Nasiri, Rafa al- (1940–2013) By Shabout, Nada
Born in Tikrit, Iraq, Rafa al-Nasiri earned a bachelor’s degree in printmaking from the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad in 1959. From 1959 to 1963, he pursued further studies at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, where he studied printmaking with Huang Yu Yi. In 1967, he received a scholarship from The Gulbenkian Foundation to study at the Gravura in Lisbon, between 1967 and 1969. After returning to Baghdad, he headed the graphics department at the Institute of Fine Arts. He was a founding member of the New Vision Group (Jama’t al-Ru’yya al-Jadidah) in Baghdad, along with artists Dia Azzawi, Mohammed Muhriddin, Ismail Fattah, Hachem al-Samarchi, and Saleh al-Jumaie. After leaving Baghdad, al-Nasiri taught at the University of Yarmouk, Jordan, and at the University of Bahrain for several years before settling in Amman, Jordan. He is the author of a number of essays and books on Iraqi graphic art and Iraqi modern art. His experiments in printmaking have influenced the subsequent generations and played an instrumental role in the development of a strong tradition of Iraqi printmaking.