HASSAN HESHMAT 1920-2006 17 Jan - 08 Feb

In our pursuit to put back long lost forgotten Egyptian masters in sculpture or painting, ArtTalks Gallery is pleased to present for the first time in decades over 40 sculptures by the pioneer Internationally-active Egyptian sculptor HASSAN HESHMAT (1920-2006).

Highly celebrated but lost in the gaps of history, Hassan Heshmat was a pioneer in stone, porcelain, and ceramic sculptures depicting Ibn al-Balad and Bint al-Balad. Known for reflecting highly idealized, socialist realist, and heartwarming depictions of humble Egyptians, the prolific sculptor is also known for large-scale public works and has an eponymous museum, the Hassan Heshmat Museum, located in Ain Shams, dedicated to preserving his legacy.

Born in 1920, Hassan Heshmat earned his degree in Applied Arts, specializing in ceramics (1938), followed by a degree from the Higher Institute of Technical Education for Teachers (1954). In 1957, he was granted a scholarship to study Porcelain Design in Bavaria, graduating in 1958. Heshmat is considered the first Egyptian artist to create works in porcelain, reflecting traditional and patriotic themes. The artist rose to fame during the era of Gamal Abdel Nasser. He held notable solo exhibitions in London (1956), Paris (1957), West Germany (1958), Syria (1960), Rome (1967), Geneva and Frankfurt (1968), Holland and Stockholm (1969), Belgium (1970), Norway (1971) and Lausanne (1976). His works are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in Cairo, the Museum of Applied Arts in Budapest, the Museum of Mankind (Musée de l’Homme) in Paris, the National Museum of Warsaw, and the Peking Museum in China, among others. Heshmat created a number of large-scale sculptures, several of which were commissions for public installations in Egypt and abroad. He designed the Bride of the Red Sea, an iconic sculpture of eight meters that became the emblem of the Red Sea Governorate.

The prolific sculptor was awarded prestigious local and international prizes, winning silver and gold medals at the International Ceramics Competition in Italy in 1964 and 1965, and winning first prize in a competition to build a memorial monument for a church in Belgium in 1970. Hehmat was later awarded the Egyptian state’s Appreciation Award.