Art Corner: ‘Dreams’ Group Exhibition
Art Corner may be one of Zamalek’s smaller galleries, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in the quality – something demonstrated by a string of composed exhibitions over the last two years. This month, the gallery is hosting a delightful display titled Dreams; a group exhibition featuring work by three talented, Egyptian Artists: Reda Khalil, Fathy Ali and Ayman Fouad.
When you enter the gallery, you will see that three different styles have come together to form one show; one of Ayman Fouad’s paintings contains elements of typical African marks, simple lines and shapes composed using bold colours alongside black, whereas another of his paintings takes on a more brightly coloured and technical approach, almost resembling an electrical circuit board. The second of the three styles is one much more expressive, by Ali Fathy; focusing on mostly figurative art and the mark making process with some faces that look quite eerie and distorted, if you stand close enough you can see the large brush marks that make up each painting. One of his portraits is of a woman with white skin applied with a thick consistency of paint; Fathy combines this with yellow and red paint in stripes, almost. The face itself is rather simplistic with just two black dots to represent the eyes and a dab of red paint for the lips.
However, it’s Reda Khalil’s work that steals the spotlight with a selection of detailed and colourful paintings with the primary focus being on religion. The Garden of Eden is used as a particular theme throughout his pieces in the exhibition; one painting depicts an interesting scene between two large rocks or grey mountain, with patch of greenery in the background and then a much darker scene in the foreground depicting Adam and Eve standing with expressions of surprise and worry. A short distance from them is the snake, as Adam appears to be comforting Eve whilst gazing up into the sky.
Another painting, which is also seemingly set in the Garden of Eden, shows Adam and Eve stood amongst animals, this time baring smiles on their faces. The overall colouring of this piece is much more vivid and optimistic; this could be interpreted to be the scene in which Adam and Eve have just arrived in their perfect paradise.
Overall, though Khailil’s work stands out more, the exhibition has an intangible, visceral affect. There’s interesting detail as well as a slight primitive aesthetic that come together into an engaging collection.