3 July 2011
100 glorious years
The Zamalek Art Gallery ran a recent exhibition which showed 100 paintings and sketches by the veteran artist Salah Taher (1911 – 2007), some of which have never before been on view.
Taher graduated in 1934 from the Academy of Fine Arts in Cairo. He stayed on at the academy to start his career as a lecturer, a post he held until 1954. As a prolific artist, Taher held a good many exhibitions and was granted several important awards including the Highest State Award in 1974 and the First Prize at the Alexandria Biennale in 1996.
Taher’s love of colour liberated him from traditional values, and his art style moved from realistic to figurative symbolism, finally ending in abstraction. His most distinctive artistic feature remained his mastery of working with bold colour and his use of various tools, such as the distinctive knife he used to spread transparent coats of diluted paint.
Scent of Life
The SafarKhan Art Gallery in Zamalek has gained a reputation for promoting international artists with strong ties to and appreciation of Egypt. It recently hosted an exhibition of the works of the German born artist Barbara Armbruster, the theme of which was The Green, the Street and the Scent of Life.
Armbruster exhibited works with multiple artistic elements including paintings, drawings, photographs and video art, all of which centred on the theme of the beautiful flora and fauna of Egypt through the eyes of a passionate artist. Armbruster’s work is about cultural, societal structures, spaces and identities within our world. “Plants had an essential meaning for our ancestors. Where plants grew there was water and life. I am fascinated by the green rows in the streets of Cairo, by the plants, and the little trees along or in front of buildings,” she said.
Contemporary Views IV is the theme title of an exhibition at the Massar Art Gallery in Zamalek, where figurative practices are being showcased in both painting and sculpture. The exhibition provides viewers with a lively walk through the cultural interpretations and visions of some of the most prominent Egyptian artists including Ragheb Ayad, Tahiya Halim, Saïd al-Sadr, Mounir Canaan, Taha Hussein and Omar al-Nagdi.
The artworks on show can be seen to trace a line to the life and experience of each of the artists, and through their beautiful perspectives and typically Egyptian figures and faces they express unspoken words and emotions.
The artists’ works cannot offer a more truthful depiction of the world around them; they have been in the vanguard of communicating the beliefs, wishes and dreams of this society.
The exhibition will run through to 25 September 2011.
Always on my mind
Misr allaty fi Khatiree (Egypt which is always on my mind) was the theme title of a collective exhibition by the Cairo Fine Arts Group held recently at the Ghouri Caravanserai in al-Azhar.
The show featured a number of artworks inspired by the 25 January Revolution and created in various mediums by a galaxy of Egyptian artists.
Under the auspices of the Cultural Development Fund, the show presented oil paintings by Ula al-Seifi, Lubna Zakariya, Karim Tada and Iman Hakim; mosaic works by Saad Michel; and a photo collage by Mona Hussein.
The Cairo Fine Art Group was founded in 1979. Its members are dedicated to the arts and consist of professional and amateur artists, as well as Egyptian and foreign art lovers. The group holds monthly meetings to exchange visions, thoughts, and artistic experiments.