Born in Baghdad where he studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, Nazar Yahya’s mixed media and installation explore themes of war, wandering, and expatriation. In 2003, the Iraq war forced Yahya to move his family to safety in Amman and they later settled in Houston, Texas in 2008.
In his series Rose Water: A Homage To Cy Twombly, Yahya pays tribute to the American painter by layering color and texture over photographs. Throughout the series, Yahya captures the spirit of roses and rose water, evoking the sensual experience of perfume. This diptych, Homage to Twombly Pink and Homage to Twombly Yellow, builds on the series, with its Twombly-esque use of color and attention to beauty, with both images serving as a visual meditation on emotion.
Nazar Yahya’s artwork has been exhibited widely in the Middle East in Beirut, Bahrain, Amman, Dubai, and Qatar. His artwork has also been exhibited beyond the Middle East in London, Norway, Bangladesh, and the United States. His work is in the collections of the The British Museum, London; the Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar; and the Station Museum in Houston, Texas. Yahya’s artwork was included in the book Art in Iraq Today published by Skira and Meem Editions.