Beyond Orientalism: How the West was Won over by Islamic Art

25 Jul 2008 – 25 Nov 2008

The exhibition “Beyond Orientalism: How the West was won over by Islamic Art” looks further than Orientalist art. Instead of being about how European and American artists depicted the Islamic world, it shows how the Islamic world changed aesthetics in the West. This is most visible in the decorative arts, especially glass and ceramics, but it also applies to architecture and ‘fine’ art. Well into the 20th century, artists such as Matisse owed a debt to Islamic inspiration. This has been continued into the present century by conceptual artists like Gregor Schneider.The aim of the exhibition and accompanying catalogue is to put artefacts from the collection of the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia alongside the works they inspired. This involves the participation of many international institutions. Beyond Orientalism shows a world in which creative inspiration flowed in all directions and Western eyes were open to the beauty of a culture that used to evoke admiration instead of unease.

The publication for the exhibition is currently available at the Museum Shop, for more info please click here.

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