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Art Agenda: 1-15 December

Art venues in Cairo are preparing to end 2013 with a range of dynamic art exhibitions featuring works by the country's prominent and emerging contemporary artists

Ahram Online, Sunday 1 Dec 2013
Artwork by Mohammed Sabry. (Photo: courtesy of Al Masar Gallery)
Artwork by Mohammed Sabry. (Photo: courtesy of Al Masar Gallery)
Views: 3032
Views: 3032

The dynamism of Egypt's art scene has transcended yet another year plagued with political and economic instability. While artists and art spaces have struggled to stick to their plans in the context of frequent protests and clashes, and until recently a government-imposed nationwide curfew, exhibitions have continued to emerge month after month. This December is no exception.

Among the highlights of this month's shows is the Townhouse Gallery's celebration of its 15th anniversary. The popular art space is hosting three exhibitions, including two solo shows by prominent contemporary artists Huda Lutfi and Lara Baladi. Other promising solo shows include contemporary multidisciplinary artist Nadine Hammam's "WHY," opening 10 December at ArtTalks, and Mohammed Sabry's "The Journey," which opens 7 December at Al-Masar Gallery.

There is also a number of intriguing collective shows, including "Cairo-Berlin," which features works by seven artists from the two cities and runs until 8 December at an artist-run space in Garden City, and "Sheer Strength," which showcases work by four emerging female artists and will be held at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) office until the end of February. 

The Mirage II: Hazem Taha Hussein

The Mirage II presents the latest collection of works by artist Hazem Taha Hussein. Recognisable for his layering of geometric Islamic motifs over abstract figures, Hussein adds text to some of his paintings to address recent changes in the country's political landscape.

Exhibition runs until 3 December.
Baehler's Mansion 157b, 26 July Street, Zamalek, Cairo.

Artwork by Hazem Taha Hussein. (Photo: courtesy of Al Masar Gallery)
Artwork by Hazem Taha Hussein. (Photo: courtesy of Al Masar Gallery)


Fifth Generation: Collective exhibition at The Art Lounge

Contemporary artists Essam Darwich, Hamdi Attia, Ibrahim El-Dessouki, Sami Aboul Azm and Kareem El-Qurity will showcase their latest artworks in a group exhibition opening 10 November at The Art Lounge.

Exhibition runs until 3 December.
Baehler's Mansion 157b, 26 July Street, Zamalek, Cairo.

Artwork by Sami Aboul Azm. (Photo: courtesy of The Art Lounge)


Cairo-Berlin: Collective show in Garden City art space

As part of the Cairo-Berlin project sponsored by the German embassy in Cairo, seven contemporary artists from the two capitals exhibit their work at an artist-run space in Garden City in a show curated by Daniel Rode. The collective exhibition features artwork by Taha Belal, Jenifer Evans, Julian Faulhaber, Ganzeer, Sara Pfrommer, Daniel Rode and Klaus Walter.

Exhibition runs until 8 December.
1071 Nile Corniche, Apartment 5, 1st Floor, Garden City, Cairo (Nile Sunset Annex Building)

Artwork in the making by Ganzeer. (Photo: Cairo-Berlin)


Sweet Dreams: Amre Heiba at Mashrabia Gallery

In a solo exhibition opening 17 November at the Mashrabia Gallery in downtown Cairo, contemporary artist Amre Heiba showcases a selection of paintings produced between 2009 and 2013. The artist uses painting to react to public life and express his private reflections. This collection features large scale oil paintings, mostly depicting abstract figures in strong, raw colour. According to the artist, painting is a medium through which he can capture his thoughts, feelings and dreams.

Exhibition runs until 9 December.
8 Champollion Street, Downtown, Cairo.

Artwork by Amre Heiba. (Photo: courtesy of Mashrabia Gallery)


Gamal El-Sagini at Zamalek Art Gallery

Works by one of Egypt's most prominent sculptors, Gamal El-Sagini (1917-1977), will be showcased at the Zamalek Art Gallery starting 17 November. El-Sagini pioneered a movement of expressionism in modern Egyptian sculpture.

Exhibition runs until 11 December.
11 Brazil Street, Zamalek, Cairo

Artwork by Gamal El-Sagini. (Photo: courtesy of Zamalek Art Gallery)


Brain Damage: Collective exhibition at Darb 1718

A collective exhibition entitled Brain Damage opened Saturday, 16 November, at the Darb 1718 Contemporary Art and Culture Centre . The show features artwork by a group of emerging artists (Amro Okacha, Fady Galal, Fajr Soliman, Ghadir Wagdy, Haytham Sherif, Maghraffiti, Mohamed Khaled, and Razan Saeed) working under the umbrella of Wust El-Balad Studio, an art incubator born after the January 25 Revolution to support young artists. Its curatorial statement says that the exhibition will tackle "the crippling effects of years of neglect of the Egyptian education system on society’s ability to think properly and progressively with regards to human development and the status of women."

Exhibition runs until 15 December.
Qasr Al-Shamee' Street, Al-Fakhareen, Old Cairo
(Behind the Hanging Church and Amr Ibn Al-As Mosque)

Artwork by Fady Galal. (Photo: Kalb Balady)


Le Nouvel Orientalisme: Katherine Bakhoum at Safarkhan Art Gallery

French-Egyptian artist Katherine Bakhoum once again exhibits at Safarkhan, this time a collection dubbed "Le Nouvel Orientalisme." Bakhoum was born in Cairo in 1949, but today resides and paints in Paris. An air of nostalgia always pervades this artist's work, which is heavily influenced by Orientalist-style painting. Her canvases often capture figures with an ethereal quality.

Exhibition opens 2 December and runs until 28 December.
6 Brazil Street, Zamalek, Cairo.

Artwork by Katherine Bakhoum. (Photo: courtesy of Safarkhan Gallery)


15 Years: Three exhibition openings at Townhouse Gallery

The Townhouse Gallery marks 15 years in existence with three exhibitions to "celebrate our history while looking towards the future," according to their press release. Two solo exhibitions, by prominent contemporary artists Huda Lutfi ("Cut and Paste") and Lara Baladi ("Freedom is Coming"), will run in December. Lutfi and Baladi, both internationally renowned artists, exhibited their artwork at the Townhouse's fourth exhibition in March 1999. The third exhibition this month, dubbed "Social Security," is an experimental collective working space for emerging artists. The first floor of the Townhouse Gallery will be transformed into studio areas for visual artists, graphic designers and a filmmaker, who will use the space throughout December to collaboratively develop "alternative forms of fundraising and new tactics for sustainability," according to the gallery.

Exhibition runs until 8 January 2014.
10 Nabrawy Street, off Champollion Street, Downtown, Cairo

Artwork by Huda Lutfi. (Photo: courtesy of Townhouse Gallery)


The Journey: Mohammed Sabry at Al-Masar Gallery

Al-Masar Gallery is hosting an exhibition entitled "The Journey" featuring a rare collection of artworks by prominent Egyptian artist Mohamed Sabry. The exhibit showcases paintings from the artist's collection from 1941 to 1967, a snapshot of his 75-year artistic journey, as he celebrates his 95th birthday. The show features works in oil paint and pastels.

Exhibition opens 7 December and runs until 9 January 2014.
Baehler's Mansion 157b, 26 July Street, Zamalek, Cairo.

Artwork by Mohammed Sabry. (Photo: courtesy of Al Masar Gallery)


WHY: Nadine Hammam at ArtTalks

Zamalek's ArtTalks Gallery is hosting Nadine Hammam’s fourth solo exhibition, entitled “WHY.” The Cairo-based, multidisciplinary artist often puts social taboos and gender dynamics into question, exploring the structures pervading Middle Eastern society in artworks produced in various media, including painting, text, sound, video, and installation. In this exhibition, Hammam takes a closer look at the word “why.” By rearranging fragments of broken mirrors on canvas to spell out words such as “love," "lust," and "forever,” the artist places the audience in her artwork.

Exhibition opens 10 December and runs through 15 January 2014.
8 Al-Kamel Mohamed Street, Zamalek, Cairo

Artwork by Nadine Hammam. (Photo: courtesy of ArtTalks)


Sheer Strength: Collective exhibition at GIZ

The exhibition, opening 1 December at the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) office, in collaboration with the Mashrabia Gallery of Contemporary Art, brings together four contemporary female artists. The exhibit, entitled "Sheer Strength," will feature works by Hala Abu Shady, Dina El-Gharib, Souad Abdel Rasoul and Fadwa Ramadan. The diverse showcased collection includes paintings, drawings, collage and digital photography.

Exhibition runs until 28 February 2014.
4D, El-Gezira Street, Zamalek, Cairo

Artwork by Soad Abdel Rasoul. (Photo: courtesy of Mashrabia Gallery)


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