The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

Arts & Culture
Lot 17

Lot 17: Black or White Exhibit

reviewed by
Aleksandra Sekinger
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Lot 17: Black or White Exhibit

One of the great things about walking around in
Zamalek on a sunny afternoon is the little surprises you find along the way. Lot
17 is a tiny, unsuspecting gallery on Mohamed Mazhar Street that promotes the
works of local artists. The gallery is one medium-sized room that showcases
local art in an intimate setting. Lot 17 recently acquired a new creative
director, Lisa Lounis.

The Black or White exhibit is the second exhibit that
Lounis has organised at Lot 17. It’s a collection
of approximately two dozen works by local artists Rehab Seoudi and Shayma Aziz.
The exhibit was not a collaborative work of the two artists’; their works are
individually featured but sit side by side in the small gallery space. The only
thing that connects all the works is that they are all in black and white.

Rehab Seoudi made a series of portraits from
monoprints. Monoprinting is a versatile art medium, in which ink is applied
directly to a plate or a piece of glass and the artist works in the negative to
create an image. When the artist’s image is complete, a paper is pressed to the
plate; imprinting the ink onto the paper.

Many of Seoudi’s monoprints were of baladi portraits
of rural folk, including individuals and families. One particularly eye-catching
portrait is of an older man with a white scarf wrapped on his head. The
wrinkles on his face are nicely developed and a beautifully designed geometric
window is behind him.

Shayma Aziz created several large full-body images
made from Chinese ink on paper. The male and female bodies are accented by the
interesting way that the ink bleeds on and through the paper, which has a very
cerebral effect on the viewer. The artist uses this method to express a certain
sense of sensuality about the human body.

Although it’s not the most conceptual exhibit in town,
it’s worth a visit if not just to learn more about local artists and the
techniques that they’re experimenting with. Black or White will be on view
until June 8, 2010.

360 Tip

If you visit the gallery, contrast the way you see the images up close and from far away. The monoprints especially have interesting details up close.

Best Bit

Rehab Seoudi’s sketches were quite interesting.

Worst Bit

If there was a concept or reason why the two artists were shown together, we didn’t get it.

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