Abdel Halim Radawi

Abdulhalim Radwi (1939-2006) (also: Radawi) from Makkah was a painter, poet and sculptor in Jeddah and a pioneer of contemporary arts in Saudi Arabia. He was one of the first Saudi's to go abroad for an art education and held a BA degree from the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome (1964). Radwi started his career as a teacher of fine arts in Makkah but became much involved with the government of arts. From 1968-1974 he was director of the Jeddah centre for fine arts and later (1980-1992) director-general of the culture and arts city of Jeddah. In 1973 Radwi spent time in Madrid were he was action director of the Association of Arab artists. In 1979 Radwi graduated from the royal arts academy in Madrid. He was awarded many art prizes and honours while he spent much time abroad organizing as many as 105 exhibitions. His family maintain a website with some of his work and say it can also be seen in museums of modern art in Jordan, Brazil, Marocco, Spain and Tunisia. In Riyadh Hewar Gallery in 2008 offer watercolours and an oil painting. Christie's at an international modern & contemporary art sales in Dubai on October 30, 2008 will auction Still Life (1956). Radwi signed this work twice: in 'latin' on the lower left and in arabic on the lower right. Radwi's paintings dealt mostly with Saudi lifestyle and he is said to have believed that Saudi artists must always keep an eye on their national identity. His two personal favorite paintings were thus Recitation of Qur’an, which won a prize at the 1988 Biennale in Spain, and Old Buildings in Makkah, which he refused to sell for half a million Saudi riyals and kept in his personal museum in Jeddah.