Google today celebrates Iraqi contemporary art genius Naziha Salim with a doodle. On this day in 2020, the painter-teacher, described as “one of the most influential artists on the contemporary Iraqi art scene”, was honored by the Barjeel Art Foundation in its collection of female artists, said Google.
“His work often depicts rural Iraqi women and peasant life through bold brushstrokes and vivid colors,” he said. “Today’s Doodle artwork is an ode to Salim’s painting style and a celebration of his lifelong contributions to the art world!”
Salim was born into a family of Iraqi artists in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1927. Her father was a painter and her mother an embroiderer. She had three brothers who all worked in the arts. Jawad Salim, one of the brothers, is considered one of the most influential sculptors in Iraq.
Naziha Salim studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris on a scholarship after graduating with distinction from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad. She specialized in fresco and mural painting in Paris.
She returned to Baghdad after spending several years abroad and taught at the Institute of Fine Arts until her retirement. Salim was also one of the founding members of Al-Ruwwad, a community of artists who study abroad and integrate artistic techniques into Iraqi aesthetics.
She is the author of “Iraq: Contemporary Art” which focuses on the early development of the modern art movement in Iraq. His works are on display at the Sharjah Museum of Art and the Iraqi Modern Art Archives.