Art Alert: Gamal El-Sagini’s centennial retrospective at two Cairo venues

Ahram Online , Sunday 16 Apr 2017

The exhibition will be held at Mahmoud Mokhtar Museum and the Zamalek Art Gallery

gamal sagini

A retrospective exhibition for artist Gamal El-Sagini will celebrate his 100th anniversary on 23 April at the Mahmoud Mokhtar Museum and the Zamalek Art Gallery in Cairo.

The exhibitions will showcase a selection of the artist’s work in different mediums, including painting, sculpture, hammered copper and ceramics.

El-Sagini, born in Cairo in 1917, graduated with a degree in Sculpture from the Higher School of Fine Arts in Cairo in 1934. He later pursued studies in Paris, and in 1947 earned a scholarship to study in Rome, where he received a diploma in sculpture and metal.

El-Sagini formed the Sawt El-Fanan (The Artist’s Voice) group, which included many young artists advocating new artistic styles.

According to Zamalek Art Gallery’s biography of the artist, “El Sagini introduced symbolism and expressionism to Egyptian Sculpture. This fact, coupled with a great talent, had paved the way into earning him several prestigious awards.”

Among these awards were The Mokhtar Trophy for sculpture in 1937, Italy’s Medal of Honor presented by the Italian ambassador in Egypt in 1963, and the Gold Medal at the 1957 International Moscow Exhibition.

In 1958, he earned the First Prize in the High Council for the Support of Arts and Literature Competition for the design of a bronze sculpture of the poet Ahmad Shawky, which stands at the Borghese Gardens in Rome.

Egypt was a prominent subject in most of the artist’s works, and was embodied through different symbols expressing different emotions at different times, such as joy, hope, despair, victory, defeat, or love. Some of his common Egyptian themes were the River Nile, wars, and death.

El-Sagini died in 1977 in Barcelona, one month after travelling to Spain for a large exhibit of his work organized by the Egyptian General Organization for Information.

In his lifetime his works were exhibited only a few times, and this exhibit marks the fifth.

The displayed artworks are from the collection of Magd El-Sagini, the artist’s son, who inherited and managed his works, showcasing it several times at Zamalek Art Gallery.

Sunday 23 April
5.30pm: Mahmoud Mokhtar Museum, 5 El-Tahrir St., Cairo
8pm: Zamalek Art Gallery, 11, Brazil Street, Zamalek, Cairo

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