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Garden City, Cairo, Egypt.
Duroub Gallery: Small Art Works Exhibition 2010
We often visit art galleries in Cairo to admire works of art without any intention of buying anything. Either the art is not for sale because it is part of a private collection or the scale of the piece and the corresponding price tag make it impractical to even consider owning it. However, if you’ve been searching for a new painting or any other work of art to add to your personal collection, we recommend Duroub Gallery in Garden City.
Currently on display at Duroub Gallery, the Small Art Works exhibition 2010 features more than sixty artists. Each artist has a handful of works on display; so the walls of this modest gallery are overwhelmingly packed. While this detracts from our ability to view and appreciate each painting individually, it certainly makes shopping for a new piece of art easier because of the range of styles on display. Many of the small, framed canvasses feature the people, landscapes and traditions of Egypt. The paintings range from impressionist cityscapes to cubist portraits, as well as some abstract pieces and a number of beautiful examples of Arabic calligraphy.
Aside from the vibrant collection of paintings, the exhibition also features small metal sculptures and hand-painted ceramic discs and tiles. Two jewellery cases near the gallery entrance are worth checking out for some gorgeous, artistically crafted silver pieces. Holiday shoppers should be sure to check out this jewellery selection for unique gift ideas.
The best part about the Small Art Works Exhibition is that the art pieces are quite reasonably priced. A number of pieces are priced in the range of 600LE to 700LE, making the work of these local artists quite accessible to the public compared to works sold at other galleries.
However, getting to the gallery is not as accessible; at least not by car. Located on Latin America Street near the British Embassy, the gallery can only be reached by foot as it is blocked off by security patrol cars. Duroub Gallery suggests parking your car in the garage of the Semiramis Intercontinental Hotel, but you’ll save a lot of hassle if you walk over or take a taxi.
Ubuntu Gallery’s latest exhibition comes in the form of Tawaseen; a vast and beautifully composed exhibition showcasing Egyptian artist Moham Oraby’s combined elements of both traditional and modern art.
Tawaseen has two translations in the Arabic language; one of them being ‘goblets’ or ‘bowls’, while the exhibition itself also proposes another rough translation or adaptation: ‘windows of eternity.’ Looking at the pieces on display, the first meaning of the word Tawaseen is manifested in the bowls of fruit and cups portrayed in vivid colours and the other meaning can actually be a metaphor for how art itself can be perceived as a window of eternity.
Born in in Sohag in 1961, Oraby studied painting in the Faculty of Arts in Luxor in 1984, before earning a Masters in photography at the Faculty of Fines Arts at Cairo’s Helwan University. Oraby has participated in many international exhibitions including Washington DC, Damascus in Syria as well as several exhibitions in Egypt.
One of the pieces which stood out is an oil painting depicting a table filled with bowls, eggs and fruits cut into pieces; it’s a cosy, colourful scene with the objects in the piece entwined within a pastel-green, patterned background featuring leaves and even a lizard. It’s a piece that encapsulates and highlights the emphasis the nature; one of the most beautiful sides of Oraby’s work.
Another painting depicts figures placed within similar settings; a lady in a bright red dress stands in front of a sand-coloured scene. Perhaps using elements of nature seems to be a common denominator in many of Oraby’s pieces as fruit pieces appear in several paintings as well as several green plants and leaves.
The background shades of Oraby’s paintings are quite similar in the sense that he uses mainly pastel shades which work nicely with the foreground colours which are much more intense and vivid.
Oil paint seems to be the preferred material for Oraby, which works well creating a furnished surface that reflects the lighting of the gallery space; it’s almost as if the fruit bowls and goblets are glistening beneath the beams.
If you have ever seen and favoured the delicate creations of British illustrator Beatrix Potter and the languid tones she uses to portray her outdoor, garden scenes, then you’re bound to appreciate this exhibition; the entire collection seems to generate a positive outdoor aesthetic as well as a relaxed and pleasant ambiance. The soft green shades all collaborate well with the more vivid yellows, oranges and reds which have been delicately applied onto a hard surface. It is said that Oraby likes to paint scenes that possess energy about them, which he can further emphasise through his own artistic style and choices.