Category Archives: Uncategorized


ArtTalks is pleased to announce the addition of Hady Boraey to its growing roster. His first solo exhibition at the gallery will take place in March, 2014. Born in Beheira in 1984, Hady el Boraey lives and works in Alexandria, Egypt. He received a BFA (2005), MFA (2011) and finally a PhD (2012) from the Faculty of Fine Arts, the University of Alexandria, with highest honors.  He participated in over forty group exhibitions in Egypt, Italy, the UK, Switzerland and the UAE. He received the medal of appreciation from the Bibliotheca Alexandria and various awards from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Alexandria.

With a distinctive painting technique and a thrilling imagination, Hady Boraey creates a poetic and dramatic world of fantasy of what could lie beyond all sorts of borders – of the earth, of one’s country or one’s imagination. He takes us on an imaginary journey and uses the unknown as a metaphor to highlight the fascination and hope of many young Egyptians to cross the borders of their own country to go settle somewhere ‘where the grass looks greener’.



PATRICK KANE AT ARTTALKS – The Politics of Art in Modern Egypt

On December 18, 2013 at 6.30PM 

As Another step towards cementing our mission of nurturing art knowledge and appreciation, ArtTalks is pleased to announce an upcoming talk with the renowned scholar and author Patrick Kane.
Kane has recently published “The Politics of Art in Modern Egypt: Aesthetics, Ideology and Nation-building.” He will discuss the prominence of several prevailing themes among artists in subsequent years from 1948 to 1970: El-Moulid, Nasser’s nationalist agenda, peasant-landlord relations and the rise of migrant labor.


ArtTalks signs Management of Sobhy Guirguis Estate

ArtTalks is proud to announce the signing for the management of the estate of the late Egyptian pioneer artist Sobhy Guirguis with the family. This is an important milestone to preserve, document and exhibit the legacy of one of Egypt’s most influential artists of the twentieth century. A comprehensive perspective will take place at the gallery early 2014 to commemorate the first passing of Guirguis.


Having departed this world at the age of 83, Sobhy Guirguis leaves behind an unparalleled legacy of avant-gardism, modernity and humanity. His body of work rouses a certain awe by virtue of his selflessness, naivety and indefatigable commitment to artistic creation. As we enter the realm of one of the more perplexing artistic psyches of the 20th century in the Arab world, we soon realize how his art creates a profound and intimate experience. His work is at once conceptual and emotional; minimalistic and complex; mature and childlike; ancient Egyptian and universal; abstract and figurative and above all this, human.

Indifferent to, or having chosen to be so, and secluded from his surrounding environment, Sobhy Guirguis sought relentlessly for answers to grasp the unexplainable human existence. Despite witnessing the fall of the British colonization, the 1952 revolution, the wars of 1967 and 1973, the American invasion of Iraq, and more recently the 2011 Arab Spring across the Middle-East, Sobhy Guirguis remained firm and more stubborn, unmoved as one could superficially conclude, sticking to his quest for peace and existentialism.


SOBHY GUIRGUIS was born in 1929 in Cairo, Egypt and lived and worked in Cairo. He received a BFA, MFA and PhD from the Fine Arts School in Cairo, Egypt and obtained a postgraduate diploma in Florence in 1964. Born to a family of musicians, Guirguis inherited the passion of music and transformed it into visual arts. He received the prestigious first prize for Sculpture in Alexandria Biennale for Mediterranean Countries in 1994 and the Grand Prize of the Cairo International Biennale in 1995.


ArtTalks pays tribute to the masters of modern Egyptian art

Zamalek’s ArtTalks Gallery currently hosts an exhibition of rare artworks by key figures in modern Egyptian art representing the artistic movements that emerged in the first half of the 20th century.

Works by Mahmoud Said, Mahmoud Mokhtar, Ragheb Ayad, Adham Wanly, Seif Wanly, Margaret Nakhla, Yousef Kamel, Ramses Younan and Fouad Kamel, on loan to ArtTalks from private collections, were presented Tuesday 12 November in a talk on the History of Egyptian Modern Art delivered by gallery founder Fatenn Mostafa.

Since its launch in December 2012, ArtTalks has been on a dual mission: to present and support young Egyptian artists, and to act as a forum for knowledge by familiarising the public with the roots of modern Egyptian art.

Therefore, while most galleries nowadays dedicate their space to works by more contemporary artists, this show provides a valuable glance into the artwork of the pioneers of modern Egyptian art.

During her talk, Mostafa took on the daunting task of covering four decades of art history in two hours. The seminar presented key painters of the first half of the 20th century while a small collection of their works adorned the walls surrounding the attendees.

The talk established three men as game-changers in Egypt’s modern art scene: Sheikh Mohamed Abdou, then the country’s mufti (authority responsible for issuing religious edicts), who endorsed art and refuted claims of its contradiction with Islamic principles; Prince Youssef Kamel, who personally financed art and founded the Fine Arts University in 1908, and Mahmoud Khalil Pasha, who established the first Museum of Fine Arts in Egypt back in 1927.

After decades of foreign occupation, the struggle for a sovereign national identity was the driving force behind the birth of Egyptian modern art, Mostafa explained.

The first movement of modern Egyptian art was therefore replete with indigenous identity, as many painters began to depict everyday life and ordinary subjects. This generation of artists also drew inspiration from their Pharaonic roots.

Among this group is Mohamed Nagui, who has been described as the father of modern Egyptian art, and assumed a number of prominent positions in art institutions locally and internationally.

Also among Egypt’s pioneering modern artists was Mahmoud Mokhtar, generally referred to as the father of modern Egyptian sculpture.

Other painters such as Ragheb Ayad and Yousef Kamel were also influenced by Pharaonic subject matter, and set out to chronicle intimate images from Egypt’s society.

“The importance of art is that it is a documentation of our history,” Mostafa commented.

The seminar delved into the life and work of Mahmoud Said, probably Egypt’s most widely known artist. Six of the master’s artworks are exhibited at ArtTalks for the duration of this exhibition.

In the works of such artists as Margaret Nakhla, who painted scenes in public baths as well as Church weddings, emerged a revolutionary depiction of the mundane.

Mostafa then presented the second generation of artists, the Art and Freedom Group. She calls them the “Tahrir Square of the 40s,” in that they brought forward revolutionary ideals and posed art as a tool with which to challenge oppressive forces in society.

This movement’s artwork was radically different from any other period in Egypt’s art history; surrealist and abstract art emerged, heavily influenced by Western artists and styles.

The works of artists who belonged to this surrealist art movement are also exhibited at ArtTalks until next week, including paintings by Ramses Younan, Fouad Kamel and Kamel El-Telmessani.

The exhibition runs until 20 November at ArtTalks.
8 Al-Kamel Mohamed Street, Zamalek, Cairo

SEMINAR & EXHIBITION History of Egyptian Modern Art

12 – 20 NOVEMBER 2013

From 6pm to 8.30pm


The seminar History of Egyptian Modern Art Part One is a two and a half hour introduction to the glorious history of Egyptian Modern Art. It examines the reasons behind the birth and rise of Egyptian modern art at the turn of the 20th century, with the founding of the Fine Arts School, all the way through to the Art & Freedom Group in the 1940’s.


Using the work of significant artists as reference points, the seminar is a voyage showcasing the influences by the nationalist search for an Egyptian identity, free from foreign occupation. The political driving forces, the social and cultural context as well as the major artistic movements are covered.


Kicking off the night of the seminar is a one-week exhibition showcasing works, on loan, of Egyptian pioneer artists from the first and second generations. The exhibition is an attempt to bring the museum in a private set-up and give the seminar’s attendants and art lovers a chance to view pioneers’ works while going through the historical context. All works have been loaned from generous Egyptian private collectors. ArtTalks would like to thank them for their trust and generosity.


Pre-registration is required.


Sequoia and ArtTalks Gallery are cooperating to launch a FANOUS RAMADAN PUBLIC ART Event to celebrate our heritage during the 2013 Ramadan. Twenty Egyptian Artists (Established and Emerging) have been approached to turn a 1.20meter Fanous into an artwork to be displayed around Sequoia during the holy month of Ramadan. The 20 Ramadan Lanterns are available for sale, with 50% of the sales receipts going towards helping unable individuals regain their sight.




As part of our efforts to grow the number of art lovers and art patrons in Egypt, ArtTalks is launching COLLECTING 101 | New Collectors Artweek. This Group Exhibition aims at encouraging novice collectors to go beyond appreciating art by starting to gradually build an art collection.


Works by modern pioneer artists such as Seif and Adham Wanly, Salah Taher, Ahmed Refaat and Ismail Samy as well as established  (Adam Henein, George Bahgory, Moataz Nasr, Huda Lutfi, Omar el Nagdi) and emerging artists have been carefully selected and offered at reasonable prices. We would like to thank all the artists who supported us in this endeavor.


SEMINAR History of Egyptian Modern Art Part Two
| From 1940s To 1970

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
From 11am to 1.30pm
Lecturer: Fatenn Mostafa


The seminar History of Egyptian Modern Art Part Two is a two and a half hours introduction to the spectacular development of Egyptian Modern Art from the 1940s to 1970. It will cover the 1940s surrealists of the Art & Freedom Group; the 1950s Contemporary Art Group and will conclude with (propaganda) art under President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Using works of significant artists as reference points such as Abdel Hady el Gazzar, Hamed Nada, Injy Aflatoun, Samir Rafi, Tahia Halim, Gazbia Serri Hamed Owais and others, the seminar is a voyage into the

artists’ insatiable quest for a national identity.

Pre-registration is required.


ArtTalks is pleased to announce the addition of Weaam El Masry to its growing roster. El Masry’s first solo exhibition at the gallery will take place in May, 2013. Weaam el Masry was born in 1987. She works and lives in Cairo, Egypt. She holds a PhD in Media Arts from the Faculty of Applied Arts, Helwan University. She has received over 17 awards and has participated in over 40 exhibitions locally and internationally.


Universal gender-based issues are all the essence of el Masry’s visual language and the product of her experience as an Egyptian wife, mother, artist – but most of all, a woman. Her work explores issues of her native society especially the position of women, relationships and religion, yet is timeless and universal. It is a complex and courageous combination of images in a deeply moving environment. Building on the personal, it weaves together timelessness and universality supported by outstanding drawing abilities. The absolute though nervous control of line has become El-Masry’s signature drawing technique. A multi-award winner, El-Masry researches, peels the onion, goes beyond the superficial or the clichés. She seeks profound answers, and she is driven by her personal voyage that she doesn’t shy away from sharing with the public. Her work is genuine and intimate, like an autobiography. And it is made with pride; this you can immediately sense. This fearless honesty with overweight nude bodies invades the space and hypnotizes the viewer. To liberate him. To liberate her. Very few artists can manage to do that.


Egypt now has its own Donkey Parade, thanks to the Caravan Festival promoting interfaith – Peace & Compassion. 90 Donkeys will be displayed across Cairo!


Al-Azhar representative Sheikh Mohamed El-Hawwary at the opening night on May 9th, 2013: “Islam is not against art. Art is a form of beauty…although we always prefer moral principles over aesthetics…To art that unites people, we say ‘welcome’.”


45 Egyptian and foreign artists, among them some of Egypt’s most prominent contemporary artists are participating in this year’s Caravan Arts Festival, now in its fifth edition. Seeking to promote interfaith dialogue and challenge sectarian strife, the festival borrows the idea of the Animal Parade that is exhibited across a city in public and commercial spaces. Zurich, Dubai, Istanbul, and Los Angeles have previously witnessed camels, elephants, and cows Parade. Cairo will witness the Donkey Parade. Each of the 45 selected artists, hailing from countries across the globe – including Poland, Switzerland, the UK, Jordan, France and Norway – were given two fiberglass donkeys, a life-sized and a mini version, and were asked to paint them in their own style, while reflecting this year’s theme: ‘In Peace and With Compassion…The Way Forward.’ The donkey was chosen as it symbolizes peace in both Christianity and Islam. For two weeks, the donkeys, which are for sale, with twenty percent of their proceeds being donated to local charities, will travel across Cairo.

ArtTalks is proud to exhibit 3 of the life-size donkeys for rising contemporary visual artists Marwa Adel, Ahmed Kassim and Alaa Awad.

25 selected pieces of artwork will travel to exhibitions in London and Geneva, before being auctioned off in Europe, also to support Egyptian charities.


Donkeys will be exhibited in the following locations from 12 to 25 May:

Hotels: Four Seasons Hotel (First Residence and Nile Plaza), Kempinski Nile Hotel, Cairo Marriott Hotel, Sofitel El Gezirah.

Galleries: Picasso Art Gallery, Mashrabia Gallery, Gallery Misr, Zamalek Art Gallery, ArtTalks Gallery.

Other: The British Council, Community Services Association (Maadi), St. John’s Church, Cairo American College, American University in Cairo.