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Art Agenda: January 2013 Exhibitions

For art fans, Ahram Online prepares a guide of visual art exhibitions showing in Cairo this January

Ahram Online, Friday 4 Jan 2013
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Long Live Free Art: Collective Exhibition at ArtTalks

Long Live Free Art exhibition at ArtTalks
Long Live Free Art exhibition at ArtTalks

Launched on 18 December at ArtTalks, Long Live Free Art showcases works by both prominent contemporary artists with strong presence in the local and global art scene, including Huda Lutfi, Mohamed Abla and Nermine Hammam, as well as promising up-and-coming artists such as Mina Tadros, Ahmed Sabry and Keizer. The exhibition is inspired by the 1939 art movement and is entitled Egyptian Art and Freedom Group.

8 El Kamel Mohamed Street, Zamalek, Cairo
- Exhibition is on until 15 January

 

Takeoff...Landing? Hisham El-Zeiny at Mashrabia Art Gallery

Painting by Hisham El Zeiny, 2012
Painting by Hisham El Zeiny, 2012

In this exhibition, contemporary artist Hisham El-Zeiny (1956) explores the rise (and fall?) of Egypt's January 25 Revolution. Nostalgia and a sense of uncertainty permeate El-Zeiny's canvases, as he paints snapshots from the uprising in whites and greys. In his artist statement El-Zeiny explains "In this exhibition I examine the imaginary scenario of an urgent trip undertaken by our national aviation, in which Egypt Air announces its unscheduled emergency Flight no. Jan 25 heroically attempting to head for democracy.. or better still 'demo-crazy'."

8 Champollion Street, Downtown, Cairo
- Exhibition is on until 17 January

 

Gazbia Sirry, Inji Efflatoun, and Tahia Halimat Picasso Gallery

The Nile Girl by Tahia Halim
The Nile Girl by Tahia Halim

One of the most exciting exhibitions this month is a show by three female heavy weights in the history of modern Egyptian art. The Picasso Gallery hosts a collection of artworks by Gazbia Sirry, Inji Efflatoun and Tahia Halim, proving that indeed, “old is gold.” The works on display all carry similarly pastoral themes, from Tahia Halim’s traditionally-dressed farmer women (falaha) wearing bold-coloured scarves against a backdrop unruly palm trees to Inji Efflatoun’s festively-coloured landscapes of blue skies and palms that seem to move to Gazbia Sirry’s thickly-painted depictions of rural homes.

30 Hassan Assem Street, from Brazil Street, Zamalek, Cairo
- Exhibition is on until 20 January


Alia's Drinks (Fruit Paradise – Moustache of an Old Man): Ramy Dozy at Mashrabia Gallery

Painting by Ramy Dozy, 2012
Painting by Ramy Dozy, 2012

In  what will be his first solo exhibition,  Ramy Dozy presents conceptual artwork inspired by the time he spent in Ard El-Lewa, immersed in a community that clearly contrasts with what he's accustomed to. He watched Alia, a girl growing up in Ard El-Lewa, for days on end. The works he produced do not document this strange, yet enthralling place, but rather reveal the inner dialogue in his mind during his time there. Dozy explains it as follows: "The Alia project moves away from the rational mind in an attempt to search and explore a world specific and unique to 'Alia.' This virtual construction is a result of merging the real world with the theoretical world, expanding into visual and mental phenomena, producing a distinct visual language for Alia."

8 Champollion Street, Downtown, Cairo
- The exhibition opens on 20 January and runs until 14 February

 

A Life in Struggle: Inji Efflatoun at Safarkhan Art Gallery

Portrait of a Prisoner by Inji Efflatoun, 1960
Portrait of a Prisoner by Inji Efflatoun, 1960

This exhibition spotlights one of the most noteworthy female artists in modern Egyptian art, Inji Efflatoun (1924-1989). She was much more than an artist; Efflatoun was a political activist and a proponent for women’s rights. Her painting styles went from subversive surrealism to emotionally-charged expressionism, and her life went from a comfortable bourgeoisie upbringing to spending four years behind bars in the Nasser era for her involvement in the communist movement. A riveting biography is reflected in this artist’s paintings, which are on show this month at Safarkhan and the Picasso Gallery in Zamalek.


6 Brazil Street, Zamalek, Cairo 
- The exhibition opens on 3 January and runs until 2 February

 

Small Works by Mohamed Abla at Art Corner Gallery

Painting by Mohamed Abla, 2012
Painting by Mohamed Abla, 2012

Internationally-acclaimed artist Mohamed Abla, whose work is often politically charged and bears rebellious undertones, exhibits this January at the Art Corner Gallery in Zamalek. Last year, his most notable exhibitions were The Road to Tahrir at the El Bab Gallery, in which he showcased works produced from 2004 up until the revolution that, in a way, prophesised the uprising of 25 January, 2011, and a Facebook exhibition entitled Wolves, which condemned the attacks of army soldiers on protestors. In Small Works, Abla will exhibit a mix of portraits and landscapes, as always with a potent Egyptian identity.

12 Sayed El Bakri Street, Zamalek, Cairo
- The exhibition opens on 4 January and runs until 21 February

 

Dialogue of Mind & Soul: George Bahgouryat Al Masar Gallery

Quartette by George Bahgoury
Quartette by George Bahgoury

Bahgoury, a Picasso-influenced pillar of contemporary Egyptian art, exhibits reflective paintings in a show entitled Dialogue of Mind & Soul this January. Bahgoury studied art at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Cairo in 1955, before moving to Paris. The prolific artist has experimented with drawing, engraving, literature and cinema alongside painting and caricature.

Baehler's Mansion 157b, 26 July Street, Side Entrance on Isaac Jacob Street, Zamalek, Cairo
- The exhibition opens on 20 January and runs until 21 February

 

Alienation: Sami Aboul Azm at The Art Lounge

Shattered by Sami Aboul Azm, 2012
Shattered by Sami Aboul Azm, 2012

Alienation, held at the newly-established The Art Lounge, affiliated with Al Masar Gallery, is the first solo exhibition by contemporary painter Sami Aboul Azm (1967). The paintings showcased will tackle the sense of estrangement pervading today’s tumultuous, post-revolutionary society as Aboul Azm attempts to depict the prevalent emotions of fear and separation in Egypt.

Baehler's Mansion 157b, 26 July Street, Side Entrance on Isaac Jacob Street, Zamalek, Cairo
- The exhibition opens on 20 January and runs until 21 February

 

E-art suggestions

And if the cold weather is scaring you into staying home this January, you can check out the following online galleries.

- ArtsMart

- Safarkhan E-gallery

 

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