‘Humorous Reactions’ Exhibition at Art Corner
Art Corner has continued to thrive amongst the many Zamalek galleries thanks largely to its commitment to showcasing Egyptian contemporary art, with its latest exhibition, ‘Humorous Reactions’, bringing together the work of of Galal Gomaa and Mohsen Abu El-Azm.
Born in 1947 in Cairo, Gomaa is an Egyptian artist who obtained a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Helwan University –with a specialisation in Furniture and Interior Design –then, following his graduation, he pursued a degree of Fine Arts in Italy. Born in 1958, in Fayoum, Abu El Azm studied Fine Arts at Cairo University is considered to be one of Egypt’s most important contemporary satirical painters who uses his drawings to portray the ‘Egyptian character’ and social issues.
Combining a collection of traditional paintings alongside a selection of intriguingly complex wire sculptures, ‘Humorous Reactions’ is a truly stunning exhibition.
Upon entering the gallery, the first thing that caught our attention once we carefully observed Gomaa’s beautiful pieces hung on the wall is that wire was used to compose tiny refined figurines within the paintings.
Wire is a capable and great sculpting material in the sense that it is light and easy to mould into any shape. Looking at Gomaa’s sculptures, we could see that they almost resemble a line-drawing with their simple and effortless form. Some of Gomaa’s other wire pieces were smaller and simpler, consisting of merely the outline, while others were set up on a plinth as a sculpture, or attached to the wall as though they were drawings.
Most of the wire sculptures presented on plinths were much more complex in structure and clearly demonstrated the artist’s understanding of the anatomy; with each piece of wire depicting the bones, muscles and folds of skin.
One of our favourite amongst Gomaa’s wire pieces was a horse sculpture, which was balancing on its hind legs, while the main ones seemed to be billowing in a passing breeze. The wire on the legs was tightly entwined leaving little space in between, whereas the body had a transparent effect due to its spaced netting.
It’s not the only piece depicting a horse; another suggests that Gomaa has used a single strand of wire with minimal details as opposed to the other horse piece; the contrast pays testament to his skills as a sculptor.
Abu El Azm’s paintings, on the other hand, portray traditional Egyptian scenery in vivid colours, with some set in rural areas and depicting a simpler side of Egypt in an almost nostalgic light. Others, meanwhile, focused more on society and urban life. Perhaps the common denominator in all of Abu El Azm’s paintings is that they are all highly figurative and vibrant in colours.
Between highly skilful wire sculptures and vibrant paintings, there’s an interesting contrast between the two artists’ artistic interpretations that makes it endlessly engaging and, at times, a little abstract.