Pomegranate Gallery, SoHo NY

Naziha Rashid was born in 1932 in Baghdad, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Arabic language and literature. She earned a diploma in drawing and painting at the fine art institute in Baghdad in 1955. In 1963, she received NDD (National Diploma Design scholarship in painting) at Chelsea School of Art in London, England. She also earned a Master’s Degree in creative arts at the University of Maryland in 1967. Naziha has worked as a college professor and as a consultant for exhibitions sponsored by Islamic Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), office of the Arab League, Rabat, Morocco, 1990-94. She has been settled in New York since 1994, and has retired and devoted herself to her passion, which is art.

The village woman is the central figure in her paintings, and everything else – the trees, the natural environment, the built environment – supports her presence. She is not just an afterthought or an ornament but rather of central importance in life. Beauty graces her seated figure or while at work. She depict her in different aspects, both happy and sad, and as a mother. Folkloric symbols are also prevalent in her work: a full moon, a crescent moon, a hand, a bird, tribal tattoos…

I feel a great nostalgia for my dear country where I grew up, which has been ravaged by wars and is still caught in the grip of struggle and destruction. I seek refuge in painting villages and the countryside, which are steeped in folklore, beautiful old traditions, and a kind of security so different from the current state of affairs. It is a vision of hope I want to make real through the power of art, through paintings that depict the village and as daily life in a style that subjects reality to my personal creativity. My colors include earthy tones like ochre, red, burnt amber, and brown. I also use the colors of the dawn and the heat of the sun… I strive in my work to create a world that is beautiful and full of love, hope, and optimism that revolves around happiness and security no matter how difficult or ugly conditions become around the world.

Women Selling Leben, 2005
Acrylic on Canvas
24 x 20 inches (51 x 61 cm)
Nostalgic, 2000
Acrylic on Canvas
19 x 14 inches (41 x 71 cm)
133 Greene Street
NY, NY 10012