x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Mourad Boutros' calligraphy takes shape in exhibition

Regional artists have put form to the font designer's work in part of this weekend's Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition.

Fittingly, the works feature equestrian themes. Courtesy Mourad Boutros and Emmanuel Guiragossian
Fittingly, the works feature equestrian themes. Courtesy Mourad Boutros and Emmanuel Guiragossian

A section of the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition showcases the work of a leading calligrapher and his collaborations with artists from the region.

Mourad Boutros, a Lebanese calligrapher, is recognised for his extensive writing on what designers and contemporary design can learn from Arabic typography. He is a designer of Arabic fonts, many of which have been used by major media organisations and airports in the region, and an innovator of ways the script can exist harmoniously with Latin typefaces. Together with his wife Arlette, he established the design company Boutros International in 1978. He has since written more than 150 fonts, including those seen on BBC Arabic.

Boutros's calligraphic work goes on show today, and the painters he has collaborated with have aimed to bring a stridently epic backdrop to his calligraphic writings.

With the concurrent hunting and equestrian exhibition, it is only fitting that Boutros's words hover over rolling hills, horses' flanks and falcons.

Among his collaborators is Emmanuel Guiragossian, the eldest son of the eminent Lebanese master Paul Guiragossian. In the work, the artist returns to one of his most familiar scenes: the visceral shape, form and presence of the horse.

Painted in quick, sparing curves and maintaining a stance as if about to run, the bodies of Guiragossian's horses appear to merge with Boutros's calligraphy, and the taut, elongated necks spell out the high arches of his letters.

Mourad Boutros's work can be seen on Booth #11C30 at the Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition in the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (Adnec), until Saturday

clord@thenational.ae