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Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1916, in Mallawi; died July 2004.

Sculptor. Animals.

Abdel Badi Abdel Hay studied sculpture in the free section of Cairo University's arts faculty. He often worked with hard stone such as granite, sometimes sculpting animal-like figures, elongating the surface area of his works to create work reminiscent of Pompon and Brancusi....

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1925; died 1988.

Sculptor, painter. Animals.

Salah Abdel Kerim studied at Cairo's faculty of art, continuing his studies in Italy and in Paris. He was appointed Professor of Decorative Art at the same faculty in Cairo and was later appointed Dean of Fine Arts in the city....

Article

Aurélie Verdier

(b Saïda, Algeria, 1953).

French painter, sculptor, photographer, film maker, writer and installation artist of Algerian birth. Born to Spanish parents, he was much affected by North African as well as Southern European culture. He trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre. Despite a pervasive and diverse use of media, Alberola often stressed the coexistence of his different artistic practices as leading to painting alone. His paintings relied heavily on evocative narratives, at once personal and ‘historical’. Alberola conceived of his role as a storyteller, on the model of African oral cultures. Convinced that narratives could not be renewed, he argued that a painter’s main task was to reactivate his work through contact with his pictorial heritage. The main points of reference for his paintings of the early 1980s were Velázquez, Manet or Matisse, whose works he quoted in a personal way. In the early 1980s he undertook a series of paintings inspired by mythological subjects, which he combined with his own history as the principal subject-matter of his work. The biblical story of Susannah and the Elders as well as the Greek myth of Actaeon provided his most enduring subjects, both referring to the act of looking as taboo, as in ...

Article

Aldine  

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 1917, in Cairo.

Painter, sculptor.

Aldine received a doctorate in science and from 1953 to 1960, he was cultural advisor at the Egyptian embassy in Paris. Although he began painting in 1948, he only took it up as a full-time activity after his retirement from the administrative service in ...

Article

Ian M. E. Shaw

Ancient Egyptian art style that takes its name from Amarna, (Tell) el-, the site of the capital city during the reigns of Akhenaten (reg c. 1353–c. 1336 bc) and Smenkhkare (reg c. 1335–c. 1332 bc). Amarna-style painting and sculpture were characterized by a move away from the traditional idealism of Egyptian art towards a greater realism and artistic freedom. This new sense of vigour and naturalism is most apparent in surviving fragments of paintings from the walls and floors of palaces (Cairo, Egyp. Mus., and Oxford, Ashmolean; see Egypt, ancient §X 2.). The statuary and reliefs, mainly from el-Amarna, Thebes and Hermopolis Magna, represent the royal family and their subjects in a style that was initially grotesque and often crude, as the artists struggled to come to terms with the new approach (see Egypt, ancient §IX 3., (viii)). However, they eventually reached a high degree of sophistication and beauty, exemplified by the painted limestone bust of Queen ...

Article

Chika Okeke-Agulu

(b Cairo, May 22, 1963).

American painter, sculptor, fibre and installation artist of Egyptian birth. Amer, one of the few young artists of African origin to gain prominence in the late 1990s international art scene, studied painting in France at the Villa Arson EPIAR, Nice (MFA, 1989), and the Institut des Hautes Etudes en Art Plastique, Paris (1991). She subsequently moved to New York. She is best known for her canvases in which paint and embroidery are combined to explore themes of love, desire, sexuality, and women’s identity in a patriarchal world. Amer’s use of Embroidery, historically regarded as a genteel female craft, to create images of women fulfilling their sexual desires without inhibition, recalls the provocations and strategies of 1970s Western feminist art. However, her work also reflects her alarm at the incremental curbing of women’s social and political freedoms in her native Egypt following the rise of Islamic fundamentalism, especially after the regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser ended in ...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born in Cairo.

Sculptor.

Bagheera exhibited at the 1932 Salon des Indépendants in Paris.

Article

Kirk Ambrose

(b Moscow, May 7, 1903; d Paris, Jan 25, 1988).

Lithuanian art historian, scholar of folklore and Egyptology, and diplomat of Russian birth. Son of the celebrated Lithuanian Symbolist poet of the same name, Jurgis Baltrušaitis II studied under Henri(-Joseph) Focillon at the Sorbonne and earned the PhD in 1931. The concerns of his mentor are evident in La stylistique ornementale dans la sculpture romane (1931), which reprises and extends arguments for the ‘law of the frame’ in Romanesque sculpture. Accordingly, the shapes of architectural members, such as capitals and tympana, determined the articulation of sculptural forms. This theory could account for the genesis of a wide array of monumental carvings, from foliate capitals to narrative reliefs, but ultimately it had a rather limited impact on the field of Romanesque sculptural studies. In a scathing critique, Schapiro argued that Baltrušaitis’s book—and by implication Focillon’s methods—robbed Romanesque sculptors of agency and neglected the religious and expressive meanings of this art form....

Article

Bek  

R. Krauss

[Bak]

(fl c. 1340 bc). Egyptian sculptor. Bek’s career as Overseer of Works at the Red Mountain and Overseer of Sculptors coincided with the reign of Akhenaten (reg c. 1353–c. 1336 bc). Numerous fragments of statuary excavated at el-Amarna (the site of Akhenaten’s capital city) can be attributed to Bek’s workshop, making him—like his contemporary Thutmose—one of the few ancient Egyptian artists with whom particular pieces can be associated.

A rock relief at Aswan depicts Akhenaten as a living person, if larger than life, together with the sculptor and his father Men (also an Overseer of Sculptors), in the act of adoring a colossal statue of Amenophis III (reg c. 1390–c. 1353 bc). While Men too adores the statue, Bek greets King Akhenaten. The associated text assigns Bek responsibility for ‘very great monuments’ in the ‘Great Sun Temple’ at el-Amarna. It also describes him as an ‘apprentice whom his majesty himself taught’, a phrase that is often taken to imply the direct, personal involvement of Akhenaten in the formulation of the so-called ...

Article

Tunisian, 20th century, male.

Sculptor.

Belaïfa, one of very few contemporary Tunisian sculptors, exhibits at the annual exhibition of contemporary Tunisian art held at the Yahia Gallery. He also had a solo exhibition in Tunis in 1982. He works with synthetic resins and polyester, combining abstract elements with figurative shapes....

Article

Article

Egyptian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France from 1974.

Born 27 October 1949, in Cairo.

Painter, sculptor, engraver. Figures.

Sayed Darwiche learnt painting from his father, a calligrapher. He left Egypt after the two Egyptian-Israeli wars. His drawings and paintings show the figures of men, women and children, but through a violent form of expressionist deformation which approaches the work of the Abstract Expressionist artist Wilhem De Kooning, though his chosen blend of colours gives a sense of softness and luxury. Sayed Darwiche's sculptures, carved from old wood or quarried stone, come close to abstraction. They consist of curved, taut volumes whose sensual fullness contrasts with the ruggedness of his drawings and paintings....

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1940.

Painter, sculptor, ceramicist.

Abdel El Dawakhli studied at Cairo's higher academy of art, then qualified as an art teacher from the San Fernando academy in Madrid and as a master potter and ceramicist from Madrid's central school. He was appointed professor at the higher academy of art in Cairo and, from ...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1917, in Cairo.

Sculptor.

A graduate of the arts faculty of Cairo University, Gamal El Segueini continued his studies in Paris and then at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome. He was later appointed professor in Cairo.

His style is highly personal: while his sculptures are basically abstract, characterised by full, curvilinear volumes after Henry Moore, their details include certain discrete figurative features which seem give them an additional meaning, as in ...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1936, in Al Ma'sarah.

Sculptor.

A teacher at Alexandria's arts faculty, Abdul-Hadi El Wechahi exhibited at the Cairo Salons from 1959 to 1966, the 1965 Paris Biennale, and also in Moscow. He has received numerous prizes in Egypt for his sculptures....

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Active and naturalised in France.

Born 1908, in Ismailia; died 5 January 1979, in Paris.

Painter, sculptor.

Leonid Fridman started his career in Belgium where his family had taken refuge. From 1936 onwards, he devoted himself entirely to painting. He settled in Paris just after ...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born in Alexandria.

Sculptor.

Ibrahim Gaber was a pupil of Paul Landowski. He exhibited his work regularly at the Salon des Artistes Français.

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, female.

Active from 1925 in France.

Born 24 April 1907, in Alexandria; died 1 March 1986.

Sculptor, medallist.

Daria Gamsaragan went to France to study sculpture, settling there in 1925. She entered the academy of La Grande Chaumière and became a pupil of Bourdelle. She also worked with Csaky and Constant. From ...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1924.

Sculptor.

Mohamed Hagras studied at the Rome academy of fine arts from 1948 to 1952, successfully gaining his diploma there. In 1950 he also received a diploma for striking coins and medals. Since 1957 he has taught in the sculpture department at the faculty of fine arts in Alexandria. In ...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1917, in Menoufia.

Sculptor. Animals.

Hamdi studied at the school of fine arts in Cairo and continued his studies in Paris. He participated in collective exhibitions in Egypt and at the Salon des Artistes Français in Paris, where he was awarded a bronze medal in ...