Calligraforms with Wissam Shawkat: Saturday/Sunday October 19 & 20


Calligraforms with Wissam Shawkat
Saturday/Sunday, October 19 & 20, 2019 from 10am to 4pm.
SVA Annex, 214 E. 21st Street, Room 701A

Save the Date! October 19 & 20, 2019 for an exciting and provocative workshop conducted by world renowned Arabic calligrapher and type designer WISSAM SHAWKAT. The Society of Scribes is honored to be teaming up with our colleagues in Chicago to bring to our shores this amazing artist from Dubai.

Look at what Chicago scribes did in Wissam’s Calligraforms workshop here!

Wissam has become celebrated for a new calligraphic style, Calligraforms, which references traditional scripts with modern design. Letters of Love, his 2011 solo exhibition at Reed Space in New York, introduced a global audience to a series of contemporary compositions. With Monumental 11/11, a 2015 solo exhibition and Inside/Outside, a solo show in 2017, Shawkat visually announced his break with traditional calligraphy and his commitment to instead use letters as a foundation for works of dynamic abstraction. He started “Calligraforms,” an art movement that merges the graphic qualities of classic letterforms and the western Abstraction and Cubism. His work is regularly featured in books on Arabic calligraphy and typography, included in museum exhibitions, and acquired by private collectors.

For a comprehensive article by Elinor Holland about Wissam with stunning images of his work, please see Letter Arts Review, Volume 25, Number 3. You can also see more of his work in The World Encyclopedia of Calligraphy, edited by Christopher Calderhead (who most enthusiastically recommends taking any opportunity to study with Wissam!) And learn still more about him by visiting his Facebook page and Instagram.

In the words of Wissam, Calligraforms is more about appreciating the actual classical forms of letters; it is a celebration of what most calligraphers spend years upon years to master. It pushes the boundaries of calligraphy towards more of an abstract art and modernity rather than the norm that is associated with contemporary calligraphy. Within calligraforms different styles and approaches can be applied in the world of Latin calligraphy or even other scripts, because the concept is one, abstracting the letter forms or using parts of it and magnifying the details to create bold, abstract calligraphic works.

This workshop is guaranteed to expand your calligraphic vision and you will discover new worlds of hitherto unimagined and unexplored dimensions of expression. No knowledge of Arabic or Western calligraphy is required, and the class will also appeal to type and graphic designers.

Don’t miss this special opportunity to study with a unique and great artist!
For the official workshop description please click here.

More information about and how to subscribe to Letter Arts Review here.

—Barry Morentz
(Artwork by Wissam Shawkat)