Hassan Massoudy was born in 1944 in Najef, Southern Iraq. In 1961 he left for Baghdad and started working as an apprentice for various calligraphers. He dreamed of studying art but was prevented from doing so by political upheaval. He eventually left Iraq for France in 1969, freed from the oppressive regime but heartbroken.
He got to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts of Paris, where he first worked on figurative painting. Over the years, calligraphy progressively infiltrated his figurative painting and eventually took its place.
In 1972, he created the show Arabesque with an actor and a musician. Arabesque was a public performance combining music and poetry together with calligraphy being performed and projected on a large screen. This experience marked a definite turn in Hassan’s work. The drawing of his calligraphy became swifter and his gesture richer. To better express himself, he broke from the tradition of using black ink and introduced other colours, particularly on his work on large size paper.
Creations from Hassan Massoudy are a subtle mix of present and past, oriental and occidental art, tradition and modernity. He perpetuates tradition while breaking from it. Over the years he has purified and simplified the lines of his drawing.