Egyptian artist Adel El Siwi’s work is known for his treatment of the human figure often portraying a whimsical narration and energy. In “Untitled”, the brush strokes, colors and figures come together in a swirl of a composition, layered on top of one another using oil and watercolor paint.
Between abstraction and figuration, Nazli Madkour’s paintings are inspired from nature and often haunted by the women of Egypt. Exploring the applications of paint to produce new meanings and layers in her work, “Untitled” is a prime example with its unique texture of thick paint and deep earth tones.
Using textile and printing techniques in her work, Suheir Osman is known for the art of Batik. This process, as seen in “Untitled”, starts with the ancient craft of cloth making, then proceeds to the batik the dyeing process where wax is used create places or shapes where the dye cannot reach. Afterwards, she creates a template that will print the geometric design. Inspired by ancient Egyptian, Coptic or Islamic civilizations, she creates contemporary motifs, repeating shapes through varied compositions, emulating ideas of the infinite or building on the past to reach the future.
Expressionist Mohsen Shalaan unleashed his emotion through oil paint, ink and pencils combining symbols and folkloric myths to ultimately create a surrealist experience. Reminding viewers of a film scene where the main character has a memory or flashback “Untitled” might serve as way to relate to our own nostalgia.
Well-known for his portraiture, the expressionist work of Safwat Abbas Fahmy gives viewers a feeling of drama. In “Untitled” the figure is composed at the bottom of the canvas with halo-like colors around his darkened head, while the white paint above him is crisscrossed, energetically layered by a thick brush
With textured material that imitates water, the mixed media work “Fish Migration” is a unique piece in the collection. Used frequently in both biblical narratives or as a depiction of daily life, the fish has many symbols such as prosperity, success, creativity and rebirth.
As an established contemporary artist in Egypt, Mohamed Abla works in a number of mediums such as lithography, oil painting and newspaper cutouts, sometimes combining them together in one work. The figures inside of the landscape, like in “Untitled”, comment on past and present situations both socially and politically. With an aim to engage with his audiences, Abla feels that art is the key to bringing cultural and environmental awareness to people.
Known for his figurative works, Wajih Wahba paints with a gestural hand. Smooth flowing brush strokes of velvety colors give his work a rich tonality like in “Untitled.” His expressionist style imbues emotion and the figures look as if they are deep in conversation.
Strokes of colors and lines come to together into forms creating an energy and movement in Naima Shishini’s paintings. Seen throughout her career, the expressive lines are almost calligraphic with a language of their own. The “Untitled” painting has an ephemeral and harmonious rhythm complimented with serene colors.
Considered one of the leading modern Egyptian artists, Gazbia Sirry’s career spans over 50 years and is characterized by an extraordinary versatility, emotional expression and use of color with vivid and bold brushstrokes. One of the most important aspects of her work is her ongoing commitment to social and political commentary. As a memorial to the Cana Massacre in South Lebanon, “The Innocents,” has a fluidity in its gestural lines that could evoke movements in a group of people
Creating work with a combination interests from social justice, the rhythm of music to religion and spiritualism, Hamed Al-Oweidy was a masterful calligrapher. He used each Arabic letter in all its malleable beauty to create modern forms and formats. Breaking with traditions, he was known for taking calligraphy out of the frame and even letters out of words.
Part of the Egyptian “Third Generation Art Movement” Fatma Arargi worked on defining Egyptian identity in art through heritage and the ongoing political and social changes from the 50’s onward. This ink on paper drawing touches on her thematic of social change and populist movements. The group of individual figures carrying objects above their heads merge into collective power pushing forward through their struggles.
After being trained in a classical style of painting, Sabry Mansour began his signature abstract and symbolic style with predominantly female figures, night landscapes and symbolic elements. In this print “Our Village at Night”, Mansour has depicted women in different positions inside their houses. Using shading to create the organically curvy figures and architecture against minimal backdrops, he creates a stylistically mystical and serene landscape, exuding a calmness and spirituality typical to his oeuvre. Another edition of this print can be found at the Modern Art Museum in Cairo.
Painting expressive forms and colors, Assem Sharaf symbolically uses yellow to refer to earth & aggression while blue means serene & calm. In this work, a narrative emerges as his figures interact and gesture in a natural, instinctual way. Painted with intuitive yet controlled brushstrokes, the poetic compositions seem to explore the depths of the unconscious self and its primal urges.