, Umm Kaab, after a row over his suspected infidelity. He assures her that she is all that is important to him and that she should reconcile and accept his love and attention.

Continue Reading →


AL MEEM STREAM

AL MEEM STREAM

This artwork is about the fluid-ability of the Arabic language letterforms, their flexibility, and connect-ability between what is static and what is motional in a river of harmonious colours and tranquillity.

Continue Reading →


VISUAL SOUNDS IN ARABIC SCRIPT

VISUAL SOUNDS IN ARABIC SCRIPT

Original production date 1991

Artwork Size: 75cm x 50cm

Materials: Acrylic and ink on paper

Location of Original: The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Continue Reading →


CONTRADICTIONS OF JOY

CONTRADICTIONS OF JOY

Continue Reading →