Google is celebrating Iraqi contemporary art genius Naziha Salim today with a doodle. On this day in 2020, the painter-professor, described as “one of the most influential artists in Iraq’s contemporary art scene,” was put in the spotlight by the Barjeel Art Foundation in their collection of women artists, according to Google.
Her work often depicts rural Iraqi women and peasant life through bold brushstrokes and vibrant colors. “Today’s Doodle artwork is an ode to Salim’s painting style and a celebration of her longstanding contributions to the art world!”
Salim was born in 1927 to a family of Iraqi artists in Istanbul, Turkey. Her father was a painter and her mother was an embroidery artist. She had three brothers who all worked in the arts. Jawad Salim, one of the brothers, is considered one of Iraq’s most influential sculptors.
Naziha Salim studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris with a scholarship after graduating with distinction from the Baghdad Fine Arts Institute. In Paris she specialized in frescoes and murals.
She returned to Baghdad after spending several years abroad and taught at the Fine Arts Institute until she retired. Salim was also one of the founding members of Al-Ruwwad, an artist community that studies abroad and incorporates art techniques into the Iraqi aesthetic.
She wrote “Iraq: Contemporary Art”, which focuses on the early development of the modern art movement in Iraq. Her artworks hang in the Sharjah Art Museum and the Modern Art Iraqi Archive.