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Ramadaniaat Exhibition at Art Corner

Art Corner Gallery: ‘Ramadaniaat’ Group Exhibition

reviewed by
Katie Dryden
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Art Corner Gallery: ‘Ramadaniaat’ Group Exhibition

Ramadaniaat is colourful exhibition marking the month of Ramadan at Art Corner Gallery in Zamalek showing an esquisite collection of paintings by seventeen talented artists. One thing that each of these paintings displayed all share is the reference to Cairo and the month of Ramadan.

Art Corner may be a small gallery space and not as easily spotted as it’s neighbouring galleries but their exhibitions are both alluring and clear to their purpose, for instance within just one minute of being inside its walls the festiveness of Ramadan is almost leaping off the canvases.

The first painting to captivate us, a large oil painting by Cairo-born artist, Gihan Maher, portrays a dusty street in Cairo painted in monotonic tones except for the colourful Ramadan decorations and a fanoos hanging above an arched entrance.  On top of those monotonic tones is a sprinkle of yellows to light up the scene and add some zest and sparkle.  The contrast between the sandy background tones and the brighter colours used for the decorations emphasise that it is a time of celebration and of course the fanoos stands proud as a symbol of Ramadan.  

Waleed Yassin, another Egyptian Artist, born in 1961 has several paintings displayed upon the walls and, like Maher’s,  they too focus on the scenic side of Cairo.  One of his most beautiful paintings displays a boy in the street balancing a plate in one hand which suggests he is working as a waiter or perhaps with the traditional foul cart.  The most remarkable thing about this painting is the way the artist has managed to capture the realistic tones of the hair, skin and clothes in the natural light and the joyful emotion on his face.  From a distance this piece could easily pass as a photograph right up until you stand an arms length away and only then are those extroadinary brush marks so apparent and vivid.

Waleed Yassin also has on show a detailed and scenic painting of El Calaa Square in Cairo with a view of El Iman Al Shafai Mosque beneath a blue, cloudy sky.  His overall style is quite photographic from afar despite the strong brush marks that give his paintings their personal touch.

Another painting further into the gallery space that caught our attention was a still life piece with collaged elements featuring Islamic symbols and texts.  Bold marks, vivid colours and intricate patterns taken from the designs upon the mosque are what makes this painting so interesting and pleasing to the eye. 

Known for his use if bright, flamboyant colours, Taher Abdel Azeem also contributes to this exhibition through an esquisite painting of Old Cairo by night with all its glowing extravagance.  For anyone that has been to Old Cairo will not only recognise the buildings in this painting but also that famous glittering glow that rests on all the intricately designed architecture. 

However, it was the final piece of art that deemed to be the liveliest of all, in the form of an abstract swirl of colours there to illustrate the Tannoura as it spins with the dancers.  .

This intriguing exhibition not only encapsulates the celebration of Ramadan, but also awakens us to all  sides inlcuding the preperation, the symbols and the celebration mixed with glittering memories of Old Cairo. 

360 Tip

Art Corner Gallery recieved a 2015 Cairo 360 Editors' Choice Award in the Arts & Culture category earlier this year.

Best Bit

The exhibition really captures the merriment of Ramadan.

Worst Bit

No literature relating to the exhibition is available. 

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