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Article

Egyptian, 20th century, female.

Born 1929.

Engraver.

Mariam Abdel Aleem studied at the institute of art in 1954, and also studied engraving and printing in the USA. She was subsequently appointed professor at Alexandria's faculty of fine art.

She has taken part in a number of important group exhibitions, including the Biennale of engraving at Ljubljana and ...

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

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1932.

Painter.

Raouf Abdel Méguid studied at the arts faculty in Cairo in 1955, continuing his studies in Rome in 1959. He was later appointed Professor at the faculty where he had studied as a young man. His painting incorporates traditional motifs from Arabic architectural design which he reworks, often in a playful manner....

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1938, in Alexandria.

Painter.

Moustapha Abdel Mooti studied at the fine arts faculty in Alexandria and was later appointed Professor there.

He paints monumental geometric forms, spheres on top of pyramids or pyramids on top of spheres or cubes, for example, which sometimes appear to punctuate dreamlike spaces, as in his work ...

Article

Tunisian, 20th century, male.

Active in France.

Born 3 October 1890, in Mehdia, Algeria.

Painter, draughtsman. Nudes, portraits, landscapes.

Gilani Abdul-Wahab worked mainly in France. He began his artistic education in 1921 at the free academies of Montparnasse in Paris and at the Académie Julian....

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1944, in Menoufia.

Painter. Figures.

Abou Chadi has taken part in a number of local group exhibitions. He was selected to participate in the exhibition entitled Aspects of Contemporary Egyptian Art ( Visages de l'art contemporain égyptien) at the Musée Galliera in Paris in ...

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, female.

Born in Constantinople.

Painter. Genre scenes.

Suzanne Adly exhibited some genre paintings of the Near East at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris in 1931.

Article

Tunisian, 20th century, male.

Born 21 July 1921, in Tunis; died 1988.

Painter.

Dominique Agnello was somewhat influenced by Cubism, like many of his generation, but distanced himself from it with his use of strong colours and a tormented style.

From 1953, his works were exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants, at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and at the Salon d'Automne....

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1931, in Cairo.

Painter.

Rifaat Ahmed studied in the free section of the Arts Faculty in Cairo, after which he obtained a grant to study in the studio run by Louksor, where he stayed from 1959 to 1962.

His painting is very distinct. He traces signs clearly inspired by Arabic calligraphy and Egyptian hieroglyphics on backgrounds rich in figurative subject matter. These signs sometimes consist solely of their own volutes and arabesques, but sometimes include some identifiable shapes and forms, for example, ...

Article

Tunisian, 20th – 21st century, male.

Active in France.

Born 1952, in Tunisia.

Calligrapher, painter.

Abdallah Akar was born in southern Tunisia and arrived in Paris at the end of the 1960s. He studied drawing, painting and, in particular, calligraphy with the Iranian master Ghani Alani. He has taught calligraphy at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris since ...

Article

Pamela Elizabeth Grimaud

(b Tunis, Feb 2, 1935).

French fashion designer, of Tunisian birth. Alaïa is renowned for his ‘second skin’ fashions and masterful cutting techniques (see fig.). Christened the ‘King of Cling’ by fashion journalists, Alaïa rose to prominence in the 1980s following years of realizing commissions for a loyal and select clientele. His designs are modern, overtly feminine in their celebration of the female form and, in Alaïa’s own words: ‘not sexy, voluptuous’. Alaïa’s sculpted fashions have been known to render other designers’ fashions unwearable—they simply feel too large in comparison.

Born in southern Tunisia, Alaïa was raised by his maternal grandparents and at the age of 15 undertook the study of sculpture. Realizing soon after that sculpture was not his calling, and serendipitously passing a dressmaker’s window on his way to classes, he saw a sign for an assistant. He was hired for the task of finishing hems at five francs apiece. Alaïa rose quickly to become a favourite of Tunisian high society, copying for the local clientele the work of the great ...

Article

Marianne Barrucand

[‛Alawī; Filālī]

Islamic dynasty and rulers of Morocco since 1631. Like their predecessors the Sa‛dis, the ‛Alawis are sharīfs (descendants of the Prophet Muhammad), and both dynasties are sometimes classed together as the ‘Sharifs of Morocco’. From a base in the Tafilalt region of south-east Morocco, the ‛Alawi family was able to overcome the centrifugal forces exerted by the Berber tribes who had destroyed the Sa‛di state in the first half of the 17th century. To restore political authority and territorial integrity, Mawlay Isma‛il (reg 1672–1727) added a new black slave corps to the traditional tribal army. Although royal power was weak during the 19th century and the early 20th, when the French and Spanish established protectorates, the ‛Alawis’ power was fully restored after independence from the French in 1956.

‛Alawi building activities (see Islamic art, §II, 7(v)) were concentrated in the four cities that have served as their capitals: Fez and Marrakesh at various times from ...

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

Egyptian, 20th – 21st century, female.

Active in the USA.

Born 1963, in Cairo.

Draughtswoman, embroiderer.

Ghada Amer grew up in Paris. She studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Nice before travelling to the USA where she attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. She lives and works in both New York and Paris. In 2005 she was Artist in Residence at Kansas City Art Institute....

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, female.

Born 1937, in Cairo.

Painter. Landscapes, architectural views.

Sawsan Amer received her diploma from the institute of fine art in Cairo in 1958 and works as a painter at the city's agricultural museum. Her painting is highly 'decorative-illustrative'. She often bases her work on features of traditional Islamic architecture, such as domes and minarets, with which she reconstructs views of imaginary towns, as in her work ...

Article

Tunisian, 20th century, male.

Active in France since 1964.

Painter, engraver. Figure compositions, genre scenes, scenes with figures. Theatre decoration, designs for stained glass and for tapestries.

Mohamed Amich paints pictures of a Tunisia characterised by its traditions, festivals and crafts. Using a particularly wealthy range of colours, he construes and composes his works according to principal sketches and spatial structures, using a systematic approach stemming from Cubism via the teaching or example of André Lhote....

Article

Egyptian, 20th century, male.

Born 1923, in Tantah.

Engraver.

Kamal Amin studied engraving at the arts faculty in Cairo, after which he spent four years in Italy and France developing his skills. He was eventually appointed as assistant in the engraving department in which he had studied....