was born in 1953, in Diwania, Irak,
He studied in Florence
and Perugia at the Academie for Fine Arts,
thereafter he lived and worked in Italy and also
exhibited in Italy for 12 years .

In 1985 he moved to the Netherlands.

He lived and worked there in Utrecht and Amsterdam .



In 1999 Saad Ali moved to Bourgondy in France.
He still has his former studio there but since 2005 he lives and works in Spain in Chiva near valencealence.
The studio in France will be sold.

Saad Ali particularly became well know because of his paintings full of passion, but at the same
time modest dear love make you think of scenes in the tales of 1001 night.

An often used theme in his paintings is the Baab al- Faradj, the gate of Hope,
an old Arabic symbol of the entrance to paradise

Mostly Saad's painting are made on old panels or doors.

bonjour mijn lief

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In 1999 Saad Ali moved to Bourgondy in France.
He still has his former studio there but since 2005 he lives and works in Spain in Chiva near Valence.
The studio in France will be sold.

NB: Please Click the thumbnails for enlargements or a slide show.


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Since 2005 Saad Ali works and lives in Spain in Chiva near Valence.

NB: Please Click the thumbnails for enlargements or a slide show.



Why did God not get rid of paradise after the Fall of man?

The angel extinguished his sword and like an obedient keeper closed the gates for good. God was later to destroy the earth except for a single ark and in doing so presumably destroying the Garden of Eden as well. This is, however, uncertain. lt is more likely that Paradise, no longer a place on earth and relieved at the departure of sinful man, has found sanctuary in the imagination of the descendants of Adam to this day. So there is no sense in searching, for Paradise accompanies us as a sealed treasure. Anyone biting into an apple remembers the way it used to taste, it is no longer the same, either too sweet or too sour or neither. There is always that juicy, unashamedly sensual first bite, the feel of teeth digging into the firm, foam?like flesh, eyes tightly closed in complete and absolute dedication.
Paradise is the abscense of scepticism, an undercurrent of innocent delights that undermines our knowledge.

Saad Ali's work breathes a spirit of Paradise.
He calls his panels ''Doors of Hope". Paradise is not depicted on them, it lies behind. This certainly is characteristic of his style which seems as innocent as that of his ancient predecessors, who still shared the memories of Paradise. Their stories and pictures kept it alive. The men and women in his paintings ? there are no individuals ? do not see as we do. Their eyes are large, oval jewels, like the eyes of the beloved of which the lover sings the praises. They see nothing but good. The figures have in fact no personalities, together they form one character, one of great fellowship. in this way it seems that Saad's paintings wish to convey the essence of a people. Everything that inspires this people can be shown. Love is a many?tongued flame, lovemaking a modest spectacle watched by the people from the frame. There still seems to be no reason for shame..Therefore the lovers are only relatively secluded, only by a small frame within the painting, so that the composition resembies a frame story. Small framed stories complete the whole. Sometimes such a frame shows only feet, a story of travel, a nation on the move or a number of profiles facing in the same direction, always ahead, often looking upwards.
They are the keepers of Paradise. They are the gate-keepers of Paradise.

They have sinuous outlines, a vitality untouched by time.
Saad's handwriting is too quick and elegant for the capricious twists and furrows of old age. His outlines form the name of an old story. The colours are either filled in or left blank, so that, as on classical vases, the background remains partially visible. The panels that Saad chose for his images remain therefore definite objects, as were the ancient vases, the images themselves illustrations in a dreamed?up architecture.
Even though Paradise was never closed down, it has been flooded by fact.

The ancient story maintains its reason for existence if you can make it happen again. For the painter
this means that he must show his creations in their state of creation. For that purpose the approved principle of the coloured drawing has to be reversed. The image originates from the smudge of colour. This makes the work more of a risk but as a result the story of the proximity of Paradise gains dramatic force. In his recent work Saad has broken the seal. Man?like beings leap out of the treasurechest, a frenzied crowd, half scratch, halt smudge. Here Saad seems to be fighting with the cliches of his earlier work, the striking profiles with large eyes, the agile hands not knowing where to grasp or caress their half abstract companions.

The cliches are the distinguishing marks in this riotous rendez-vous. lt is through them that the one recognises the other.
In a vertical streak of paint the lovers find one another, tied together as one being, a narrow vision, the "Door of Hope" left ajar.
I am not familiar with the Arabic culture. lf I were to speak of it I would be guilty of exoticism: The unknown would counterfeit the recognizable.
Saad Ali's visions are recognizable. Despite all the accentuated differences between the Arabic and Christian cultures his exuberant expressions of primordial vitality are rooted in a common fact: the necessity of art.
In one of his Egyptian Letters Bertus Aafjes wrote: "Out of the mists of prehistoric time human culture came into being through nothing else but the cry of distress:
I am mortal!
The first human work of art is nothing but a synonym for: I do not want to die!" :

This naïve cry is heard throughout all of Saad's work, both in"The Doors of Hope",
in which he maintains the tradition of the illustrated story and in his drawings and gouaches of the creation, which he appropriately and without hesitation calls "Love".
However experimental his recent work may seem, there is more to it than a search.
lt speaks of the enthusiasm of a man who has preserved his treasure.

Paul Meeuws


Rarely man recognises faults of loved ones, and neither gets used to learn the value,the virtues of ones they hate .

As a philosophical sunset of love, the works of the Iraqi artist Saad Ali, recreates images of sensuous poetics taken from mythology - doves, moons, suns, fruits.... where a type of terrestrial paradise seems to be present ; it has an underlined emphasis in portraying through his images the spiritual state that individuals go through in specific circumstances, trying to reflect the metaphysical concerns that preoccupy man, his most intimate and intense yearnings, by means of the notion of love.

Trough the work of Saad Ali, we recognise the existence of some magical aspect that assists in communicating with the spectator, not only as a result of his innovative vision and technique through doors and windows that frames a story, but also through the motifs and themes that he represents in his work.

The variety of the strong chromatism intermingles between a repetitive symbology, where, in the manner of caryatids and frets we are invited to enter towards the interior of the painting, and on the other hand his constant preoccupation with drawing that contains a formal compositional support. It is an attempt to portray life, of a sensuous environment where he introduces us through its culture, it traps and convinces us.
Making us participate in his concepts, feelings, succeeding in establishing a clear communication with the spectator.

In a systematic slow motion the painter seems to transcribe, stroke by stroke, a way of preserving a spiritual flow unique to humanity; love, the strength of the occult, the everyday and natural world, dreams and man as its principal topic. Moveable experienced images intending to reach primarily a practical wisdom to survive and secondly trying to apprehend through the beauty of the world.

Rosa Ulpiano