Let’s Talk: Souad Mardam Bey Launches New Exhibition at Zamalek Art Gallery
Zamalek Art Gallery has been hosting exhibitions by Egyptian artists as of late, but its latest exhibition, Let’s Talk, presents the works of the Syrian artist, Souad Mardam Bey. Born in Damask, Bey studied art in Lebanon and lived for a while in Canada, before finally residing in Cairo.
Not her first show in town, Zamalek Art Gallery hosted exhibitions by the artist before, including Playing with No Toys and The Magic Thread. She also participated in the gallery’s charity exhibition held last year.
Unified by an earthy palette of warm greys, brown and beige, Bey’s latest collection comprises a variety of large paintings of androgynous human figures. Clad in white skirts and blouses are two ladies depicted in one of the paintings. While the background is filled with almost solid grey colour, the patterns of the ladies’ blouses and their textured faces add life to the painting.
Unlike the first, another has a textured background of white and beige, and in the foreground there’s a lady reclining on an armchair while two cats are sitting at her feet. What makes this painting one of the masterpieces in Let’s Talk is how Bey perfectly used a flowered oilskin tablecloth to pattern the white arm chair.
Not as patterned as the rest of the paintings, but rich in texture, is a piece showing two figures seated next each other, with one holding a fish in a clay bowl. While the latter is the only patterned object in the painting, the rest of is divided between the texture of the upper torsos of the two figures and the background, as well as the fine rays of white that depict the draperies of their clothes.
Let’s Talk may not carry the deepest of concepts, but the harmonious palette and the excellent execution of the paintings sets the viewer in a serene, meditative mood. Lasting till the 14th of February, this exhibition is sure not to be missed.