Hannibal Alkhas

Hannibal Alkhas

Hannibal Alkhas,son of the Assyrian writer Rabi Adai Alkhas was born in 1930 in Kermanshah, Iran, and died in California on Sept. 14, 2010. He spent his childhood and teenage years in Kermanshah, Ahwaz and Tehran.

His uncle John Alkhas is one of the two most famous Assyrian poets in the 20th century.

In 1951, Hannibal moved to the United states in pursuit of his education and studied philosophy for three years at Loyola University of Chicago, Illinois.

From 1953 to 1959 he attended the Art Institute of Chicago where he earned his Bachelor’s and Masters of Fine Art.

In 1959, after the death of his father, Hannibal returned to Iran. He began teaching at the “Tehran School of Fine Arts” for nearly four years. During that time he also established the successful Gilgamesh Gallery, the first modern Art Gallery in Iran where aspiring young artists were introduced.

In 1963, he returned to the US and taught art at Monticello Collage, in Illinois where he became the chairman of the art department.


Portrait of Nima Yoshij

In 1969 he went back to Iran and taught at Tehran University for eleven years. In 1980, Hannibal was spent twelve years teaching arts at the Assyrian Civic Club of Turluck, private collages and The University of California at Berkeley and Los Angeles.

He now teaches at “Azad Islamic University of Iran” a position which he has held since 1992. He also holds private painting classes and writes as an arts critic in various Iranian Magazines.

Hannibal’s work is deeply inspired by the ancient bas-reliefs and stone sculptures of Ancient Assyria, Babylon and Daric-Persia. He has developed and mastered a unique style of painting that seeks to vitalize the historic processes within the passing moment. In his style, using past and present separately and simultaneously whether through content or form, expressions will appear from six thousand years ago, today and the future.

Human emotions and thoughts such as love and hate, the exotic and the mundane, victory and defeat, hope and despair, pride and weakness are the subjects he constantly chooses and intermingles with the universal notions of birth, death, hunger, the historical lineage of humanity, mythology, and above all war and peace.

His greed for subjects equals his thirst to experiment with techniques and materials with the different “isms” of art. He might start a work with an abstract mixture of colors and shapes and finish with figurative rendering. Nevertheless, he calls himself a contemporary realist in the sense that he uses form to express that to which it is most suited; abstraction for explosion, cubism for space, surrealism for shape, expressionism for moods or naturalism for documentation of the moment.

His achievements include a number of one-man shows, group art exhibitions, and traveling exhibitions in Southern Iran and Israel. Aside from being displayed in his own gallery, a number of his paintings are featured in the Fine Arts Museum and Gallery of Modern Art in Tehran and the Helena d’ Museum in Tel Aviv. –