Art Alert: Art Talks gallery exhibits works of late artist Riad Saied

Ahram Online, Sunday 23 Sep 2018

The exhibition for the prominent artist will include works by Alaa Atef, winner of the Riad Saied Award

Riad Saied
Fragment of artwork by Riad Saied (Photo: part of promotional material for the exhibition)

Art Talks will hold an exhibition of the works of late Egyptian surrealist artist Riad Saied titled Apple of My Eye, starting 2 October. The exhibition will also include works by artist Alaa Atef, winner of the annual Riad Saied Award for Art and Creativity.

Born in 1937, Saied was a painter and writer with a doctorate in art restoration. He died in 2008. He is among the most important surrealist artists in Egyptian history, with his work included in the touring exhibition 'When Art Becomes Liberty: The Egyptian Surrealists (1938-1965)' taking place between Paris, Sharjah and Cairo.

His works "depict fragments of our subconscious – such as self-imprisonment, yearning, sadness, and fear," according to the Art Talks exhibition statement.

He is known for his symbolic vocabulary that includes an apple, a loaf of bread, and bullets, which he used to reflect on the social and political consciousness of Egypt and the Arab world.

The Riad Saied Award for Art and Creativity was founded by Saied's family and the ARAC Foundation in 2016, and aims to revive surrealism among Egyptian artists.

Prize winner Alaa Atef will present works within the exhibition titled "The Non-Belonging."

Atef is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Fine Art of Alexandria, with a masters degree in painting. Her award-winning piece — The Golden Apple, inspired by Saied's works — entails a three-month full sponsorship, including studio expenses, drawing materials, plus an exhibition.

Her surreal works on display feature women in abandoned spaces resembling factories. She tackles subjects that include social restraints or conditions that can push women into frustration to which they surrender and/or reject.

The exhibition opens on Tuesday, 2 October, at 6pm and will run till 1 November
Art Talks, 8 Mohamed El-Kamel Street, Zamalek, Cairo

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