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Duroub Gallery: Group Exhibition
When Winston Churchill, former British Prime Minister, was asked to cut arts funding in favour of the war effort, his response was "…then what are we fighting for?"
Stylish flooring, iridescent, white walls and two spacious levels Duroub Gallery in Garden City demonstrates exactly that, with a group exhibition featuring the works of over fifty artists,
Artist Samir Abdel-Rahman, born in 1947, has a collection of 30 oil paintings on display at as part of the exhibition, focusing on Egyptian culture entwined with Islamic Art and iconic motifs.
One of his paintings portrays three rows of Egyptian men dressed in white galabeyas dancing, playing music and celebrating; though the figures are mostly white shapes with tanned faces, the background is a mixture of vivid orange and fiery red implying heat, energy and festivity. The painting is set out like the early Pharaonic wall paintings that exist to tell a story. The story here is clearly one of joy and celebration, perfect for during Ramadan.
Mohamed Yousef is another talented artist contributing to this exhibition with a colourful, cubist style painting, rich in colours and symbolism. One particular painting portrays a Bedouin woman garbed in shiny jewellery and colourful attire. There is a white bird present at the bottom of the female's face which could be a symbol of peace; the woman's face is strong and the centralised position could imply importance.
The second floor of the gallery displays, not only paintings, but also ceramics, jewellery and textiles both for viewing and sale. A pair of medium sized, pearl earrings cost 120LE. There is also a selection of stylish pendants created from glass plus some beaded jewellery.
Hung upon the wall is a beautiful collection of tiny, framed ceramic pictures; some feature old buildings in Cairo with tiny windows carved into the clay, others are of coral with glass fish in vivid colours. The contrast between the glass and clay creates a strong effect as the fish appear closer and stand out more due to their bright colour and shiny surface compared to the coarse feel of the clay. Overall these pieces are tiny, delicate yet beautifully created.
In addition to the numerous paintings, fine jewellery and these tiny creations, the exhibition also contains some amazing, intricate wire sculptures, which can be admired and appreciated from all angles.
Duroub Gallery's goal is to create chemistry in art between different generations and bring them together through one diverse exhibition, to which we feel it has been successful. It really is a marvellous mixture of talent; art mediums and forms making it well worth a visit to Duroub Gallery.
Proving that art immortalises its creator, Hassan Soliman’s ‘Last Works’ exhibition at Picasso Art Gallery shows the late artists work can still conquers gallery halls to fascinate art enthusiasts in Cairo.
As the exhibition’s name suggests, this show documents the final episode of Soliman’s successful career, which mirrors the disposition of an illness-laden artist. The artist’s last paintings split into two collections; the first is a number of still-life paintings in colours, while the second depicts sceneries of seamen in Egypt painted entirely in black and white.
While the high-contrast bright palettes of his earlier works showed boldness, this collection, which boasts a variety of pastel colours intermingled with grey and blue, reflects a meditative mood. In a painting, the loneliness of the white plate placed before a widow added a dramatic feel to the already sombre mood of the whole work. In another, the cheerful view of fresh pink roses was mellowed by a number of dried petals placed on white cloth next to the flower vase –a thing we perceived as a symbol of death.
With no death allusions nor lonely elements, the masterpiece of this collection that comprises a number of scattered pears, a bowl and cup placed on a table has a magnificent palette of grey, blue and green. Also, what makes this painting stand out is the angle with which the Soliman viewed his elements; while the rest of the paintings shows a front view, this particular painting shows a slightly elevated angle creating a more brooding feel to it.
Despite being known for his monochromatic paintings, the exhibition’s paintings of the same style are not as bright as his earlier works. Dominated by the dark shades of greys and sepia, the paintings in general almost have no room for brighter shades or whites, even when the elements demanded otherwise. For example, the white sail of a boat that takes over a painting has a dim tint to it, giving the whole scenery a dreamy impression.
Although Soliman has bidden us goodbye, this emotional collection enriches his legacy and pays a fitting tribute to a characterful artist.