October Gallery presents a new solo exhibition by master artist-calligrapher, Hassan Massoudy. Hassan Massoudy is an artist for whom the word itself remains the most sublime creative force. His work features the texts of a diverse range of writers, from poet, Charles Baudelaire and philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Virgil and Ibn 'Arabi. A sense of balance prevails in his work, whether between erudite discipline and artistic experimentation, or as played out through his understanding of the vigorous use of line, strength of gesture, abandon and grace. Hassan Massoudy was born in 1944 in Najaf, southern Iraq in a traditional Iraqi society. He moved to Baghdad in 1961, where he learnt the various classical styles of calligraphy, and studied graphic design and fine arts. His desire to study art, coinciding with the political events in Iraq at the time, saw him depart for Paris in 1969, where he enrolled at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts. Massoudy was not only influenced by the great Arabic masters but also by the artists Leger, Matisse, Soulages and Picasso. After receiving his degree in 1975, he returned to calligraphy, employing classical styles in a newer and freer manner. From 1972, he toured Europe for thirteen years with his 'Arabesque' performance combining music, poetry and calligraphy.