Muhammadi Zuhal Karamanli is classically trained in Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, in Turkey. Muhammadi's paintings reflect her creativity, classical training in Islamic Art, and her exposure to modern and contemporary art. Her pieces are a cross pollination of the East and West as well as the traditional and modern. She lives with her two sons in New Jersey.
The artist is available for workshops throughout the U.S. for teaching this art form. This includes tile design, miniatures, and illustrations, which can be applied to any medium.
Prophet Muhammed (peace be on him) said, "God is beautiful and loves beauty." As an artist, I try to live by this ideal. I am very proud to be a part of a scrupulous and full-spirited upholding of this hallowed tradition of Islamic illumination, at a time when the sacred arts and sciences have been all but forgotten.
The primary aim of the Tezhip art form is to embellish the Quran and be a tribute to the beauty of nature. The decorative motifs inherent to this art form include stylized floral and animal designs, geometric shapes, chain and interlacing patterns, and calligraphic lettering. Both the embellishments and miniatures that document stories employ bright colors and gold or silver paint. As the Quran is most sacred to me, participating in the centuries old, classic tradition of Islamic Art gives me a great sense of satisfaction.
Traditionally, men have dominated miniature painting, Tezhip, and other Islamic arts throughout history. In modern day Turkey, Tezhip is not a dying art and it is now mostly women artists who keep it alive and make it thrive in the 21st. Century, and I am happy to be part of that movement. Now, as an American living in the United States, I would like to create awareness about traditional Islamic Arts and contribute to the study of Islamic cultures at large.
Exhibitions, Publications and Links
- Art exhibition at the Millenium Dance Company, New York, NY (May 31)
- Art exhibition "Colors of the Arab World", hosted by the American Friends Service Committee, Los Angeles, CA (June - November)
- Artwork included in 2008 desk diary published by ART in Embassies Program, United States Department of State, as official gifts by United States Ambassadors and other American Embassy diplomats, to be presented to members of the international diplomatic community.
- Artwork loaned to ART in Embassies Program, United States Department of State, for display at the United States Ambassadorial Residence, Algeria
- Special Award, 60th. Anniversary Art and Photography Exhibit, Art Association of Rutherford, NJ (October)
- Artwork loaned to ART in Embassies Program, United States Department of State, for display at the United States Ambassadorial Residence, Sultanate of Brunei
- Lena Digangi Gallery, Totowa, NJ (March - April)
- 1st place award, Annual Open Juried Exhibition, Art Association of Rutherford, NJ (October)
- 1st place award, Annual Regional Art Exhibit, The Hudson Artists of New Jersey (November)
- Solo Exhibition and Lecture "Islamic Art: Revival of the Ottomans": Aidekman Arts Center, Tufts University, Medford MA (March 28)
- Solo Exhibition and Lecture: Shapiro Art Gallery, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA (March 29, April 4)
- Solo Exhibition and Lecture: Slater International House, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA (March 31 - April 2)
- Solo Exhibition and Workshop "Islamic Calligraphy and Tiles": Dana Hall Art Gallery, Dana Hall School, Wellesley, MA (April 4 - April 29)
- "The Holy Mysteries of the Five Elements" by Pir Zia Inayat-Khan, 2005: Book and book cover illustrated by Muhammadi Karamanli
- Elixir Magazine, Issue #1, Autumn, 2005: Inside cover illustrated by Muhammadi Karamanli
- Solo Exhibition at Colgate University, Hamilton, NY (April 16 - April 18)
- Solo Exhibition "Illumination: The Art of Gold": Shapiro Art Gallery, Brandeis University, Walthan, MA (April 26 - April 29)
"Revealing Truths - Muslim Women Artists"
- Aramona Studio, New York, NY (January 24 - February 22)
- Anne C. Fisher Gallery, The Center for Being and Becoming, Washington, D.C. (February 29 - May 1)
Articles and Reviews About Muhammadi Karamanli
"Turkish Artist Works to Preserve Her Ancient Craft", The Tuft's Daily, March 29, 2005
Islamica Community Forums - Profiles of Muslim Fine Artists