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New Artist Representation – Mamdouh Ammar

Mamdouh Ammar (1928 – 2012)
New Artist Representation by ArtTalks

ArtTalks is proud to announce that the gallery now represents the estate of the late artist Mamdouh Ammar.

Born in 1928, Mamdouh Ammar graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Cairo in 1952 – the year of the 23 July Revolution and during a time when the Contemporary Art Group were in the process of creating a spectacular Egyptian Folk Realism movement. A two-year apprenticeship in the studio of Turkish watercolor master Hedayet between 1945-1947; a close student-teacher relationship with Beppi Martin and Hussein Bicar; and further studies in the studio of André Lhote in Paris then at the Arts Academy in Rome enabled Ammar to build a multi-faceted narrative in which expressionism, symbolism and surrealism blend.

With a career extending over a period of six decades, Ammar investigated three main themes: magic, war and women. In his search for the essence of humanity, he narrated the story of a society immersed in popular myths, Sufism and folk practices and depicted the height of rejection of war as a solution to any conflict. By the end of his life, Ammar seems to have found the answer to a better life in the generative power that emerges out of the company of one’s own self, in silence.

At first socially minded, later isolated in peace, the prolific artist never ceased to pay tribute to women and convey the importance of freedom.

Mamdouh Ammar’s work is in numerous private and public collections, including the Egyptian Museum of Modern Art (Cairo), Port Said Museum and the Denshawai Museum (Menoufia).

Moataz Nasr to Represent Egypt at the Venice Biennale 2017

ArtTalks is thrilled to announce the selection of Moataz Nasr to represent Egypt at the 57th edition of the prestigious
La Biennale di Venezia International Art Exhibition to be held between 13 May and 26 November 2017.

The Egyptian Ministry of Culture and the Egyptian High Supreme Council for the Arts have announced on November
7, 2016 that Moataz Nasr has been selected to represent Egypt at the Egyptian Pavilion in the Giardini. Egypt, since
it established its pavilion in 1938, remains one of the only non-European nations to have a national pavilion in the
Giardini, which currently houses the Central Pavilion and 29 permanent national pavilions.

In line with his practice to reach an ideal of humanity and in an uncanny nod to recent global events, Moataz Nasr’s
exhibition is titled This Too Shall Pass and will evolve around symbolism that incorporates layers of social comment.
Nasr is one of the most significant multi-media artists of his generation. He employs painting, sculpture, and
photography, video and public art in order to create installations, which connect past and present, the spiritual and
the worldly and his homeland, Egypt and the universal.

Parallel to his work in the studio, Moataz Nasr maintains a social practice, through his Cairo-based nonprofit space,
Darb 1718, which gives access to an independent platform for education and culture through multi-disciplinary
programs since 2008. His commitment to formal intervention and social activism anchors Nasr’s contribution to
culture at large, exemplifying his belief that, artists in the 21st century can reinvent the world we live in.

Moataz Nasr was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1961. He lives and works in Cairo. After studying Economics, Nasr
took a studio in Old Cairo and soon gained local recognition marked by numerous prizes before breaking into the
international art scene in 2011, notably winning the Grand Prix at the 8th International Cairo Biennale and in 2002
winning the Biennale Prize of Dakar Biennale, Senegal. Moataz Nasr recently participated in Senses of Time: Video
and Film-Based Works of Africa at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art (2016) and took part in the
Dakar Biennale (2016). Across the years, he participated in the La Otra Biennale de Arte di Bogota (2013), the
Çanakkale Biennale (2012), the Thessaloniki Biennale (2011), the Lubumbashi Biennale (2010),
the Canary Biennale (2008), the Yokohama Triennale (2005), the Sao Paolo Biennale (2004), the Seoul Biennale
(2004) and the Venice Biennale (2003).

Established in 1895, the Venice Biennale has for over a century been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions
in the world. Today, the Biennale has an attendance of over 370,000 visitors at the Art Exhibition, which takes place
every odd years. In 1995, Egypt won the Golden Lion (Leone d’Oro) for Best Pavilion with Akram El Magdoub,
Hamdi Attia and Medhat Shafik, as exhibiting artists.

Launch of MHWLN

A panel discussion around gallery practices in Egypt, with Mohammed Talaat (Gallery Misr), Aleya Hamza (Gypsum) and Fatenn Mostafa (ArtTalks), took place as a launch platform for MHWLN (pronounced Mohawellun, deriving from the 1930’s avant-garde Egyptian group Les Essayistes). Founded by Clare Davies, Ahmed Naji and Ahmed Shawky, MHWLN is a working group devoted to researching and reflecting on the history of contemporary art in Egypt.

Hazem El Mestikawy Returns To Cairo After 5 Years of Absence

ArtTalks Gallery is proud to announce Juxtaposition, Hazem El Mestikawy’s first solo exhibition in Egypt in five years.

In his sculptural installations and wall objects, Vienna-based Egyptian visual artist Hazem El Mestikawy seeks to create minimalist work in reduced forms yet rich in layers of meaning. His unique act of juxtaposing, overlapping and locking or glueing different modules made of cardboard and paper, creates technically elaborate and thematically engaging works. With flawless precision and a geometric complexity, El Mestikawy creates infinite, abstract and pure patterns from symmetrically repeating letters, numbers or shapes. Visibly architectural, his creations use a variety of inspirations from his heritage such as the most fundamental principle of Sufism – unity in multiplicity. The notion of meditative process, repetition and time, as also found in Islamic art and architecture and ancient Egyptian art, is his constant guiding spirit.

Fashion Meets Art

ArtTalks Gallery And Pashion, Egypt’s premier fashion magazine, cooperated to launch an annual one-day event to exhibit merging works of art by Egypt’s new generation of Fashion and Jewelry Designers with Egyptian Contemporary Art.

Featured this year, fashion and jewelry designers Dina Shaker, Dido Embaby, Kojak, Nuniz, Okhtein, Reem Jano, Rons Bags, Yasmin Mansour, Mema El Shafey, Moja Khafagi and Fashion Clan.

The event was generously sponsored by Gianaclis wines, Absolut Elyx and Chivas.


ArtTalks is pleased to announce the addition of Hossam Dirar to its growing roster. His first solo exhibition at the gallery will take place in April 1, 2014.

Dirar was born in Cairo in 1978. He completed his BFA from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Helwan University in 2000. Fascinated by the art of calligraphy, Dirar studied its relation to art.

He first worked as a graphic designer before setting his own graphic design studio SamDzine. His early practice involved the use of calligraphy on day-to-day banal photography on canvas.

To enrich the work, he developed his technique by painting with oil and using knives. His elaborate and obsessively multi-layered texture has become his core technique.

Today, Dirar creates his own portraiture style with knives and oil, adding thick layers over layers. Yet he manages to give the feeling of a quick rendering of a face before it is forgotten.

Perhaps the invisible that the artist is chasing in his work is the phantom idea of beauty, trying to continue the tradition of personifying time. In 2013, Chief Curator Rebecca Wilson from Saatchi Art selected Dirar as one of twelve most promising young artists from around the world to invest in, in the Saatch Invest Now Part II series.


As part of our continuous efforts to raise art appreciation and Arab art exposure, ArtTalks is excited to welcome Mr Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, a renowned UAE-based columnist on Arab affairs, an influential Twitter commentator and most of all, one of the Emirates’ leading art collectors and patrons of the art. Al-Qassemi is the founder of Barjeel Art Foundation.

This time, we are inviting Al-Qassemi to wear his collector hat and talk to us about modern and contemporary Arab art, his inspiring journey into art collecting and Barjeel Art Foundation, where he preserves and exhibits one of the most important middle eastern collections.


“I never paint reality. I always paint a parallel world.”says Riham ElSadany (b. 1978), who is also known as Riham AbouSeada. Her solo show, “Fantasmagoria” takes place at ArtTalks gallery this month. The artist, who has a Ph.D. in Performance Arts, says that her studies of human psychology and the Egyptian personality inspire her work. Her influences include Amedeo Modigliani, Fernando Botero, Pablo Picasso, Tamara de Lempicka, Frida Kahlo and Gustav Klimt .