Mohamed Mandour is widely seen as the icon of modern pottery in the Middle East.
Mandour was born in 1950 in Al-Fustat, the oldest settlement in Cairo, where he learnt and worked since childhood in the renowned cradle of traditional pottery.
Mandour is known as the king of the art of ceramics, especially in making vessels; the smoothness, fluidity of form and use of red clay mark his work out whether it is a clay pot, a plate or decorative pieces for the wall.
In 1967, Mandour joined an atelier in Helwan founded by painter Sofia Helmy and sculptor Mohamed Hagrass, where he swiftly developed his own style inspired by the Pharaonic and Islamic designs.
In 1979, he was awarded the ceramic prize by the French Cultural Institute.
In 1987, he won the prize of the Egyptian Society of Fine Art Lovers.
In 1992 he won the award of appreciation of the National Egyptian Society for Fine Arts as well as prize of the first International Triennial of ceramics in Cairo.
In 2002 he won the prize of the Venice biennale.
Mandour currently lives and works in Al-Fustat. One of his latest solo exhibitions in Cairo was “The Potterist” at Al-Masar gallery in 2009.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 13 August, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly