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Pioneer of social realism in arts in Egypt dies aged 92

The seminal Egyptian artist Mohamed Hamed Oweis died yesterday, 1 October, after a long life of artistic achievements

MENA, Sunday 2 Oct 2011
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The seminal Egyptian artist Mohamed Hamed Oweis died yesterday aged 92 after a long battle with disease.

Oweis, one of the most important artists in the fine arts sector, is considered the pioneer of the social realism movement in Egypt.

Oweis was born in 1919 in Beni Sueif and graduated from the Fine Arts College in 1944 in Cairo. He worked as a professor at the Fine Arts University in Alexandria and headed the Fine Arts Museum in the same coastal city. He was one of the founding members of the Union of Fine Artists in 1969.

Oweis had many individual exhibitions and participated in numerous group exhibitions internationally and was head of the 24th Biennale of the Mediterranean Countries in Alexandria.

Oweis won the Salon Award in 1957 and the Pioneers Prize of the Ministry of Culture in 1993, as well as the State Appreciation Award in 2001, among many other honors.

On the international level, Oweis won the Guggenheim Award in 1956. The German Publishing House for Arts also published a book about him and his art in 1962.

Some of his most famous paintings are “Fishermen from Alexandria” displayed in the Dresden Museum in Germany, “The Hammer and Consciousness” at the Modern Art Museum in Berlin, “The Sitting Woman” at the Modern Art Museum in Poland, “The High Dam ... The Earth to Who Cultivates it” at the Western Art Museum in Moscow, “The Nap” at the Contemporary Art Museum in Madrid, and “The Harvest” in the Fine Arts Museum in Alexandria.

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