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Tache Art Gallery: Encounter
Combining the work of amateur and established artists, ‘Encounter’ at Tache Gallery in Designopolis explores the multiple meanings of possible encounters in the eyes of painters Deena Fadel and Wael Sabour, as well as sculptor Rossana Corrado.
With pieces scattered throughout the gallery, Egyptian-Italian Rossana Corrado’s bronze sculptures contemplate the merging of mind, spirit, and body. The sculptures’ flowing lines carry intimate details and vivid expressions. A large sculpture placed at the entrance is hard to miss; titled ‘El Sofio’ – or ‘the breath’ – it captures the spirit of worship with a lady in a pea pod-like structure blowing a breath.
Another piece, titled ‘The Dancers’, features two swirling dancers attached at the hair; a segment combines stone and bronze melded together forming a male figurine reminiscent of Renaissance art. While pricey, ranging between 5,000LE – 45,000LE, Corrado’s pieces are expertly crafted.
The ground floor exhibit features paintings by Deena Fadel, whose stylised paintings combine oil, acrylic, floral textile prints, ink, wax and pastels in a myriad of abstraction. Ranging between 3,000LE and 8,000LE, many paintings capture the chaos of the current political atmosphere. The use of different materials give the paintings varying degrees of depth depending on where you’re standing, making for a very dynamic impression.
Fadel tackles various themes in her work, including social inclusion and exclusion, politics, social space and the race for power. The energy and diversity of the city are prominent features in her paintings, and although she employs an abstract approach to her paintings, Fadel captures a very gritty reality.
‘Town’ captures both the shapes and subtle tones of a town on the horizon, with silhouettes of minarets and church towers; its sharp lines look a lot like calligraphy. ’Cars‘ depicts an aerial view of cars crowding onto a street and the use of different mediums in the piece accentuates the stifling reality of Cairo’s streets.
Up a flight of stairs, Wael Sabour’s collection is titled ’Mediterranean Dream‘. Away from the overwhelming density of Cairo, Sabour’s work is inspired by Alexandria and, in contrast to Fadel’s exhibition, provides more of an escape. The paintings are priced between 3,000LE and 10,000LE.
Boats are a prominent motif in Sabour’s work and it seems as if much of his collection is about capturing the essence of a little boat out in the big blue sea. The pieces are layered and are painted in both vivid ocean colours as well as a combination of ink, pastels and watercolours in sandy tones. Ancient Egyptian influences are a subtle feature in his work.
Sabour’s ‘Harbor Collection’ is an eye-catching set of four paintings with magenta, purple, orange, and turquoise jumping out from their simple white frames. Once again, a little boat is his main subject, viewed from different angles and in different colours.
From a buyer's perspective, there are several great pieces to choose from and some with relatively reasonable prices. Either way, the originality and solid running theme of the exhibition are well worth a visit.
There is a ‘sublime hysteria’ to everyday life, as the curators of 'Desire, Deceit & Difficult Deliveries' by Doa Aly say. Showing in Townhouse Gallery, the exhibition only seems to create a void in which this can easily be forgotten. In a contrived effort to illustrate the obsessive, yearning quality of daily life, through a crowded confused amalgamation of themes – ranging from Greek mythology to medical science – Aly fails in making her art what all good art should be: representational of its themes.
The collection comes across as a poorly reworked variation on an old theme, which has been done better elsewhere. The ideas are strong, however, the aesthetics, feeling, and heart required to convey such a principle concept are lacking. Overall, this exhibition is disconnected, hollow, and was ultimately a frustrating experience.
The first part of the show highlights four videos meant to tell something of the stories of the Ovid; it would take a great philosopher and historian to see this connection. But then again, maybe this is not necessary. The viewer is confronted with four videos, each in four parts, showing unidentifiable characters engaging in mechanical repetitious motions. It would seem as though the obsessive, repetitious movement of the characters on screen is meant to reflect our own schizophrenic nature, however, the rarefied atmosphere of the gallery and the removed characters, background and motions, make these pieces entirely un-relatable. In an attempt to create perhaps a universal atmosphere, Aly has created an irrelevant display that’s devoid of human feeling.
This absence of feeling continues on the first floor where an impressive text collage connects the poems of the Ovid with medical texts. Standing alone, this piece would have great strength, but as a bridge between two parts of the exhibition, we can see the artist attempting to create a narrative by force. That said, the first floor does feature some amazing drawings showcasing the artist’s talent as well as grasp of the themes presented.
The piece entitled ‘Roy’ offers a splendid conclusion to the exhibition. In this tragic piece we can see what this exhibition could have been. This piece shows a regular, relatable character and rather than underlying the fundamental themes of the exhibition and injecting it with human feeling, this very separate piece serves as a reminder of all that is missing in the rest of this show.
We found this show to be a somewhat removed handling of human feeling and lacking in terms of expressive and honest art, which could have better occupied this space.