Yemen’s First Artist Abduljabar Noaman Dies

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Yemen’s most celebrated and accomplished painter, Abduljabar Ahmed Noaman, died on January 28, 2019 at an age of 70 years.  Born in 1949 in the Dhubhan countryside of Taiz province, he received basic  and secondary schooling in Aden. He was the first Yemeni student to be dispatched abroad to study arts at the Italian Institute for Arts in Cairo, from which he graduated in 1973 with a bachelor degree.

Noaman had proved himself to be have an original artistic talent and became a professional  and prolific painter. Throughout his artistic career over  half a century he produced hundreds of  artistic works and contributed to dozens of artistic exhibitions at regional and international levels. In his paintings and drawings he depicted Yemen’s  geography, history, civilization and culture. His models were taken from different parts of Yemen: From Hadramawt mud brick skyscrapers, to the old city of Sanaa and bunches of roses on Mount Sabir in Taiz and so on.

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Noaman’s collection included dozens of  portraits, oil paintings and drawings. His masterpiece portrait “Seller of Pomegranates” is one of his most popular artistic works. Noaman had  actually been a pioneering artist by all accounts. The Yemeni painter Tariq Annajar described Noaman and his compatriot Hashim Ali as the pioneering painters in Yemen. “Noaman had been a pioneer and inspirational artist. Along with his friend, Taiz-born, Hashim Ali they had already heralded paintings in Yemen,” said Annajar.

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Former Yemeni Minister of Culture Khaled Arrowishan mourned Noaman, writing “Alas, Taiz’s own and Yemen’s first artist has departed”.

Salwa Dammaj