- Iraqi Art
Family 2 (1962) was part of a series of self-portraits of the artist and his family, executed in his characteristic ‘cubist’ style. While he and other Iraqi art historians labelled the style of these paintings as ‘cubist’, his geometric colour fields are less stylistically related to Picasso’s Cubism and more connected with the Italian Futurism that Droubi encountered during his studies in Rome and contemporary artist movements in the Middle East. The now lost Family 1 (1962) shows a similar domestic scene of Droubi, his wife Suhalia, and their two sons, but with the family gathered around the childrens’ games. Domesticity and family were common themes in Droubi’s work and he often played with preconceptions of the domestic space by deconstructing the picture plane or combining unusual elements within the space. The painting was exhibited in a millennial celebration of the city of Baghdad in 1962, where Robert Gulbenkian saw the work and purchased it with eleven other paintings for the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation heritage. He was advised on his purchase by the architect Rifaat Chadirji. These were the first works of Iraqi modern art to enter in a European museum collection.