Born 1924, Baghdad, Iraq; died 2002, Baghdad
Ismail al-Shaikhly studied at the Institute of Fine Arts, Baghdad, graduating in 1945. He was one of the Institute’s first graduates to travel abroad for further studies, receiving his degree from the ÉcoleNationaleSupérieure des Beaux- Arts, Paris, in 1951. He was one of the founding members of the Pioneers Group, and in 1956 became a founding member of the Society of Iraqi Plastic Artists. He was also a member of the Iraqi Artists Society. Later he served as the director general of the Directorate of Plastic Arts, Baghdad. He participated in many national group exhibitions in Iraq (including the Art Friends Society exhibition of 1956) and abroad. His early works display the influence of Faiq Hassan, particularly during the period he exhibited with the Pioneers Group. Al-Shaikhly is often compared to Hassan in his rendering of local folkloric and rural subject matter; later his style became more abstract and focused on colour. His work is held in collections including Mathaf: Aran Museum of Modern Art, Doha; Museum of Modern Art, Baghdad; and Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman.