Egypt's Gypsum and Art Talks galleries host exhibits at Art Dubai 2017

Ahram Online , Wednesday 15 Mar 2017

The 11th edition of the leading international art fair runs from 13 to 18 March, featuring over 90 galleries from 44 countries

art dubai
Artworks by Ahmed Morsi (left), and Mamdouh Ammar (right)

Egyptian galleries Gypsum and Art Talks are participating this year at the 11th edition of Art Dubai, running from 13 to 18 March.

Cairo's Gypsum gallery joins the international art fair for the third time this year, presenting New-York based Egyptian artist and poet Ahmed Morsi with a collection of recent paintings and prints produced between 2000 and 2014.

Morsi was born in Alexandria in 1930. He is known for a prolific career spanning seven decades. As a poet, he published his first collection at the tender age of 19.

“His work represents a deep investigation into the self and reflects on the spiritual aspect of our humanity… His paintings, drawings and prints attest to his singular practice and unique visual language…” reads a press release from Gypsum gallery.

Morsi’s work has been featured in a number of private and public collections including the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art, the Fine Art Museum in Alexandria, MATHAF: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Barjeel Art Foundation and Sharjah Art Foundation.

Sharjah Art Foundation is also currently hosting a retrospective exhibition for Morsi, which opened 1 Mach and runs through 3 June.

Art Talks gallery, founded and curated by Faten Mostafa El-Kanafany, is participating in the fourth edition of the fair's Art Dubai Modern.

The section includes 15 galleries with solo or two-artist exhibits, showcasing works by masters from the Middle East, South Asia and Africa, whose work has been influential throughout the 20th century.

Art Talks will present works from Mamdouh Ammar (1928-2012) in a solo booth, as well as Ghaleb Khater (1922-2009) in a joint partnership with Hafez Gallery from Jeddah.

Ammar is a prolific artist, whose works blending expressionism, symbolism and surrealism span six decades. Spirituality and humanity are at the centre of his work.

Soon after his graduation from university in Cairo in 1952, “[Ammar] joined the Contemporary Art Group as they were in the midst of creating a spectacular Egyptian Folk Realism movement in which art and politics blurred,” according to Art Talks' website.

Ammar's work passed through three main phases, from folklore, to war and conflict, to freedom in solitude and exile.

Khater was born and raised in Luxor. His work is characterised by minimalistic and monochromatic metaphors and symbols.

“Though his formative years are influenced by ancient Egyptian art and classic realism, drawing on a widespread ideology at the time to revive Egypt’s ancient glory, Khater soon moved to a politically-charged stage calling for social change to free Egypt," Art Talks writes.

"He depicted emancipatory and controversial messages calling for a popular uprising ‘to make people’s lives more bearable,” it adds.

This year, the fair is inaugurating the Art Dubai Modern Symposium, a series of talks and presentations centred on the lives, work and cultural impact of 20th century masters from the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.

El-Kanafany will sit on a panel 17 March titled "The Human Condition," alongside Ayo Adeinka, the founder of London's TAFETA dealership, and Laura Barlow, the curator of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha. Freelance editor and writer Arsalan Mohammad will moderate the panel.

“This session delves into how modernists perceived, addressed and mirrored their times – from conflict and poverty to traditions and spirituality,” Art Dubai’s website writes.

Art Dubai is a leading international art fair that aims to serve as an international platform for works from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.

This edition features 277 artists from over 40 countries, representing more than 60 different nationalities.

With almost three quarters of the galleries returning to the fair from previous years, Art Dubai 2017 hosts over 90 galleries

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