by Mohammad Gharipour and Irvin Cemil Schick
(Edinburgh University Press; 592 pages; Feb. 2014).
From Spain to China, Islamic architecture and calligraphy are inexorably intertwined. Mosques, dervish lodges, mausolea, libraries, even baths and market places bear masterpieces of calligraphy that rival the most refined of books and scrolls. This major reference work focuses on architectural inscriptions through the Muslim world, some going back to the Middle Ages, others dating from our own lifetime.
Cairo: Images of Transition: Perspectives on Visuality in Egypt 2011-2013 edited by Mikala Hyldig Dal (Columbia University Press; 286 pages; 2013). This collection offers a broad range of artistic and academic works that examine the relationship between aesthetics and politics in the wake of the Egyptian revolution of January 25, 2011.
Contemporary Iranian Art: From the Street to the Studio by Talinn Grigor (Reaktion Books, distributed by University of Chicago Press; 293 pages; Sept. 2014). A study of Iranian art and visual culture since 1979, both in the Islamic Republic and in the Iranian diaspora in the West.
The History and Religious Heritage of Old Cairo: Its Fortress, Churches, Synagogue, and Mosque edited by Carolyn Ludwig and Morris Jackson (Oxford University Press; 250 pages; April 2013). In this lavishly illustrated celebration of a very special place, renowned photographer Sherif Sonbol’s remarkable images of the fortress, churches, synagogue, and mosque illuminate the living fabric of the ancient and medieval stones, while Gawdat Gabra describes the history of Old Cairo from the time of the ancient Egyptians and the Romans to the founding of the first Muslim city of al-Fustat.
Imran Qureshi by Ian Alteever, Navina Najat Haidar, and Sheena Wagstaff (Yale University Press; 64 pages; $14.95). Named the Deutsche Bank Artist of the Year for 2013, Imran Qureshi combines traditional motifs and techniques of Islamic art with contemporary reflections on the relationship between Islam and the West. This volume discusses the specific interplay between the artist’s vision and the particulars of the space for which the work was created.
Islamic Architecture in Iran: Poststructural Theory and the Architectural History of Iranian Mosques by Saeid Khaghani (I.B. Tauris, distributed by Palgrave Macmillan; 245 pages; $95). Draws on the theories of Foucault, Deleuze, and Guattari in a study of Iranian mosques between the eighth and the 15th centuries.
The Minaret by Jonathan M. Bloom (Edinburgh University Press; 320 pages; July 2013). A lavishly illustrated history of this iconic element of Islamic architecture.
NEW The Shrines of the ‘Alids in Medieval Syria: Sunnis, Shi’is and the Architecture of Coexistence by Stephennie Mulder (Edinburgh University Press; 320 pages; March 2014). The ‘Alids are among the most revered figures in Islam, beloved by virtually all Muslims, regardless of sectarian affiliation. This study argues that despite the common identification of shrines as ‘Shi’i’ spaces, they have in fact always been unique places of pragmatic intersectarian exchange and shared piety, even during periods of sectarian conflict.