ArtTalks is pleased to present the second edition of From Mokhtar to Gazbia, an exhibition of revelatory works by the most influential Egyptian painters and sculptors of the past century. The show will open at our gallery in Zamalek on Tuesday, October 25, 2022, and will run through November 15, 2022.
The exhibition offers privileged access to seminal artists who shaped and influenced the trajectory of Fine Arts in Egypt and the region and provides a compact overview of the varieties of expression, styles, and movements that emerged during the last century and that have impacted the generations that followed. With power and authenticity, the works presented in From Mokhtar to Gazbia speak of and to the people of Egypt. They offer a visual world at the forefront of modernism and aptly express the country’s complexities and its people’s dire conditions.
From Mokhtar to Gazbia takes us on a fascinating journey into 20th-century Egyptian modern art and features masterpieces by celebrated as well as forgotten artists. Some of the works are instantly recognizable like Mahmoud Mokhtar’s iconic sculptures: Sur Le Bord du Nil and Ibn al-Balad. In contrast, other works will go on public display for the first time in decades like Gamal El Sagini’s al-Harra (1952), Hamed Nada’s Chanteuse d’Hôtel (1977), Sayed Abdel Rassoul’s Moulid fi al-Hussein or Ezechiel Baroukh’s 1940s Mother and Child to name a few.
Highly expressive figurative paintings by the Wanly brothers, Hamed Owais, Salah Taher, Youssef Kamel, and Ragheb Ayad are in an intimate dialogue with the later abstract world pioneered by Mounir Canaan, Effat Naghi, Maher Ra’ef, Fouad Kamel, and Gazbia Sirry. As the former faded, it gave way to abstract expressionism and Arabic calligraphy.
A particular focus is given to sculpture. We begin at the dawn of the 20th century with Mahmoud Mokhtar who rightly claimed to be the first Egyptian sculptor in over 1700 years, and go on rediscovering equally important, yet less-recognized artists like Ahmed Osman, Mansour Farag, and Hassan Heshmat. The journey ends with Adam Henein’s minimalist animals (donkey, dynastic bird, cat, or goat).
Whether celebrated and sought-after today, or forgotten and lost in the gaps of history, each artist in the show has dominated the conversation at a certain point.
From Mokhtar to Gazbia features forty museum-quality works, sourced from different private collections in Cairo and Alexandria, to reflect on a past era as they seek a new home.
Abdel Rahman al-Nashar, Abou Khalil Lotfy, Adam Henein, Adham Wanly, Ahmed Abdel Wahab, Ahmed Osman, Ahmed Sabry, Attiyat Farag, Effat Naghi, Enayat Allah Ibrahim, Ezechiel Baroukh, Fouad Kamel, Gazbia Sirry, Gamal El Sagini, Gamil Shafik, Halim Habashi, Hamed Abdalla, Hamed Nada, Hamed Owais, Hassan Heshmat, Hassan Soliman, Hussein Bicar, Inji Efflatoun, Kamel Mostafa, Khadiga Riaz/Riad, Maher Raef, Mahmoud Mokhtar, Mahmoud Saïd, Margo Veillon, Marguerite Nakhla, Mansour Farag, Mariam Abdel Aleem, Mohamed Naghi, Mohamed Riad Saeid, Mohammed Sabry, Mounir Canaan, Mounir Faheem, Ragheb Ayad, Raouf Abdel Meguid, Refaat Ahmed, Saad al-Khadem, Sabry Ragheb, Salah Taher, Samir Rafi, Sayed Abdel Rassoul, Seif Wanly, Shaaban Zaki, Shady Abdel Salam, Simon Samsonian, Tahia Halim, Vessela Farid, Youssef Kamel, Zakaria El-Zeini.