Bassmi’s art work has a unique ability to produce emotional, ethereal, and hypnotic responses in its viewers. Collectors often express that the work changes the vibrational atmosphere of their surroundings. Bassmi’s work attracts a wide audience including those who do not usually relate to abstract art.
None of these paintings insist on a literal meaning, instead they speak in a language we intuitively recognize, a language that mimics the movement of water, the massing of clouds, the budding of flowers. Whatever is recalled for us, it is the play of presence and absence that asserts itself as the fundamental rhythm of life.
His work begins from a meditative state where his vision presents itself and is then captured on the canvas. The paint is applied in a liquid form. The painting is then revisited in several sessions during which transparent layers of paint are applied until the depth and vibrancy of his original vision is achieved.
These paintings are created to serve as windows to an inner passage where viewers can find their own undiscovered dimensions. When viewed in a meditative sense, they convey the poetry of creation; they help us experience the Isness of life and a peaceful state of being.Download Bassmi's printable statement.
Born in Cairo in 1941, Bassmi Ibrahim’s aesthetic education began at home with his father, who was devoted to photography. At school, Bassmi’s talent was recognized at 14 by an art teacher, who for the next seven years instructed him privately both in traditional techniques and in “how to feel and think as an artist”. Bassmi went on to study at Ain Shams University, receiving his BA degree in art in 1963. Bassmi attended 4 years of noncredit studies at the College of Fine Art, and while the curriculum focused on making art in older styles, ranging from classical to Impressionist, Bassmi was deeply attracted to modern painting, that eventually became his lifelong preoccupation. In 1965, awakening early one morning with his mind clear and open, Bassmi realized a need to paint from his inner self. What followed was an outpouring of 150 small ink wash images, that connected the observable and the subconscious. This approach, which the artist calls, “painting from my gut and not my mind”, would prove basic to Bassmi’s art.
In the mid-1960s, the artist moved to New York, immersing himself in the world of abstract art. One day in Greenwich Village, Bassmi encountered in person one of his artistic influences, Mark Rothko. Later, while seeing his work the older artist encouraged Bassmi in his path as a painter, and Rothko remains a spiritual mentor. Other important influences include the Abstract Expressionists de Kooning and Pollock, and the Color Field painters Paul Jenkins and Helen Frankenthaler. During this period, Bassmi’s abstract paintings were shown in New York.
In the mid-1970s Bassmi moved to Clearwater, Fl where he took over his father’s printing business and ran an art gallery. During a hiatus from painting, the artist immersed himself in the study of metaphysics and homeopathy. The spiritual depth that he explored became a touchstone for his work, with abstraction an embodiment of the boundlessness of existence itself. In 1999, the artist produced several new paintings, these canvases, while abstract, reflected the artist’s closeness to nature, as well as his feeling for the dialogue of spontaneity and control with liquid, translucent paint. From 2004-2005, Bassmi produced paintings with veils of rich color on white grounds. The Isness Series in 2005 followed a similar format and was inspired by the intrinsic reality of all experience, expressed through luminescent petals and flows of oil and acrylic paint.
Bassmi’s work is in corporate and private collections and has been widely exhibited in the United States and abroad. His recent solo exhibitions include those at St. Petersburg College, the University of South Florida, Eckerd College, Salt Creek Art Colony, Pensacola Museum of Art, Panama City Art Center and Parkersburg Art Center, West Virginia.
by John MendelsohnDownload Bassmi's printable biography.
Santa Fe, NM (March 17, 2017): Pippin Contemporary’s mission of providing gallery visitors with “a sensory experience of color and mood” is perfectly embodied in the work of their newest modern abstract painter Bassmi Ibrahim. Read more…
A Conversation with Bassmi (by Mary Childs for “Working Title” magazine) January 2017 – Rarely does one come across work as intuitive, inspiring and evolved as the paintings of Florida based artist, Bassmi Ibrahim. Read more…
Selected Solo Exhibitions:
2012 “Today’s Visual Language: Southern Abstraction”, Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, Alabama
2011 “The Isness of Being”, Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, Tarpon Springs, Florida
2011 “The Isness of Being”, Osceola Center of Art, Kissimmee, Florida
2010 “The Isness of Being”, Mary Hardin Art Center, Gadsden, Alabama
2009 “The Isness of Being”, Ormond Beach Memorial Museum
2009 “The Isness of Being”, Burroughs – Simeon B. Chapin Museum
2008 “The Isness of Being”, Parkersburg Art Center, Parkersburg, West Virginia
2008 One Man Show at the Panama City Art Center
2007 “A Simple Expression of a Complex Thought”, Pensacola Museum of Art, Pensacola, Florida
2006 “Releasing the Inner Child”, Salt Creek Artworks Gallery, St. Petersburg, Florida
2005 “Connections,” St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus, Seminole, Florida
2002 “d’Affair les Beaux-Arts,” University of South Florida College of Architecture, Tampa, Florida
1978 “Fluid and Solid,” Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida
1970 The Art Original, Tarpon Springs, Florida
1968 “Light Bodies,” Lynn Cottler Gallery, New York City, New York
1965 Caffee de Prenco, Paris, France
1961 Jasmine Bellarian Fine Art Gallery, Cairo, Egypt
1959 Akhenaton Fine Arts Hall, Cairo, Egypt
Selected Group Exhibitions:
2007 “Gala Night”, Fund Raiser Event, Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, Florida
2006 “Gala Korina Yearly Group Show”, Tampa, Florida
2005 “Rhapsodic Fusions,” Amsterdam Whitney Gallery, New York City, New York
2004 “Annual Members Exhibition,” Salt Creek Artworks, St. Petersburg, Florida
2003 “The Technical and the Spiritual,” 531 Central Fine Art Gallery, St. Petersburg, Florida
2003 Rentz Gallery, Richmond, Virginia
Barnett Bank, Tampa, Florida
Cross Cut Films, Tampa, Florida
Harper Builders, Lakeland, Florida
Laureate Medical Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Law Firm of Daniel Castillo, Tampa, Florida
Milad Contracting, Long Island, New York
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cairo, Egypt
Tampa Bay Magazine, St. Petersburg, Florida
U.S. Steel Corporation, New York City, New York
Wolfson Investments, Orlean, Virginia
H. E. Farouk Hosni, Minister of Culture and Guidance of Egypt
Ambassador G. Ezzat, Cairo, Egypt
Dr. Nagi Kassar, Toronto, Canada
Dr. M. Nour, New York City, New York
Dr. N. Bishay, Toronto, Canada
Dr. G. Saber-Gabra, Edinborough, Scotland
George Milad, Baltimore, Maryland
Lisa Koslow, Miami, Florida
Lord Mark G.E. Morris, Cheshire, U.K.
Mac McCormick, A.S.I.D., New York City, New York
Margot McDougal, A.S.I.D, Tampa, Florida
Nabil Cassis, Cairo, Egypt
S. Iskander, New York City, New York
Yosef Marzouk, Miami, Florida
C. Roberson, St. Petersburg, Florida
Ms. Carol Cira, Tampa, Florida
Mrs. Betty Castor, Tampa, Florida
William Zimmer, catalog essay, June, 2005
Ruthie Tucker, Amsterdam Whitney International Fine Art, Inc., essay, March, 2005
Dominque Nahas, catalog essay, 2002-2003 edition
Richard Dubin, brochure essay, spring, 2002
Jeanette Crane, review of exhibition, St. Petersburg Independent, January 12, 1978
1961, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt
1961-1966, Art Techniques and Modern Aesthetics (non credit courses), School of Fine Art, Cairo, Egypt