Farghali Abdel-Hafiz: The dreamer

Nagwa El-Ashri , Wednesday 11 Aug 2021


One of Egypt’s best established artists, Farghali Abdel-Hafiz has had a career that spans six decades and several continents.

Born in 1941, he graduated from the Academy of Fine Art in Florence and represented Egypt at several biennials, including Sao Paolo in 1985, Venice in 1972, 1987 and 1993, and China in 2002; in 1996 he was the General Curator of the Cairo Biennial. In 1981 he became a founding member of the Axis Group, one of the most influential art movements in Egypt in the postmodern period. He has given over 20 international exhibitions in Europe and the United States. 

Abdel-Hafiz relies on traditional materials to present unconventional, dreamy images using a mixture of oils and acrylics on canvas. In his paintings, his focus appears to be more about the situation than the place. Originally from Dariout in Middle Egypt, Abdel-Hafiz also draws on folklore and uses materials taken directly from his surroundings such as straw, sand, mud and clay. 

As a contemporary Egyptian painter, his work was featured in numerous exhibitions at key galleries and museums, including the Zamalek Art Gallery, and sold for up to $74,818 USD at auctions. 

His paintings are on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art in Cairo.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 12 August, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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